Business Insights from the World Cup: The Triumph of Teamwork

Whether you’re a football fan or not, you will not miss the World Cup 2014 craze as it has been in the headlines over the past weeks. From the debate to which World Cup song is better—Shakira’s or J.Lo’s—to the surprising loss of Spain, there are many things to talk about this sports event.

Great teams are formed in the global stage. With 82 countries rooting for their national teams, players strive harder to win the cup for their countrymen. You see these teams work together like brothers, bearing in mind the common goal of bringing pride to their people.

Since the World Cup fever has caught up on us, too, we’ll share with you some teamwork insights we’ve discovered and hopefully you can apply it to your respective teams!

It’s all about getting the job done. The West Germany team of 1954 was defeated by the Hungarians eight times prior to meeting them in the finals. Despite the consecutive losses, the Germans prevailed in the end. They exploited the defensive collapse of Hungary and brought home the coveted cup. In the same way, there are times when your plans or projects fail. At the end of the day, it’s all about persevering as a team, not losing heart, and getting the job done even if it means trying again and again.

Great teams need great leaders. Vittorio Pozzo is the only World Cup coach to win two World Cup titles. Known as a tactician, he led Italy to a win over Hungary in 1934 and 1938. If you want your team to thrive, you need to be a good leader. They need someone to look up to, someone who will rally them, and someone who will coach them to success. A great leader walks his talk. When you talk about discipline and excellence, your team members should also see it in you.

There’s value in youth and experience. The Brazil team of 1958 is a testament to youth and experience working well together. Star athlete Pele is the youngest player to participate in the World Cup at 17, the youngest player to win the title, and the youngest scorer in the finals. However, he couldn’t have done it without his impressive supporting cast of veterans. Allow your young and talented teammates to learn from your seasoned employees. Their brilliance will even be greater when they learn from the best.

Everybody needs to step up. After bringing the first World Cup title to Brazil, Pele got injured in 1962 when his team made it to the finals. However, that didn’t stop them from winning the title again with the rest of the team giving it their all and stepping up to the challenge. Teamwork is about team effort regardless if you’re leader is there or not. You need to make sure that your team is motivated to do their part because if they do it well, it impacts the entire team and your end goal.

It’s never too late to discover your strength as a team. Known for the longest time as the underdogs, Spain got a surge of energy and reignited passion when they started winning from 2008-2012. Now you understand the dismay of the Spanish community about their early exit this year. The team developed a possession-based strategy known as “tiki-taka” that led them to multiple victories. Your team works best in certain dynamics and you should discover that and leverage it to ensure success in your efforts. Know the strengths of your teammates because that will help them become more effective.

Teamwork is at its best when team members know their roles and perform it the best way they know how. These teams play at certain positions; some are stars while others are merely role players. However, they manage to work together and make their contribution relevant to the success of their team. Team success is equal to individual success and you will definitely feel fulfilled when you’ve accomplished something together. Victories and successes are sweeter when they are done with full support and cooperation from each team member and these World Cup champions can attest to that.

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  1. Misheda M. Perral

    Team work in all aspect is very important. This article explains it all. Without a TEAM how do you expect to win an all out match with strong players? In order to defeat other competitors, you need to have a strong backbone in defense. Its just like having your own business, you just dont hire people. You hire people with the best quality. You hire people with energy and drive and passion and determination, whose values and attitude and personalities and skills are are at its best. because these set of people have goals in life. they value success and takes every opportunities to get the job done. If you have this kind of team any incoming problems would be handled easily.

    • Pepper

      Hi, Misheda! Teamwork is definitely the game changer in any work environment. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  2. Rey Magadan

    In my past experience playing soccer in my high school days, I have always been thinking on how to win and there it is! Team work. without team work a team could never win. A well organized and united team will always thrive to be the best specially when there is a great leader leading the team with dedication to create a team with a united mind and conquer the odds. As there is a saying that “United we stand. Divided we fall.” and it is always true.

    • Pepper

      That’s so true, Rey! Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts with us! 🙂



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