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Monday, July 14, 2014

Leadership: World Cup 2014: Germany!

Right from the start, my heart was and still is with Argentina, but my head knew from the facts that the Germans had an unmatched technical game. I am a great fan of the “underdog”. I love the “David and Goliath” story and I would love to relive it every day of my life even though I know that won’t do. The tension in the game was not whose side was I on. My battle was who is going to settle the agonizing war between my head and my heart.  When Germany final won, I said to myself, “I knew it”. When Argentina lost – I felt great pain and am tempted to call it unfair! These two teams played a great game and taught us leaders a huge lesson. Congratulations Germany and well-done Argentina!

This heart-wrenching final helped me answer the question my politics professor loves to ask, “Why don’t leaders always make decisions based on what they know to be true?” You have to be a leader to know what is going on here. Do you make decisions based on data or do you make decisions based on what you want to do? Why do we ignore facts and statistics and dare to hope for the best?  As a leader, you must answer these agonizing questions and decide how you want to decide, every time you make a decision.

However, the whole tournament has set the tone and agenda for football, sports and I dare say leadership for the next four years. It has provided a huge feast for leadership gurus and armchair philosophers alike. Everyone can talk about teamwork and name specific matches to illustrate their point.  This is good for sports and this is good for leadership. Here are some of the take-aways; “a competition is a ruthless place to test your level of preparation”, “there is history and there is hope”, “there is a difference between philosophy and competence”, “one goal makes a difference, but one player makes a difference too”. “Number three is a good too! In fact, it is not just good it is great!” – if you want more you have to analyze all 63 games! And all the 32 teams that made the feast possible!

Allan Bukusi

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