Tag Archives: Soccer

What World Cup winner Germany can teach us about developing a culture of excellence

brazil vs germany world cup 2014

Picture: EPA

The 2014 World Cup has ended! For me it was one of the most memorable, the first round alone is worth watching again. Anyway, the Germans won. And they have lots to teach us about developing a culture of excellence, no matter what people say about their “efficient” driven culture.

Here are a two takeaways:

To play to win, not to lose, requires a different mindset

Two weeks ago I watched as Mexico gave up a 1 goal lead to the Netherlands and eventually lose the game on a questionable penalty kick. As all of this was unraveling I wasn’t surprised. I had started watching the game at the 60 minute mark, but I could tell Netherlands was going to even things out, and maybe even win the game.

I knew because they were the aggressors. Mexico was sitting back, playing not to lose. But this isn’t an isolated incident, Mexico has a history of letting up. It doesn’t have anything to do with strategy and tactics, but with, I believe, psychological and cultural issue.

I believe that conformity is the enemy of greatness. There are other countries in this World Cup who are exemplary of how defeating conformity is less a matter of strategy and more about mindset.