It is indeed a remarkable football year which has seen lots of upsets and surprises ranging from Leicester City’s fairytale English Premier League triumph to Portugal’s determination and awesome composure to lift the UEFA EURO 2016 trophy.
As I passionately watched the UEFA EURO 2016 tournament, I couldn’t help but noticed Portugal’s ‘slow and steady’ run to lift the EURO 2016 trophy.
From Portugal’s first game with Iceland to their last with France, there are lots of lessons entrepreneurs and CEO of business startups can learn which are:
1. Set long term goals.
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Fernando Santos, the Portugal coach, took over the team in 2014, and after losing his first match in charge to France, in this stadium in an exhibition, Santos told the players that their goal should be to return here for the UEFA EURO 2016 final.
If Portuguese team is akin to an entrepreneur, Fernando Santos is therefore an entrepreneur who understands the importance of setting medium term goals.
He’s that entrepreneur who has foresight; refusing to confine himself with short term goals which would have been EURO 2016 qualification. He is an intelligent entrepreneur who motivates his subordinates by painting a picture of where the business is going, and the role each will play to attain organizational success.
2. Communicate your vision to your subordinates.
Fernando Santos’ statement stuck in the hearts of Portugal players. He painted a glorious picture of his vision on the minds of his players.
In business, Fernando Santos understands that effect of painting a triumphant image in the lives of his players. He is that entrepreneur that constantly communicates with his/her employees on the organization’s futuristic plans.
By doing this, every employees have an idea of what is expected and as such find it easier to channel the total organization’s effort and resources to achieve set goals.
3. Manage your personnel effectively.
One of the greatest weapons in Fernando Santos armory is his personnel management skill. Players like Vierinha, Ricardo Carvalho and Gomez were starters in the first round of the EURO 2016.
However, after the first round, Santos carried out performance appraisal programme and effected some changes in his team.
Arguably, Santos made his most important interjections in defense and midfield. Vierinha and Ricardo Carvalho were replaced by the Fonte and Soares while Renato Sanches disposed Gomez.
This reshuffle was instrumental to Portugal success as they tightened their defense line and beefed up their midfield through Sanches.
In business, Fernando Santos is a business owner who effectively grasps the essence of manpower mix. He selects the right employees to carry out specific assignment in order to ensure that round pegs are put on round holes.
4. Practice pompt decision making.
Fernando Santos noticed some loopholes in his team that needed prompt decision. He didn’t hesitate to take decision.
Vierinha whose natural instincts as an attacking wide player undermined the Portuguese backline, was ditched for the more stable Cedric Soares.
After a 3-3 draw with Hungary that demonstrated his back four was not the smoothly functioning unit he demanded, Santos chose a new central defensive partnership in Pepe and Fonte.
The 38-year-old Ricardo Carvalho was conspicuously off-pace and was a liability on the left-hand side.
Santos also replaced Gomez with Sanches in the midfield. He made all the right decisions in the final, shifting Portugal’s formation to stifle France’s attack and, later, brought in Éder; a striker who is often criticized for inconsistent play delivered the title-winning goal.
Making decision is one of the difficult task entrepreneurs grapple to deal with. Decisions like business expansion, choice of employees, diversification plans etc. are critical to organization success.
Decision may be good or bad. But avoiding to take decision is disastrous.
5. Have a contingency plan.
Even the best of plans can go haywire just as Santos realized in the EURO 2016 final. He responded to Ronaldo’s injury-forced early departure by introducing Ricardo Quaresma, who had already outstanding contributions from the bench in earlier rounds.
Later, Renato Sanches was replaced by a conventional striker in Eder and the decision paid off in extra time. In the absence of Ronaldo, Santos realized he needed a more clinical figure at the top than Nani and Quaresma.
6. Inspire your subordinates/employees.
According to Eder, "Ronaldo told me I would score the winning goal for the team……We went through a difficult spell after Ronaldo's injury, because he's the best player in the world and an important player for us. But after that he still gave us all his strength and bravery, and we got this important victory, both for him and all of Portugal."
Ronaldo play a great role in the EURO 2016 final. In an organization, Ronaldo is simply a business owner who knows what it takes to inspire his employees.
Eder stepped into a big role meant for the brave heart. Ronaldo has such heart but Eder doesn’t. Since there was nothing Ronaldo could do because of his injury, he decided to inspire Eder. It paid off.
A business owner cannot do everything at a time for his/her organization. After assigning roles and responsibilities to your employees, remember to inspire them by letting them know they can accomplish any task and assignment for the overall organizational success.