What Can Argentina’s World Cup Loss Teach Us about Leadership?

I watched a bit of the FIFA Men’s World Cup and I did watch most of the final yesterday.  I wasn’t aligned with anyone team but traditionally cheer for the underdog so I would not have been sad if Argentina won.  What I thought about as I watched the pained faces of the players and fans and coaches having to stand by and watch the gold medal and trophy be awarded to someone else was that they were blind to the reality of the situation.  Don’t get me wrong, losing sucks, I don’t know if it ever gets easy, and those men sure didn’t look like it was easy.  But, and this is a big but, people still adore them and in the world of football they are the second best team in the world.  Our Canadian Men’s team didn’t even make it to the tournament.  So the Argentinian’s are by far some of the best in the world.  But it didn’t matter last night because they weren’t THE BEST. 
In their moments of grief they were unable to focus on the good part.  The fact that the fans in the stands cried with them, cheered for Messi as he got MVP of the tournament and cheered all of them as they got the silver medals.  That around the world people were with them, to the end.  I felt for them, I could feel the weight in my heart as I watched their broken hearts flood the pitch. 
And then I started to think about my own life and when I lose, how I focus on the bad and not the hidden or maybe not so hidden good part.  Although I am putting in effort to change that very thing, it often still gets me in the moment.  Its perspective, it’s the ‘make lemon out of lemonade’. 
One of the Commentators said that Messi’s legacy is not having won a World Cup.  John Herdman, our National Women’s team coach (and personal favourite of mine) said he disagreed.  Instead he said, ‘his legacy was showing the youth of the world how to live a life of football’.  I wanted to clap.  If Messi’s entire career is boiled down to not winning the World Cup then we have, collectively, missed something.  It is his example of the sport, and as exemplified yesterday, his sportsmanship that is his legacy.  He did not look happy, but if he had then we would judge him saying it didn’t mean anything to him.  He had an honest and strong demeanour, he faced what I can only assume a painful climb onto the ceremonies platform to collect second place.  Ick, who wants to be second.   
Messi didn’t give up, the Argentinian’s didn’t give up.  You have to play to the end.  It’s brutal to watch teams or people who don’t, it’s brutal to see the loss of hope.  And people in general don’t like it, we like a close game – a tight match of great teams facing off for the coveted prize.  We love the competition. 
As a leader you have to have the same kind of fever, the same level of commitment.  If you give up, why won’t your team?  If Messi had quit playing, stopped trying – it would have affected the entire momentum of his team.  It’s tough to play when you think you have been beat.  But don’t forget the Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey team who scored the tying and winning goal with about three minutes of play left.  If they had given up they would have lost.  Instead they got one of the best hockey moments I’ve ever seen.  And I loved yelling at my TV and hopping up and down as I watched the unimaginable unfold.  Never say never. 
As a leader you need to experience loss, it expands your capacity to show empathy. And having empathy is a very important trait of a good leader.  In fact, experience, loss and challenge are almost definitely in the fabric of all great leaders.  Your ability to withstand the weight of loss will show your team that it’s not about losing, it’s how you played the game.  And if you’re lucky, it’s about how you will play next time.

Bravo Germany – earned, played, won. 
11 Comments
  • Football Solutions Tomasson tops Danish poll
    Posted at 23:56h, 06 November

    EXCLUSIVE: Scotland’s oldest club are in discussions with the governing body over surrendering ownership of the iconic venue and have until Monday to hand over the keys. SFA give Monday deadline to Queen’s Park to hand over keys to Hampden Park as Scotland’s oldest club prepare to give up ownership of iconic venue

  • futbol.run Under-21 2017 - History - Denmark-Luxembourg
    Posted at 11:30h, 19 November

    Players who finished their youth careers in the United academy were on the field for a total of 44,055 minutes in the study. Tottenham were second, with a total of 19,995. Manchester United academy leads the way again in the Premier League after graduates racked up more than double the minutes of nearest rival Tottenham

  • futbol.run Women's World Cup - Matches
    Posted at 08:59h, 21 November

    Two Jermain Defoe penalties helped Sunderland rescue a point against Premier League title chasing Liverpool, while 10-men Manchester City saw off Burnley 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium. Sunderland 2-2 Liverpool, Premier League RESULT: Plus Man City 2-1 Burnley and the rest of the 3pm action

  • gamefly free trial
    Posted at 21:54h, 02 May

    Because the admin of this web page is working, no question very soon it will be famous, due to its feature contents.

  • gamefly free trial
    Posted at 02:22h, 03 May

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.

    I’ll definitely comeback.

  • gamefly
    Posted at 02:17h, 04 May

    I want to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it.
    I have got you bookmarked to check out new things you
    post…

  • gamefly
    Posted at 02:40h, 06 May

    Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in reality was a leisure account it.
    Glance complicated to more delivered agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we be in contact?

  • how to download minecraft
    Posted at 06:28h, 08 May

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s
    to be what precisely I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you?

    I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot
    of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome site!

  • minecraft download free pc
    Posted at 05:08h, 14 May

    No matter if some one searches for his required thing,
    therefore he/she wishes to be available that
    in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here.

  • minecraft download for free
    Posted at 21:27h, 16 May

    Keep on writing, great job!

  • minecraft download free pc
    Posted at 04:29h, 18 May

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized
    it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be
    bookmarking and checking back frequently!

Post A Comment