The 2018 FIFA World Cup kept the world mesmerized for more than a month. An essential lesson one can learn from this event is that success does not merely depend on talent and physical and technical skills. Let’s take the example of the French national football team. This is the third time France reached the final. One of the main factors behind the team’s success is the prominent role played by its coach Didier Deschamps. After captaining his team to victory in the 1998 World Cup, Deschamps became a talented manager and leader. The question is: What can entrepreneurs learn from Deschamps’ effective management?
First, let us look at the average age of the members of the team. In mid-May 2018, the French coach announced the list of 23 players he had selected for the World Cup. Besides experienced players, who are the main pillars of the team, young players like Kylian Mbappé obtained their ticket for the massive event. France was among the youngest teams at the World Cup, with the average age of players being 26. Here is the first lesson that successful entrepreneurs know well: During an important event such as this, the experience, wisdom, and knowledge of senior members cannot be put aside. However, it is important to nurture the enthusiasm and creativity of younger members as it helps to drive the company forward. France’s coach balanced the team well by mixing technicality and diversity.
Another important lesson: crisis management. After suffering a 2-0 defeat against Ukraine in the first leg of their 2014 World Cup playoff, Les Bleus needed to score three goals in order to qualify and go to Rio. Didier Deschamps changed his strategy and led the team to a thrilling 3-0 victory. This exemplifies a crucial lesson: during tough times, a manager must personally take care of the issues and explain his choices in a transparent way. This helps the manager become a leader in the eyes of his/her team and gain more respect. In the end, there is no better way of answering the critics than by presenting great results!
Written by: Ilan Scialom
SKEMA Ventures is a business unit created by SKEMA Business School dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation. Through a unique value chain, that encompasses teaching, coaching, incubation, and acceleration, SKEMA Ventures allows each SKEMA student and alumni to think, design, test and launch an entrepreneurial project in a global context, on six innovative territories on four continents, benefiting from the best of each local ecosystem. With SKEMA Ventures, GloCal entrepreneurship is born!
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