Employee Engagement

Gareth Southgate and his men are not only inspiring a nation and giving hope to the idea that the World Cup really is ‘coming home’ – but also proving the case that winning in business and in football is all about great teamwork.

A survey by collaboration work management platform Wrike of leading businesses across the UK, France, Germany and Spain looked at the similarities between the qualities needed as a successful business manager with that of a successful football manager.

Picking the right team came out as the top answer overall, but was closely followed by the importance of an agile mindset – recognising that if a tactic isn’t working, you need to change the strategy quickly. The third quality identified among nearly 200 European business executives as most important was empathy – knowing when a team needs encouragement and support, something Southgate might like to take onboard ahead of England’s clash with Croatia on Wednesday.

When asked how they rated their own collaboration skills within their organisations, the majority of business executives saw themselves as ‘team players’ or ‘ultimate team players’ (65%). Only a small percentage considered themselves ‘lone wolves’ (18%) – perhaps proving that no matter how skilful some individuals are you need teamwork to win, as Portugal and Argentina discovered when Ronaldo and Messi’s dazzling individual skills were not enough to carry their teams past the knock-out stages.

“While this quick poll was meant as a bit of light-hearted fun, there are some interesting comparisons between success on the pitch and in the office,” said Patricia DuChene, Vice President of Sales, GM EMEA at Wrike. “It shows good managers need to have an agile mindset, reacting and adapting strategies and tactics quickly when needed. Great teamwork is the glue that helps businesses succeed and football teams win World Cups.”

So which team is predicted to win the tournament? Based on collaboration and teamwork alone, England, Belgium and Croatia all consistently ranked high amongst the highest responses – with all three still on course for the title.

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