The Long Wait Begins

Greetings.  The World Cup ended Sunday with Spain defeating the Netherlands in a game that didn't quite live up to the expectations set by these two remarkably talented teams.  But it was an interesting game still–marked by very physical play, some great chances for both sides, and a record number of yellow cards–that took almost 120 minutes to produce its only goal.  I guess the beauty of football (a.k.a., "soccer") takes many forms.  

For loyal football fans and others just getting into the sport, the game also marked the end of an amazing month filled with genius, teamwork, stirring performances, national pride, and the unique passion of this grand event.  And it brought us the opportunity to see a new and more hopeful picture of South Africa–a country with great challenges and great promise.  During almost daily broadcasts throughout the tournament our eyes and hearts were opened to a country filled with beautiful faces, inspiring music and culture, great diversity, spectacular landscapes, and the dreams of people of all ages.

Now the long wait until the next World Cup begins.  And with it, another chance to see the simple magic of a ball, a beautiful game, and a world filled with endless possibilities for all of us.

World Cup Goal

We win in business, soccer, and life when we bring passion and genius to the things that matter most.  And when we put teamwork above our own glory.  Four years until the next World Cup in Brazil.  Four years to fill with practice, inspiration, and learning more about ourselves, each other, and even geography.

Cheers and have a great week ahead!

The Brilliance of the World Cup

Greetings.  In a few days the world's most remarkable sporting event will begin with the simple kick of a ball and the hopes and dreams of 32 nations that were skillful and fortunate enough to qualify for this year's World Cup.  And for a month, a large percentage of the planet's eyes, ears, and hearts will be glued to TV screens and computer monitors in homes, offices, restaurants, bars, community centers, social halls, public plazas, and anyplace else that people gather to cheer for their favorite teams and players.  They'll also watch at all hours of the day and night, depending on where they live, in the hopes of seeing great games, great plays, and especially great goals.  Goals announced with the unique passion that only soccer or football can bring–especially when screamed in delight by some of Latin America's finest announcers.  This is truly the world's sport, played and revered by more than 90 percent of it's inhabitants on dirt lots, city streets, rural pastures, perfectly manicured fields, and everywhere in between.

And amid all of the press, the hype, the predictions, and the building of stadiums and other preparations made for this historic event, it will essentially be a month of magic that is based on the simplest of games–made complicated only by trying to figure out exactly what it means to be "off sides."  Otherwise, the rules and the pitch (i.e., "field") are pretty basic and pretty clear.  So whether you call it football, futbol, futebol, fotboll, futbal, fodbold, le football or simply le foot, futboll, sakka, jalkapallo, soccer, or any other name, now is your chance to experience something special.  After four years of waiting the World Cup is back, making its first ever appearance on the African continent.

Even if you're not a soccer fan, it is well worth your while to spend some time watching the World Cup.  You might even find it to be a valuable activity at the office.  And while you're watching, try to figure out what makes this event so special and what insights you might gain to help make your company or organization more special too.  Besides the obvious lessons in teamwork and strategy, there's a lot to be learned about innovation, improvisation, and seizing opportunities.  And, you're also likely to discover new perspectives on leadership, loyalty, engagement, and poise under pressure.  So enjoy the experience…it's bound to be brilliant!

Fifa 2010

We win in business by captivating the hearts and minds of those we choose to serve.  By kindling their passion and dreams of greatness. Thirty days of magic are set to unfold.  Will you and the geniuses you work with be watching, cheering, and learning?

Cheers!