The 2018 FIFA World Cup is here and to many it is just a series of games. However, football, like many other sports is a theatre of learning profound principles which can be applied in everyday life. Like many sports, performance is a key factor in attaining success.
Anyone who doubles as a passionate lover of football and the HR professionmay have observed that embedded in the fun and thrill of the round leather game are answers to some of the biggest challenges confronting performance management and talent management professionals in day-to-day organisational life.
A classic epitome of high performance is the iconic Cristiano Ronaldo – a footballer per excellence whose stellar performances one cannot deny even if he’s scored against their team in the past (and he most likely has). The ongoing tournament has further reinforced many people’s respect for the phenomenal player whose football wizardry is nothing short of epic.
Rio Ferdinand, an ex-England and Manchester United player had this to say about the football maestro: “He was the first person I saw employing a nutritionist, a doctor, a personal physio, a chef. He invested in himself to become the best in the world…”
C. Ronaldo, as he is fondly called, does not just excel through his personal performances; he also possesses almost mystical competencies in catalysing his team’s performance to the point where they become the best. This is evident in his unrelenting efforts at pushing his national team beyond the limit to conquer the rest of Europe.
In a world where talent is overrated and hard work is often given the back seat, Ronaldo has demonstrated what the latter can achieve. As a result, his life has become a learning institution which everyone who desires a successful career must attend.
The lesson from his enviable career, especially his mesmerising performance at the ongoing World Cup is that while talent is important, hard work trumps talent.
The Lesson For HR Professionals
As an HR professional, you cannot become a successful business partner and ultimately, business driver to your organisation without a strict and consistent commitment to learning and development.
The HR leaders we admire greatly today have mastered this basic discipline – a die-hard commitment to continuous learning and development even when it’s most inconvenient and without obvious results.
It is never going to be easy, but like Ronaldo, we will need a blend of talent, dedication, grit and a hunger to be nothing but the best to thrive in the HR profession.
Remember – If you learn to work hard when you don’t see results, very soon, you will see huge results when you don’t work as hard.