What happens after wining the “World Cup”?

Netherlands v Spain: 2010 FIFA World Cup Final

Last night was an interesting match between (Netherlands and Spain), from a management perspective.

Spain who won the World Cup in 2010, lost dramatically in its first match against Netherland (1-5) in “current 2014 World cup-groups stage”, ironically , Netherland lost the cup against Spain in 2010!

Looking at this pattern, let examine other cases:

In 2006 Italy won the cup against France with (5-3, penalty shootout), Italy went out of the game in 2010 in Groups stage with lowest points in its group.

In 2002 Brazil won the World cup, and in 2006 lost against France in quarter finals.

In 1998 France Won the World cup, and in 2002 lost with the lowest point in the groups stage without scoring any goal!

So What happened to these wining teams during the four years “after” wining the cup?

They live in the glory stage, and feel comfortable in their strength level.

The exact same phase where many successful entrepreneurs or employees reach after getting a promotion or substantial progress, instead of working harder to fit the new standards, they fall in the trap of “After Wining World Cup” syndrome.


“We are champions”, “no one can beat us”, “I know it all”, and  “We are the best”, are ideas reflect the behavior of these temporary winners.

Here are few tips on how to avoid this syndrome:

1- Your new role requires new challenges, new skills, what got you here wont get you there!” for Marshal Goldsmith describes Twenty Habits That Hold You Back from the Top, and one of them stop growth efforts.


2- Take feedback about your self and career aggressively , ask for advise to improve from everyone, your coach, your team, your subordinates, managers, clients, competitors, suppliers, market experts, family, and friends.

3- Change and refresh your approach to solving problems.

4- Focus on Important things and delegate the rest.

5- As you grow more strategic and less technical skills are required, you are a leader, act like one, invest in Leadership and Strategic skills.

changing plans 2

6- Always challenge your self and your current capabilities

7- Give Chance for new people, new approaches, teams tend to have almost the same celebrity players , who have been involve heavily with their clubs during the four years, they have played under different strategies and instructions, bringing them back to the next World cup might not be a good decision for their performance, look at Messi in 2010! he really messed it up! bring new team with new spirits might be a good decision.

Finally, its still early to say whether Spain will upgrade their techniques and come up with surprising performance in the coming games, however, noting this stage, its safe to say that Netherlands were busy building their success plan during the last four years.

For those who are not into Football “soccer” like my self, I enjoy to see it with a different point of view, it is an inspiring event where lots of lessons could be learned from leadership, marketing, management, team building and mindset building aspect, lets look at it from a different angle.

Wish you an joyful FIFA 2014 World Cup Season.