Posts Tagged ‘football’

Ready, Set, Grow! This Week: The Messi Effect

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Ready Set Grow
Before I am innundated by a flood of emails: Yes, Lionel Messi is an outstanding soccer player, with this proviso: Messi also makes mistakes. And Messi plays badly from time to time.

But during the World Cup, has it occurred to you that Messi (almost) always did everything right, brilliantly, strategically—at least in the opinion of the commentators. Even when he made a particularly bad move, it was “strategically well-conceived.” When Messi took a shot, “Messi, Messiiii, Meeeeeesssssiiiiii!” Too bad he missed, by ten feet. Commentary: “That was really, really close. A great idea from the Argentinian star player, but his teammates let him make his run all by himself. Even the best can’t do anything that way.” Ho hum.

There it is, the “Messi factor.” The star can’t play badly, because that isn’t on the agenda. If he doesn’t get a shot, it’s because “he was taken out of the play by four, five opponents.” I see.

There’s an on-going Messi factor in daily life. The authorities make no mistakes, and everything that the authorities do has a reason (supposedly). It reminds me a little of a satire by the great Ephraim Kishon, wherein he describes a guided tour through a museum. The guide kept asking, “What is the artist trying to tell us?” But Kishon never had an even half “correct” answer because he saw only meaningless sculptures or moronic images having four squares instead of the alleged epiphany before his eyes. At the end of the tour, near the exit, Kishon pointed out to the guide and the tour group a pile of sand, ingeniously formed so that it seemed that it must have a very special significance. The guide: “Oh, the fire department forgot to remove that after the last drill.”

Don’t let alleged authorities bully you. We all make mistakes. All of us.

© 2014, Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Mandat Consulting Group, Dortmund, London, New York. All rights reserved. © Sprinter: mezzotint_fotolia –

Score Just One More Goal–of Costs and Revenues

Friday, December 20th, 2013

A former trainee once said that the number of goals scored in a soccer game is relatively immaterial, as long as you score one more goal than you give up. That’s right. This is an amazingly good fit when it comes to the topic of “growth.” You may indeed have costs. But as long as revenues exceed costs, there’s cash left over. I intentionally don’t write “profit” because otherwise, someone would point out to me that write-offs can still spoil the results, even though they are not operating costs. But you know what I mean to say.
Businesspeople and managers who focus up front on generating revenues from customers – and by that I mean profitable revenues, of course – are generally more successful than those whose focus is a desperate dispute over how to lower costs. Naturally, it’s easier to concentrate on costs because in doing so, we need concern ourselves only with ourselves, and not with unpredictable customers. And of course, costs must be kept track of and prevented from going through the roof. But – and this is a big “but” – your company’s future and its growth develop from good value that’s paid for and from benefiting the customer, not from minimizing costs.
Company managers make a good impression not by cutting back, but by building up; not by fleeing something, but by advancing toward something. Some few company managers will make that painful discovery if and when we return to full employment.

© 2013, Prof. Dr. Guido Quelle, Mandat Consulting Group, Dortmund, London, New York. All rights reserved.