Victories and Defeats: the Game-Changing Lessons of Our Football Journey

Victories and Defeats: the Game-Changing Lessons of Our Football Journey

Victories and Defeats: the Game-Changing Lessons of Our Football Journey

Well, last night’s AFCON final didn’t quite go the way we hoped, and Nigeria faced a tough loss against Ivory Coast. But you know what? I couldn’t be prouder of our team for making it to the finals!

In our football family, we’re no strangers to the thrill of victory and the sting of defeat. It’s all part of the game, and it’s shaped us into one resilient bunch, thanks to the incredible life skills football has taught us.

From dashing around on Saturdays, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings to cheering on two (U-12 & U-14) matches on Sundays, the highs and lows of football have become a rhythm of our lives. It’s not just about the wins; it’s about the teamwork, the camaraderie, and the invaluable life lessons my daughters have learned on the field.

Here are some team lessons we’ve embraced from both wins and losses, lessons that extend beyond the pitch and into our professional lives:

  • Resilience: Each defeat is an opportunity to bounce back stronger. Just as in organisations, setbacks are often temporary, but the determination to push forward is enduring.
  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Whether it’s in sports, families or in organisations, success is seldom achieved alone. Even though we often reward individual performance more than team performance, collaboration, communication, and support from teammates/family members fuel our successes!
  • Ownership of Success and Failure: Every member of a team, be it on the field or in the boardroom, shares responsibility for outcomes. Criticism from the sidelines is easy, but every player steps onto the field with the intention to win. It’s important to remember that victories are celebrated together, and losses are learned from collectively.
  • Adaptability: Just as in football, organisational teams must adapt to changing circumstances. Flexibility and the ability to pivot are crucial for overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities.
  • Celebrating Small Victories: Recognising and celebrating incremental achievements is vital for morale and motivation. In both football and business, acknowledging progress, no matter how small, keeps the team focused and energised.

So, we lost and I’m proud! Let’s not forget to celebrate our Nigerian Super Eagles for making it to the finals! Well done to them!

And to those watching from the sidelines, remember that every player steps onto the field with the same goal in mind – to win. It’s easier to point fingers from afar, but true support means standing by the team through thick and thin.

And whilst I’m here, a huge thank you to my daughters’ awesome football coaches (who I wouldn’t embarrass by tagging, even though they are on this platform for their day jobs) – some of the best life skills teachers that my daughters have ever known. It takes a village and for this village, I am truly grateful!

Let me leave you with a poignant quote from one of Nigeria’s greatest gems – the CEO of Access Bank Plc, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, C.F.R who we sadly lost a couple of days ago:

“Success is a meaningless word without failure. I have failed many times, but in every wrong turn, every misstep, there are important lessons. Embrace them.”

Here’s to the wins, the losses, and the invaluable lessons we all learn along the way!

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