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Opinions Mon, 11 Jul 2016

3 lessons we must learn from Portugal

Portugal was the first country to land their foot/ships on the shores of Gold Coast Ghana, a slave master and a mischievous trader who stole our resources.

Against this background, there is still a massive love and support for the Portugal team among Ghanaian football lovers, especially the youth in this ongoing euro2016 championship. Perhaps, the argument between Real Madrid fans and their support for CRonaldo as well as Barca Fans and their support for Messi was still blazing in the just ended Championship.

This is the first time C.Ronaldo has won a major championship title for his country hence worth celebrating such a tremendous achievement. He has exhibited a higher level of intergrity, excellence, dedication, passion and true leadership that can be linked to the survival of businesses in Ghana.

Many businesses today have failed just because they failed to start. The fear to achieve a dream is the beginning of failure, likewise accomplishment is the courage to do what you fear. Many Graduates have faded out because they failed to initialize their strategy and plans to survive in the business world.

Businesses have collapsed because they lack vision and the skillful exhibited talent of C.Ronaldo to dribble and survive the highly competitive environment just as the storm of Croatia, Poland, Wales and Finally France troubled champion Portugal.

These are three basic lessons small businesses can learn from the historical win of Portugal in the just ended Euro 2016 championship:

1. Good leadership

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. It is better for a Lion to lead 1000dogs to a war than a Dog Leading 1000lions to war. Good followers respect and always learn from their leaders.

They contribute to help the leader to achieve his mission at all cost. The Portugal team played like a team ready to reward their captain with a gift. CRonaldo played like a true hero and his team played like him despite their flaws

2. Learn from your failure and never give up on your business mission

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful Businesses keep moving.They make mistakes, but they don't quit." The Portugal team displayed the worst performance in their group games with three straight draws but was mysteriously favored and qualified to the next stage of the competition.

Never lose hope when your sales fall and your expenses keep increasing, a simple phone call from a loyal customer can change the fortunes of your business so keep Focus on your mission. The Team kept improving on their performance in every stage of the competition and eliminated other teams with better records and better team players.

Businesses should not be discouraged by the greatness of their competitors but must focus and develop strategies that will help achieve their mission. Success is progressive hence a calculated step at a time and good team work is paramount

3. Nothing is impossible, go for your dream and win your vision

Big Teams like Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, England etc featured in the Championship yet Portugal with no good football historical background won the championship. Anyway, Dede Ayew also won the 2009 U20 World Cup playing the all time favorite Brazilian team in the Finals.

What's the excuse now? What is preventing you from achieving your goal? Is it your competitors, your customers, your employees or the environment you operate? No matter what the case be, never shy away from your mission: a little stretch of your arm can take you there.

The Portugal team played France for 109 mins with only two shots on target whiles France played 13 total shots with 7shots on target. One out of the two shots was the GOAL that led Portugal to Win the Championship. France played 56% of ball possession and had the highest passing rate yet they lost to Portugal who played only 44% possession of the game.

"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." Businesses must know that there are no secrets to success but rather the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart...... Never surrender!!!

Columnist: Nana Kwame Nkrumah (MBA, Ch.FE)