Hit it like Diego; 5 Lessons Entrepreneurs can learn from Maradona

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Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona

Football was synonym with Diego Maradona. His untimely demise, indeed, shocked the entire world and left his crazy fans in tears. Maradona was that quintessential football icon whose strategy to win over every odd drew audience across the globe to the field. However, his life witnessed rock-solid triumphs and plummeted to major falls. 

But in the end, he remained fiery as he was, always!

There is always much scope to learn many a lesson from such a genius. Today, during the pandemic situation and in the volatile economy, entrepreneurship is defined with a newer meaning and purpose. Businesses across the globe have hit hard and to stay in the game, one should adapt to the newer version of doing business. In this scenario, what are the five things we can learn from such a genius forever?

Sportsmanship 

Doing a business is like playing sports. Here, you win and you lose. But you should welcome each success with stern reality as well as every defeat with a promise to work harder. Maradona learned this lesson the hard way. During his early career, he got involved in a lot of brawls which made him fork out a high penalty fee. 

After the 1982 world cup, Diego was transferred to Barcelona and got involved in a violent and chaotic fight in the final of Copa del Rey, 1984, against Bilbao. He was taunted with xenophobic, racist comments against his paternal ancestry throughout the match by Bilbao fans. Barcelona lost 1-0. Being wounded in one leg, suddenly he got up and head-butted Bilbao’s Miguel Sola, elbowed and kneed two other players resulting in a mass brawl and the end of Maradona’s career with Barcelona. 

Later in his career, he reached the zenith of success, but the darkest past never left his life. But we see Maradona grow up to a mature person and while controversy did not leave him, he left it out from his life with great sportsmanship. This makes him more acceptable to the public. He behaves like a common man, behaves at an early age with full of ego and vigor and matures up just like any other person, and starts accepting failures. While every business has its story of ups and downs, entrepreneurship is all about that journey. As Diego once said, ‘To see the ball, to run after it, makes me the happiest man in the world.’

Concentration & Devotion towards your Goal 

Maradona, from the beginning of his career, while on the field, was a person full of concentration on the ball. He played mostly in the attacking position or in the mid-striker position, and in the game, his only concentration was the ball like a bird’s eye. 

He did not play to win, he played to run after the ball whose ultimate goal is to strike it off correctly. This requires full devotion to your vision. His international career had lasted 17 years and yielded 34 goals from 91 games as well as one winner’s medal and one runner’s up medal in the World Cup. He is affectionately called ‘The Golden Kid’. 

Leadership 

It says ‘a true leader is made by birth’. Maradona, despite having several human fallibilities, was a true leader while at the pitch. Lauding the “charisma” of Maradona, his Argentine teammate and compatriot Gabriel Batistuta, who himself was a prolific striker stated, “Diego could command a stadium, have everyone watch him. I played with him and I can tell you how technically decisive he was for the team.” Many of his team members slept good night’s sleep before the match as they were so convinced that even if they lose, it would be Maradona who would take the entire burden. 

His volcanic personality with phenomenal decision making power in the field did impart confidence among the teammates. During the World Cup semi-final 1990, Maradona was injured badly but led the team with greater commitment and encouragement to the nation. It was termed like ‘Injured Diego vs. Italy’! 

Entrepreneurs should lead with examples for producing more leaders in the team. Are you doing your part? 

Control/ Expertise in your Niche

Maradona was renowned for his dribbling ability, vision, close ball control, passing, and creativity, and is considered one of the most skillful players in the sport. He was known for his penchant for technical expertise with the ball. Individual run with the ball, spatial awareness, and delivering accurate passes to his teammates required meticulous practice as well as thorough domain knowledge. 

Business owners likewise should have a good hold on their domain not only to compete in the market but also to be a signature maker! People would come to you for customized solutions which would be only possible when you are mastering it every day. How are you updating your domain knowledge? 

To err is human 

Humans make mistakes and he, who learns from it, is loved by all. Maradona in his entire professional career got involved in so many cunning moves and violent brawls which could prove fatal to his career. Maradona was notorious for his unhealthy diet and extreme lifestyle off the pitch, including his use of illicit drugs and alcohol abuse. His lack of discipline and his difficulties in his turbulent personal life are thought by some in the sport to have negatively impacted his performances and longevity in the later years of his playing career. Added to it, was the significant weight gain due to several injuries, suspensions, and prescribed medications. 

In March 2009, Italian officials announced that Maradona still owed the Italian government €37 million in local taxes, €23.5 million of which was accrued interest on his original debt. These are the kind of extreme negatives of Diego’s characters which made him stronger eventually in days. These incidents made him an ordinary man who demands divine forgiveness with a football at his feet. Mistakes, no matter how small or big makes or breaks a person. And, it’s okay to commit errors as long as you learn from it. 

Entrepreneurs are born risk-takers and people who set things in a different way. And mistakes and failures are the keys to their success! Don’t contemplate it, rather burn the midnight oil on it. 

It is believed he transcends mere sport! Today, Maradona is God to his people in Argentina and also to many of his fans across the world. Think about how you could make a difference to your nation and make it your domain expertise. Remember, Rome was not built in a day!

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