The World Cup now gets to the Semi-finals

The most exciting Quarter-Finals game was Netherlands vs. Costa Rica. The Costa Ricans managed to keep the great Dutch strike force at bay for 120 minutes without letting them score a single goal.

Then came the penalty shoot-out with the Dutch never having won a single World Cup match either in extra time or penalties.

The advantage seemed as if it was in Costa Rica’s favour… however, the Dutch coach, Louis Van Gaal, had a trick up his sleeve. He summoned his back-up goalkeeper (to replace the starting goalkeeper) in the dying moments of extra time, and the back-up saved two penalty shots sending the Dutch in the Semi Finals!

The same coach had a similar masterstroke in the previous game versus Mexico. In this match, he substituted his captain and arguably best player, Robin van Persie, in the last 15 minutes. His replacement Huntelaar scored a goal and had an assist in the remaining minutes, thus, sending the Netherlands through to the next round.

The Coach or manager plays a vital role in all walks of life – in business, non-profit or sports!

Two important things we can learn here.

1. Don’t be afraid to take risks/make unpopular decisions. “The one important thing about management, you’ve got to be able to make decisions that are unpopular, but know you’re right.” – Sir Alex Ferguson
2. Seek a good mentor, teacher, guide – Learning begins with the understanding that we do not know everything. And life always blesses us with experiences or people, who can teach us. So let go of your ego whenever it stops you from learning something from someone. Observe people and imbibe what you admire. And if along the way you run into someone, who awakens you to the best you can be, pay attention!

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