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For me, sport events are similar to case studies – real life case studies in human psychology and behaviour as well as team strategy and team dynamics. And it was the same again at last Saturday’s FA Cup final between Chelsea and Portsmouth.

Drogba – bending reality to one’s own will

After the saved penalty, Chelsea marched all the way to Pompey’s box and were awarded the free kick that resulted in the winning goal. Drogba’s body language was incredible, you could see that he just had enough and once and for all wanted to put an end to Pompey’s uprising. And he did magnificently. He had all the belief in the world, all the confidence, all the knowledge that if the game wouldn’t go his way, he would just make the game go his way. There is something beautiful, magnificent and pure about this state of being.

Didier Drogba certainly is a rockstar and to transform a team – on or off the pitch – into a great, successful team – you need this type of person someone that take responsibility for changing an outcome and ultimately reality.

Cole – his life is his life

I am not a fan of Ashley Cole, mainly because of his reported off field antics, but seeing him play on Saturday just confirmed that he’s one of the world’s best footballers in his position. I tell you, I’d be delighted if he would play for Germany.

And it confirmed for me the belief that the private life is the private life and employers, recruiters and in Cole’s case the media, should stay away from it. It’s the individual’s life and therefore their responsibility.

As long as individuals are delivering impactful performances, and as long as they are not engaged in criminal activities, the private life is off limits. I certainly won’t check the Facebook pages of my next recruits or my colleagues.

Grant – fortune favors the bold

Avram Grant is the anti-Drogba and that’s why he is well liked and why he’s behaving so graciously. But it doesn’t make him a winner

My take is quite simple: If your team is 1:0 down and stuck, you need to change something. And importantly, you need to make the change early enough, not 8 minutes from time, but 20 minutes. A loss is a loss, so you might as well go for it. A 1:0 loss to Chelsea might look like a good fight, but it’s still a loss. And for the little time Kanu and Belhadj came on, Pompey posed some questions.

It’ll be interesting to see how the master tacticians van Gaal and Mourinho will influence the outcome of the Champions League final through team set up and team changes.

For all of us managing people, it poses the following questions:

  • How can we change our team structures and therefore dynamics to adapt to changing environments?
  • And at what point do we change it?

I certainly believe that this change needs to happen on a regular basis, at least once every 18 months.

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