Career Lessons From Cristiano Ronaldo – Strategy With RS

Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the planet’s best footballer. Let me share with you what it took him to reach this exalted position. From a young age he set goals for himself & then worked backward to realize them. As an 18 year old when he came to Man Utd, for merely $12 million pounds, he set a goal for himself of becoming the world’s best footballer & then he did everything required to become one:

1. Practice: He came for practice before others & left after others.
2. Practice to develop ‘every’ kind of skills: In addition to working on perfecting his footballing skill, he also practiced to ensure injury prevention while playing the game, gain dexterity in ‘twist & turns’, become adept in short sprint – all required to become the world’s best footballer.
3. Gym: He lifted weights just around his body weight, because if he lifted more he found it difficult to function right the next day. He reasoned that weight lifting was like overwatering a plant. If you do too much it can have a disastrous effect but if you do a little bit, then another and another, that’s what builds the structure.
4. Failure did not deter him: If he tried something & it did not work – others would not attempt again. Not him. He would practice it again & again till he could execute it flawlessly.
5. Diet is critical for a footballer: As a 19-year old he hired a cook & had a diet served to him in consultation with ManU dietician.
6. Pit yourself against the best in your field: He came to Man U so that he could be a part of EPL where the ‘sharpness of his sword & the strength of your shield were tested’
7. Essence of his strategy: He packed his bag with everything possible that he could require to on his journey to become the world’s best footballer.

What are the lessons we can learn for Cristiano Ronaldo?

1.Have a goal – which is specific, measurable & time bound, & then do everything that is required to achieve it.
2. A successful person takes a 360 degree view on what is required to be successful. In his case he felt that other than gaining proficiency in footballing skills he would require to focus with equal passion on exercise, diet which are as necessary in the journey which will eventually lead to the top. Not merely footballing talent,
3. Achieving success is as much about ‘skill’ as about mind & mind control.
4. Practice makes you perfect & builds your muscle memory so that when the opportunity comes you will unconsciously do the right thing & not be wanting.
5. Pit yourself against the best in the world to test & hone your skills.
6. Do not be afraid of failure. It should make you more determined to practice harder to succeed.
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In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here


One comment

ramji yahoo

yes very inspirational article, but his era was different there the opportunities were more with less population. today the population is more hence in addition to the above, we need to be smarter also. It does not need you come before all and go after all, you spend the in time effectively.