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Insights on management from Louis van Gaal, Netherlands manager at the 2014 World Cup


Before the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Louis van Gaal, manager of the Dutch national team, gave a presentation on management topics during a conference in the Netherlands. The presentation focused on how management principles are applied in today’s football world in order to achieve performance. To substantiate his point, Van Gaal gave the example of how the Dutch national squad prepared for the World Cup.

The acclaimed manager started by specifying the two main pillars that he deems crucial to any type of organization, regardless of its industry: Vision and Structure. He stresses the importance of having a clear vision in mind and making decisions that will allow the organization to achieve that specific vision. In order to accomplish this main objective, the company will also have to create “a particular structure, so that the people in the organization can rely on a clear framework”.

Continuing with his presentation, van Gaal goes on to provide us with the four main activities that constitute the basis for success:

  • Preparation;
  • Training;
  • Analysis;
  • Evaluation.

The most important lesson however, from one of the most successful managers in the football world, is the fact that in any organization, the staff will be the key to achieve the desired performance level. He underlines the significance of hiring the right people, letting them do their job and taking into consideration their input when making decisions.

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