Picture: courtesy of Getty Image.


All my life, I have been searching with the aim to discover what it takes to win, what it takes to be successful, to be a champion, a winner.  I have searched in so many ways to know the secrets of greatness in life, to compete and win without cheating, to be successful without fraud, to achieve my dreams without compromising my values. To be successful by following the rules and regulations. To be the best I can be and achieve the best there is with my integrity and honesty still intact. I want to become a champion without cheating, fraud or compromising my values- winning strictly by the rules, regulation and code of conducts. To achieve victory without any shameful acts is what I called success, a true champion, a great sportsmanship and the art of true heroes.

If my definition for success, champion, hero, greatness is accepted by all, then lets count how many champions, heroes, great people and legends we truly have in our societies? My quest to discover the secrets and art of a greatness, to be successful and victorious with my life has led me to read biographies of great men, books on legends of our time; from leadership books by John C. Maxwell to Stevey Covey, I read My Life by Bill Clinton to My Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama; even the Art of War by Sun Tzu to mention a few. I meditated on the principles projected by these authors, accepting the ones that do not compromise my values and discarding those that contradict my beliefs.

To go further on my quest, I took deep interest in religious books. I read books, watch and listen to great religious leaders of my time and read material on those of old. Being a Christian I started with my bible, reading from genesis to revelation; noting the principles and flops I observed in the lives of great men and women who I took as my role model and so many others in the bible who challenged my faith, change my perspective, deepens my philosophy and broaden my ideology about life. They have all helped me in my quest and have spoken to me through the ways they lived.

From these great men and women of faith, I have been able to understand what real success and leadership is.  With proofs, I saw what leadership, success, greatness and excellence is in their lives. Success is so visible in their lives that only a fool would doubt the principles they observed.

Due to my uniqueness and composition of my mind, I put their principles, values, greatness and success side by side with personalities like Nelson Mandela, Sepp Blatter, Henry Ford, Barack Obama, Princess Diana, Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Abraham Lincoln, Tiger Wood, J.J Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Wole Soyinka, Usain Bolt, Pele Of Brazil, George Opong Weah, Jose Mourinho, Sir. Alex Ferguson, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Tu Face, Asa, Winfrey Oprah, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Chinua Achebe, Gani Fawehinmi, D banj, 9ice, Christiano Ronaldo, Messi, David Bechkam, Kaka, Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt, Rihanna, Whitney Houston, Samuel Eto, Donald Trump, Bill Gate and Warren Buffet and the list still goes on.

I compared the principles of these biblical role models with this other group of celebrities. I discover these celebrities are also successful people in their respective fields. But there is a big difference between success and greatness! I discover that most of the principles followed by these two groups of personalities align except for few principles on humility, wisdom, righteousness, love, dedication, discipline, self control and the fear of God which has caused problems and flaws in the lives of this other group of celebrities in their chosen fields. These few principles are the thin line that separates greatness from success.

My definition of success, greatness and champion originated from my research and personal opinion on these two groups. I’m also passionate to see great men like these heroes of faith and great personalities like Nelson Mandela, Wole Soyinka, Barack Obama, Chinua Achebe, Albert Einstein, Usain Bolt and Bill Clinton emerge in their thousands and millions from my generation. This has been my main motive for my quest to discover the secrets of greatness and fulfillment in life.

During the 2010 world cup in South Africa, I discover another significant secret for greatness and real success. 32 talented teams participated in the world cup, having 32 managers but I only saw 1 team with 1 coach lifting the world cup in Johannesburg, South Africa.
   The incidents that happened during the Sport Festival opened my eyes to some certain truth about life. I start wondering, why success, greatness and trophies never elude some people in life? I wonder is it pure luck, why some nations, organizations, teams, individuals’ keep getting successful and their competitors fail. I took a closer look at people like Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Jose Mourinho, Bill Clinton, Leonardo Di Caprio, George Clooney and Alex Ferguson and others like them to understand whether greatness or success is pure luck or it has something to do with the mind?

I discovered football managers are more important to the success of a team than any player in that team. A team is just a reflection, a further expression of the coach personality just as a country is a reflection or expression of her leaders. If a coach is a winner, ultimately the team would be a winner. If a country has great leaders in the realm of affairs, the country will project or express the qualities of her leaders.

A football coach is the one that plays with each of his opponents in his mind-this is where victory or defeat is determined. He analyzes the strength and weakness of his opponents, he must discover how to neutralize their strength and capitalize on their weaknesses. He is the one that invents the game plan, how each player must play in each match from the group stage to the finals, from the start of the season to the end. A coach is the one that plans it all before it begins; he is the general of his army, he determines how the battles must be fought. Success in a football team depends on the quality and depth of the coach, and a great coach is the one who has a plan for success on each of his players, from the defense to the attack.

In comparison with names I have mentioned in this chapter, and football managers around the globe. Planning is a major key to success. Planning, strategizing carefully and training is what coaches spend most of their time doing. They play all the matches in the leagues. They articulate their planning. They have a blueprint for their entire campaign and start strategizing on how to achieve their goals through their plans. It is their plans and strategies that determine the kind of players they must recruit for the new season or call into the national team. They dispose or sell players that wont fit into their plans.

Managers are experts in planning and strategizing because they know this is where success or victory starts. Their goals, plans and strategies is what dictates their guidelines, their mode of operation, the kind of players in the first team and those that comes in as a substitute

Planning, strategizing, foresight, discipline, timing and training gave Nelson Mandela is freedom, Barack Obama became US president through these factors, these are what gave South Africa the hosting right to the world cup. These factors determine greatness and success in life. It makes managers like Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Samson Siasia, Sir Alex Ferguson and Del Bosque great and very successful in their profession.

Bible heroes, politicians, scientists, artists, rappers, Athletes, businessmen and others I mentioned in this chapter are not the only one in their fields but planning, strategizing, foresight, discipline, timing and training are factors that make them extraordinary in their chosen fields. These factors make 2010 world cup in South Africa unique and successful.

If African nations will start planning for the future of their states and continent as a whole, if they are disciplined enough to follow their laid out plans and strategies, our well being will improve, their will be growth and stability in our economy and the citizens life. Foresight, adequate planning, timely calculation, discipline, synergy, preparation for opportunity and flexibility is what brings success on the pitch. It can also bring success and greatness into our lives.

If you and I will learn these principles and factors from the lives of personalities discussed in this chapter and take the managerial position in our lives, we would be more successful in our endeavors and fields.

It is said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This adage was again proven to be true in the 2010 world cup. Some teams were knock out in the group stage not because they lacked talent or experience but they failed to plan. Lack of adequate planning cost early exit and chaos for football team like the super eagles of Nigeria and caused shock and surprises for teams like Brazil and Argentina. Holland and Germany beaten Brazil and Argentina shows that planning, organization, strategizing and discipline supersede the skills factor and only the latter guarantees success.

Resources and talents don’t guarantee victory without adequate planning, strategizing, foresight, discipline, timing and training. These are lessons we must study, observe and learn from football managers and South Africa 2010 world cup. Adhere to them!

A journey not planned is a destination that wont be reached. A battle not plan is a battle not won. A dream and vision without planning is mere wishes. A nation without solid plans is a formless nation. Living life without planning is living without a foundation for success.

The principles that guarantee success for managers can also make any individual, organization, nation or team successful. These principles follow a process. It starts with a goal, a dream or an objective.
VISION- have a dream or goals you are working on to birth.
PLANNING- Start planning by setting goals. Break your dreams down into goals. Create or discover ways to achieve your goals.
PREPARATION- this involves training, educating yourself, acquiring needed skills.
ASSOCIATION- starts associating yourself with people, books, experts that know or have achieved similar tasks or goals before.
STRATEGISING- this is putting your training, education, skills, association and all other factors into perspective and device the best and potent way to achieve your dreams, goals, vision and task. Strategizing is a higher level of planning.  It involves planning and directing, it is the stage were your methods and plans are set in motion.

All these factors put together is what I call adequate preparation. These factors plus your faith is what guarantees success either on the pitch, boardroom, politics, education or any other professions.
Study the great football managers, discover their principles, and take a journey into their minds, perspectives, philosophy, attitudes and ideology. This is where their greatness emanates from. Start applying what you learn from them into your life, adhere to it and I tell you success won’t elude you.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: