If you are good, you can afford it

I watched a movie on DVD the other day - Looking for Eric - starring (and produced by) Eric Cantona.

If you are not a soccer fan, Eric Cantona is the Andre Agassi of soccer (football as they call it) and the bulk of his career was spent at Manchester United. He was an artiste – and there is no higher compliment.

I won’t spoil the story (well worth watching – and not about football at all) but at one stage his biggest fan (his namesake, but an ordinary postman) asks him about his greatest moment on the pitch. His fan then rattles off many of the great goals he had scored – with the accompanying goose bump footage.

But every time the fan asks him if that was the moment, Cantona shakes head and says ‘non’. (He is French.) Eventually, the fan (Eric the Postman) is exasperated and asks which moment it was. Cantona responds:

It wasn’t a goal. It was a pass. Goose bump footage follows where Cantona lobs a divine pass into the path of a team mate – who scores…

Cantona explains that, as a (gifted) soccer player, it was his privilege to GIFT opportunities to other players.

This reminds us that as a manager or business owner, we should also know that our job is not to score goals, but to give the opportunities to the team!

Soccer isn’t life, but it is revealing that one of the most gifted players of our time realises that there is more joy and satisfaction to be had by giving the gifts that our talents and our opportunities offer, than there is in grabbing the headlines ourselves.

How do you give? How much do you give? Or do you think this is the naïve chatter of an ex-manager who has officially lost the plot? 




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