Author: Pedro Diaz Ridao

Regardless of your job industry, you’ve probably heard that skills and competencies are key to excel at work. In fact, the more complex the problems we need to solve, the more we’ll need to use them. The difference between skills and competencies can be explained in this example: a skill would be knowing how to make a sailor’s knot. And a competency would be to know which sailor’s knot we have to make depending on the situation. Competencies are skills used with intelligence. In sports, when a player doesn’t get the minutes they deserve (or think they deserve), the usual solution…

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A few days ago a good friend of mine told me that some people where punctual arriving but not leaving. A few days later, Zidane quit Real Madrid in a surprise decision and this made me think about my friend’s phrase. We have to be punctual when arriving but also when leaving, also when quitting and that’s a much harder job. These are some of the key lessons that I’ve learned from Zidane’s period as Real Madrid coach. 1) No one is indispensable The longer our period in a place, the easier we will have the feeling to be as…

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This week Rafa Nadal and Real Madrid have both left us two powerful lessons that will gain even more recognition over time. The former has become the oldest player to win the Barcelona Open at 31 years, 10 months and 27 days, winning his 11th trophy same as he did in Monte Carlo a few weeks ago (no other player has won the same tournament 11 times). Real Madrid, on their part have played their eighth Champions League semi-final in a row and have qualified for their fourth final in the last five years. Following one of sports’ maxims, which says…

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Decision making remains a pending subject for many, mainly because it requires two important aspects: prediction and judgment. In other words, as Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb have written, to make a good decision you need to have a sense of how different choices change the likelihood of different outcomes and how desirable each of those outcomes is. Next time you have to make an important decision, check out these four recommendations and hopefully they will make this process an easier one: 1) Decide as if it were the first time First, ask yourself if you are deciding based on…

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If you were to write a letter to your 10-year-old self, what would you say? Mike Krzyzewski could include lots of stories in this letter. He could write about being the basketball coach with most wins in NCAA history, the winner of 11 gold medals including 5 golds in 5 Olympic Games, Duke’s head coach for the past 38 years (longevity in sports?) or the first basketball coach to reach 1,000 wins, you name it. However, Coach K has used a different approach to write the letter to his younger self and he has left a valuable leadership lesson. Here are three excerpts from…

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In the two types of organizations that I mainly work with (corporations and sports teams), helping them to give feedback to their teams is equally important, yet the process occurs in clearly different ways. Sport has the peculiarity that those who receive feedback are usually more powerful than those giving it; either because they are the ones paying the boss -such as the case of tennis, where players act as employers and hire their coach-, or because they have the capacity to influence on the leader’s destiny -such as in team sports, where athletes can easily make their coach get fired-.…

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“Having curiosity is keeping our desire to learn alive” (Jorge Valdano) In his book  “Los 11 poderes del líder”, former Real Madrid player and coach Jorge Valdano devotes one chapter to curiosity. For him, curiosity helps us to continuously improve and it is also the only way to keep ourselves connected to the world and to better adapt to our fast-changing environment. In our previous post we defined curiosity and explained its scientific origin. Now let’s see its advantages and the habits that help us develop it further: “What should I know about curiosity?” In the first years of our lives, we show a lot…

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The game of basketball brought us some of the most enduring and extraordinary friendships in the world of sports, that of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his coach and mentor John Wooden, which lasted for 50 years until the death of the latter. In his book “Coach Wooden and Me”, legendary Abdul-Jabbar reflects on the influence that Wooden had on him both on and (specially) off the court. Here are some of my favorite Wooden’s lessons: “Academics is more important than basketball and personal integrity is more important than both.”  It is sad to see how many coaches and leaders are still focused on…

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1) INSIDE A VOLCANO: The rise of Icelandic football This is the unbelievable story of the golden generation of Icelandic football. The story of a team that made the world take notice by becoming the smallest nation ever to reach a major final in the biggest sport in the world, proving that we don’t need to be big to accomplish big things. 2) CLUB FRONTERA Club Frontera is a fascinating documentary about the Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles (Xolos) professional Mexican soccer team and their positive impact on the city of Tijuana, Mexico. This compelling film follows players, fans, political figures, sports personalities, and…

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As a 2017 wrap-up, I would like to share a few quotes that have inspired my curiosity along this year. I hope they inspire you too. 1) “The unknown is more terrifying than the negative” (Adam Grant in Originals) And the worst truth is better than not knowing the truth. 2) “If you ran into an asshole in the morning you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.” (Tim Ferris in Tools of Titans) How many assholes did you run into today? 🙂 3) “New ideas can get in the way of your best ideas” (Jason Fox in The Gamechanger) Don’t embrace ideas…

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