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Soccer Thinking for Sales Success, with Peter Loge [Episode 705]

Peter Loge, an Associate Professor, a strategic and communications consultant, and the author of Soccer Thinking for Management Success, joins me on this episode.


  • Peter Loge reveals his career path from politics and lobbying to consulting and how he wrote about soccer thinking for management success.
  • Andy compares the scientific and human aspects of soccer to those aspects of sales. The art plus science equals the craft.
  • The best talent plus high enthusiasm do not guarantee success. It’s not about having a rigid system. It’s about building a system that takes advantage of the talent. It’s about how to develop the talent and bring in new talent.
  • There is freedom within a process by making sure people are unambiguously clear about what they’re supposed to do. “Process” does not mean micro-management.
  • Coach Bruce Arena always made his expectations clear. He immediately called out mistakes to correct them and successes to suggest improvements.
  • Use specific directions. Don’t say, “do better.” Explain what would make it better. Human connection is better.
  • How do the New England Patriots consistently win? You need a system in which everybody is in service of each other. Peter gives a business case study from a current client. A star player doesn’t get your team to the playoffs.
  • MLS executive Kevin Payne said that organizational success used to look like American Football — command and control; today it looks like soccer. Soccer is a fluid system. You have to solve a problem, together, in real-time.
  • Do you want to hire a generalist or a specialist? Peter explains. He knows what he doesn’t know and when he needs backup. You need both specialists and generalists, in a ratio that is effective within your system.
  • Develop individual strengths. Soccer player Lori Lindsey said to figure out your place in the team. How can you add to the team? Where do your strengths and weaknesses play? Teams win together.
  • Let your team express their individual talents and strengths. It’s about people first. Connect on a human level with a measure of humility. Hire people who make you better. Ask for feedback on your weaknesses.
  • It’s OK to have a conflict if you recognize that you’re solving a problem together and not proving who is superior. Problem-solving is in the service of being better people. If you make a lot of money on the way, fantastic!