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"Although managers don’t wear shorts and don’t blow a whistle, their activity is not that different"


On November 19th Prosales Institute and Mercuri International will be hosting The Sales Conference 2020, the Nordic region’s largest event for B2B executives, offering guidance and insights for sales and marketing leaders in this most ‘eventful’ of years. With six great keynote speakers and thought-provoking presentations, the event promises to be truly unmissable - and will be available, FOR FREE, via direct video stream. 
In this series of blog posts, we’ll be talking to several of the most prominent attendees and discovering their views on where we are now - and, more importantly, where we’re heading.

Following on from last week’s interview with Märtha Rehnberg, this week we speak to Pierluigi Collina.

Pierluigi is almost single-handedly responsible for raising the profile of professional football referees, becoming instantly recognizable with a long run of international appearances. He’s overseen matches at the highest level, from World Cups to the Olympic Games and was voted best referee in the world by the IFFHS from 1998 to 2003.
His trademark physicality and complete control of the players on the pitch changed the way that referees were perceived and today he brings the same insights to the world of business.
As he says himself, “the more you know, the better you perform”.

You will talk about decision making and leadership based on your experiences from elite soccer - why is this topic so important for managers?
- On the field of play for a referee it’s all about making decisions as this is his or her task. Leadership is definitely something very important to successfully deal with this very difficult job and it is what a referee needs to be “accepted”. Although managers don’t wear shorts and don’t blow a whistle, their activity is not that different.

What are you most proud of in your career?
- What made and continues to make me very proud is to be considered as a role model for young referees and not for how I was on the field of play. I don’t like clones who imitate someone else. I am referring to what has to be done before a match - to be ready for a very difficult task (as refereeing a football match is). I always considered preparation as a key factor and I paid a sort of maniacal attention to every detail, even the smallest.

You have had an impressive career - what is your best career tip for our participants?
- Be ready to work hard to be ready. It doesn’t matter how much talent someone has received as a gift by birth. To be successful it’s necessary to work hard and think that something way of improvement can always be found. It could seem obvious, but I’ve seen many referees failing only because they thought that they were so good that their preparation was less important.

What is your strongest memory from your career as a referee?
- I had the privilege to referee many important matches that somehow made history. The 1996 Olympics Final when an African team, Nigeria, won gold for the first time by beating Argentina with a goal scored at 90 minutes. The 1999 Champion’s League Final, when Manchester United recovered from 0-1 scoring twice in two minutes during stoppage time to beat Bayern Munich. But the 2002 World Cup Final (Germany vs. Brazil) is without any doubt the strongest memory of my career as a referee.


If you haven’t yet booked your free tickets for the event, don’t forget to sign up now.

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