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Saluting Johan Cruyff, the 7 Success Lessons of a legend

His mother was a cleaner at Ajax who had a dream and Ajax gained a 12 year old who would become a national legend and one of the greatest players in the world. Johan left a permanent print of success and football greatness which is spread across the world and has been epitomized at the highest level of football both club and national level. Sadly, Johan passed away at the age of 68 due to cancer but his life left us with several lessons that we can learn from him on what it truly means to unlock success.

1. The Pitch is yours


With Johan Cruyff the principle was simple, the pitch is yours and you can play in any position. To be able to do that a person must perfect their skills to adapt and become the ultimate player. In life you cannot confine yourself to one market and one skill. The world is your pitch of success, you can play in any position and in place. You have to be ready to play and make yourself into the right player at the right time. The pitch is yours, the world is yours, success is yours to unlock. Thank you Johan Cruyff.

2. National is Good but Global is even better


Success can be found at a national level with accolades in many different areas but when it becomes global it becomes a story everyone tells. Johan was a success at Ajax however at the global level, a legend that spread the message of how football can be a beautiful game. Cruyff took Ajax to European glory and his country to the finals of the world cup. In life if you are a success don’t be afraid to go beyond your small space, don’t erect borders for yourself, success has no borders, it is a principle that transcends different nationalities and different places. Thank you Johan Cruyff.

3. The Cruyff turn


Success demands innovation and innovation is the mark of change. Johan is remembered for a skill that took the world at an international level. Success requires that we be inventive, creating new things and being the best that we can be. The more we participate in success the more we learn that we have a license to be inventive and create more success. You will always have ideas in life, the tragedy is in not following the best of your ideas. The Cruyff turn is worth a YouTube video look, success is worth an inventive move. Thank you Johan Cruyff.

4. Success is a Coach


When you are successful, it must  make sense that you must teach others. Cruyff gained success as a coach of Barcelona and Ajax, however his greatest success is the coaches that have come from his system an example being Pep Guardiola. When you are a success, that success will only make sense if it is taught to others. Withholding knowledge and the skill of it from others is a crime. We must share our success and teach others how to be successful, that is the greatest success. Thank you Johan Cruyff.

5. Create a culture and a principle


When we look at the success of Barcelona under different coaches we learn that success is more than a strategy, it is also a culture that is learnt. Cruyff may have won 4 la liga titles but ultimately he won a culture of football that Barcelona has perfected to an inheritance. The success of a culture is its successful inheritance over time. Barcelona have kept the tradition of play over the years and have enhanced it to create something special, this is success. Thank you Johan Cruyff.

Also read Unlocking Barcelona’s incredible culture of winning

6. Wear number 14, dare to be different

Don’t be just a crowd follower over time, create time and others will follow you

Johan wore number 14, which made him different from the sequence of numbering shirts when football has 11 players. Difference when good requires courage. Until one is prepared to be courageous then one cannot be different. Success is beyond just being ordinary, it is accepting that there is more to life and that greatness can be achieved. True difference is epitomized in the genius of the difference that makes a success. Thank you Johan Cruyff

Also read Lionel Messi’s 5 Leadership Lessons

7. Follow your dreams


From a 12 year old to a 68 year old legend Cruyff taught us one thing, your dream is your dream and its reality is only total if you participate in its making. Life has many turns and offers, you will be attempted to follow different paths but if there is a path you believe and it is good and noble then follow that path. Success is a path that you take, but you must be prepared to walk the distance. Thank you Johan Cruyff


What we do in life defines the stories that will be told about us, our names can only become a legend by our actions Football is an even better game thanks to the participation of Johan Cruyff, his actions and principles are an academy for football success and excellence. Above all Johan Cruyff contributed to making life interesting and successful.




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