Last week I had the pleasure of accompanying 7 top entrepreneurs for a private tour of the FC Barcelona Football Club. The visit was arranged by my good friend and mentor Didac Lee (Technical Director at FC Barcelona). Together on the trip were fellow entrepreneurs and friends Inigo Diego- CEO Ineumatics, Timo Buetefisch – CEO Cooltra Motos ,Jose Manuel Villanueva – CEO Privalia, Manuel Garriga – CEO 3G Mobile, Manuel-Vidal Quadras – Hotelier and private investor , Iñaki Ecenarro – CEO Trovit and of course myself Tony Anagor – CEO LifestyleDMC
This trip was no ordinary visit, after seeing the impressive installations of the famous Camp Nou, Didac had arranged for us to have lunch with Carlos Folguera the director of the “Masia”
The world renowned Masia, is famous for producing some of the best players in the world such as Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol and Leo Messi. Known more generically as the FC Barcelona Youth Academy this intuitions is responsible for developing talent from as early as 4 years old up to the age of 18.
The lunch was a splendid occasion filled with dazzling insights and entertaining anecdotes of Carlos´experience dealing with some of the most gifted sports children in the world. Carlos explained how the values of the Masia were instilled in all of its residents, “ It is important that everyone who lives in the residence learns to respect each other and those around them” he goes on to explain “We are one big family and we greet each other whenever we meet on the grounds”
What impressed me most about Carlos was his sheer energy and passion for people. It was obvious that he really cares. His insight into how to spot leadership qualities in children as young as 6 was a revelation. He explained to us “ The role of the Masia is to raise adults who will be successful not just on the pitch but in life off the pitch” It is no accident that in 2010, la Masia achieved a record breaking honour becoming the first youth academy to have trained all three finalists for the Ballon d’Or in one same year, with Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernández.
The lunch lasted about 2-3 hours and we all left feeling very motivated. I was personally encouraged to see that all of the elements of our industry (incentives, teambuilding, leadership, full engagement, reflection, communication etc) are being put to use and producing the most remarkable results.
I would like to thank Carlos for his insights and his time. Very inspirational!