PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden and Giorgio Chiellini, who captained the Italian national football team to success at Euro2020, talked about their careers, leadership skills and the importance of having fun, in a video interview published as part of the sports company’s annual report.
In a professional career that spans over 20 years, Giorgio Chiellini made over 420 caps for his club, Juventus, and became one of the most capped players in the history of Italy’s national team. 2021 was an emotional year for him, as he won Euro2020 with Italy.
What is it like being a leader?
“I shared my feelings with my teammates and with the people at home in front of their TV screens. This was probably the secret of my performance. I wanted to enjoy and celebrate all the emotions the tournament brings with it,” Giorgio Chiellini commented.
In 2021, PUMA recorded its best-ever performance both in terms of revenues and operating profit. Bjørn Gulden, who also started out as a professional football player, said that leadership was a very complex topic and it depended on each person individually.
“You need to find your way and see that your style has an impression on people. Giorgio’s attitude as a leader inspires me. You can see, when he’s on the pitch, he makes the other ten players better and that’s the job of a leader,” commented Bjørn Gulden, CEO of PUMA.
How do you stay motivated?
When it comes to attitude, both agreed that having fun is crucial to stay motivated in the long term. “Not having fun is a waste of time. You spend most of your time at work. I strongly believe that if you like what you do, you perform better,” said Bjørn Gulden.
At 37 years old, Giorgio Chiellini says he wishes he had realized the power of a positive attitude earlier. “I managed to change my state of mind during my career. Now I can pay more attention to the situation than I used to when I was angry or yelled at my teammates. I lost a lot of energy on the pitch like that,” Giorgio Chiellini further commented.
For the full video interview, please visit PUMA’s 2021 annual report.