Retailers were delighted when England qualified for the 2010 finals. Our delight has been transformed into practical actions. Stores across the country are featuring imaginative promotional themes and campaigns, focusing on World Cup 2010.

How quickly time passes. Is it really four years since Portugal knocked out Sven Göran Erikisson’s highly fancied England team from the 2006 World Cup.

Once again, World Cup fever is gripping our nation. Tangible causes for optimism include a new highly respected coach and a strong run of results from a re-energised squad.

Retailers were delighted when England qualified for the 2010 finals. Our delight has been transformed into practical actions. Stores across the country are featuring imaginative promotional themes and campaigns, focusing on World Cup 2010.

The history of sporting fixtures would indicate that those with most resource capability generally win more prizes - but not all the prizes. The 2010 tournament in South Africa comprises 32 countries. The 60 games played are expected to attract a cumulative global TV audience of some 26 billion.

So who will win? The bookmaking fraternity - those shrewd forecasters of form and results - already have installed Brazil or Spain as favourites. So what about England?

Fabio Capello seems relatively unfazed by extremes of media criticism or praise. He seems to demonstrate a clarity of objectives and of standards, which resonates with his players, to imbue a sense of unity and shared purpose. Injury or other factors may prevent him from fielding his first choice 11, but it does seem likely that he will optimise the resources at his disposal.

And herein perhaps lies an ongoing challenge for retailers. Owners and leaders, across our industry, often are personally committed to the ethos of hard work, long hours and putting the customer first. Our retail outlets offer innovative products, imaginatively displayed. More than ever, UK retailing is developing into a career of choice. We can attract and retain high calibre staff, either in a full-time or part-time capacity.

Yet, team sport frequently illustrates that to have a set of highly talented individuals will not guarantee success. So generating the will to win is a critical ingredient in any recipe for successful team work.

In shaping a balanced team, Capello naturally assigns players to positions that accord with their strengths. However, he carefully builds in contingency options. He recognises individual performance can and will fluctuate. He takes into account that some players may have unscheduled absence due to sickness or personal issues. He also identifies individuals who, if required, can competently play out of their usual positions.

Similarly, we retailers should appreciate that our human colleagues are our most valuable, yet most volatile, resource. Our manpower planning has to provide resilience.

The team that wins a football tournament seldom contains the best 11 players. It often does comprise the best motivated squad, which has the self-belief to shrug off unexpected obstacles. Motivation has been described as the secret component underpinning success. If so, coherent and well executed planning is its cornerstone. Let’s have a successful summer, both on and off the pitch.

Leo McKee is chief executive of Brighthouse