Great traditions, great endeavour, amazing talents…may the best team win!

Whether in business or on the international rugby pitch, there are often huge obstacles to overcome and goals to focus on. Tomorrow is the Rugby World Cup final and whether you’re a fan of the sport or not I believe that there are some principles and lessons that can apply to both.

Here are my thoughts:

  1. Running a business is tough and keeping it afloat and profitable, even harder. You cannot be successful by yourself, and you cannot expand overseas alone. Team work is crucial both out on the field and in the day job, and learning to trust and rely on those people for support is critical. Much like a maul. Don’t ever go it alone.
  2. If you work in a people-centric business like we do, knowing when someone isn’t the right fit is so important – without people being with you and by your side from the off, you’ll never make your business or your team a success.
  3. If you get knocked down, get back up again – it’s an old rule of thumb, sure. But in every business, in every country of the world in which we operate, failings are learnings – and whether England or South Africa walk away victorious tomorrow, you can bet that the player will be disappointed but pragmatic and will come back with a fighting spirit again. Team spirit.
  4.  You don’t have to be strong or tough to run a business. The Japanese team showed that speed, endeavour and skill can overcome the biggest and most physical opponents. You just have to make the decision to carry on. Going round in circles, procrastinating, putting off decisions to outsource tricky areas of your business – these sap your energy, make things seem tough, but all you’re fighting is yourself.
  5.  If you’re starting a new business, developing a new team in a different country or developing an existing one, there’s no time like the present to do it. Plan the dive and dive the plan.
  6. Your customers, employees and partners all need to feel that they can rely on you, they can trust you, and they get that feeling, not from what you say but in the commitment you show to everything that you do. That’s how we operate as a business and we have some great testimonials because of it.
  7. Tomorrow, we’ll no doubt see players charging at each other after kick off with fixed concentration and steely determination to take that ball and run with it to make up as much ground as possible. Don’t be put off with distractions – fix your own eye on that try line and push all distractions out of the way. Approach everything in life and your business with commitment and you’ll get further, faster.

” Rugby is a game for barbarians played by gentlemen. Football is a game for gentlemen played by barbarians.”  Oscar Wilde


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