Teamwork the key to a great business
The Rugby World Cup was set alight by the amazing victory of the Japanese Rugby team against the Springboks. What an upset! This is what we love about sport – David taking it to Goliath with a dazzling display of skill, courage and resilience. But how on earth did they do it?
Success in sport or business is all about teamwork. A top performing team of average players can often out-perform talented individuals playing poorly as a team. Building a great team is the key.
Here’s what businesses can take from Japan’s superb performance.
Have a clear goal, direction and strategy for everyone to focus on.
Once the draw was known two years ago, Japan targeted the Springboks in this first game. Of course their secondary goal is to achieve the quarter finals, but clearly this was ‘‘The Game’’.
The Springboks probably hadn’t regarded this game against minnows Japan as a problem and were more focused on post pool play games. Different goals, different focus lead to different energy and commitment.
Make a plan. Japan played to their strengths and exposed South Africa’s weaknesses. Japan has smaller, lighter players while South Africa has larger, stronger players. Recognising that the new rules of rugby favour a fast moving game and large players take a while to get going, the game plan became move fast, spread the ball wide and be nimble on your feet
Appoint good leaders. You can have a great game plan but if you don’t follow it and don’t make the right decisions when things are going against you, things will unravel. Japan was well-led with courage and a preparedness to risk all. They didn’t kick for a draw, they played for the win. They could sense victory.
And if there’s one thing that stands out more than anything , it’s self-belief. Japan believed they could do it and backed themselves. For this to happen, you have to establish a culture of trust and respect. Japan clearly achieved this positive culture and came away with the prize.
Their win will go down in rugby history as a complete performance by an effective team. Achieve an effective team in your business, and the sky’s the limit.
Japan’s Karne Hesketh scores the last gasp winning try in the tackle of Springbok JP Pietersen during Rugby World Cup pool play at Brighton.