Team­work the key to a great busi­ness

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - DAVE GAYNOR

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.

PHOTO: REUTERS

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.

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