Recently I was in Fiji and speaking with Sir Graham Henry about what he did specifically to build the All Blacks into one of the most successful sports teams in history, and to create great role models in the process. Their success record is incredible, and what strikes me even more than that is the character of the men who are now retiring from the All Blacks; people like Ma’a Nonu who began his career as a hot-headed immature boy, and finished as a considered and skilled man, a role model.
What Ted told me wasn’t rocket science. Their strategy consisted of:
- Individual performance improvement
- Consensus leadership
- Handling pressure
But if it’s not rocket science, why aren’t more teams that good?
Firstly, when you can’t articulate a strategy you can’t execute on it. If the strategy had been to ‘improve culture’ then nothing would have happened, but because they articulated what ‘improve culture’ looked like, they could execute on it.
Secondly, because most people and companies fail to execute well even when the strategy is clear.
Exceptional sports team and businesses articulate their strategy then execute on that strategy relentlessly.
As Richie McCaw said to me, “Even when the competition know our strategy, it’s very hard to defend against us when we execute well.
Stop worrying about your competition knowing what you’re up to and invest your energy in execution.
On Monday I attended the funeral of a good friend of mine from medical school, Andy Greer. He died suddenly while working a shift at Christchurch Hospital. He was 40.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these people who loves failure.
Challenges are a daily phenomenon for the entrepreneur.
Heaven is not wanting to be anywhere else.
That brings out our best.
We’ve all heard the statement, the ends justifies the means.
If you want to do anything extraordinary, it’s likely that you’re going to need to break some rules.
Sometimes, I don’t have anything to add.