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.
I’m in my office at the moment. This morning I’ve planned next week, had multiple meetings and worked on some strategic moves for my business.
I used to be all about winning at everything I was involved with.
Many ‘entrepreneurs’ I meet just want to be the ‘big ideas’ person. They’re not interested in the little stuff.
In life people always talk about getting ‘ahead of the curve.’
Something had to get out of the way for everything good that is in your life.
We worry about things that might not work out.
We are all a combination of our experiences of the past.
We don’t need to detach from our painful past.
The you today is different from the you a year ago.
Sometimes leadership is about creating a vision and bringing people along.