Learning from the Most Winning Team in History

I read a James Kerr article about the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team, which is denoted as the most successful and consistent sports team in the world in history.  “Who are these people?” I asked, wondering why that title didn’t go to an American team.  The All Blacks have a win rate of over 75% over the last 100 years!  What can we learn from this team to use in our business?  Click here to read the full story of the All Blacks.

This team operates by some core principles and rarely deviates from them.  These core values set the tone for how they behave on and off the field.  Do you have a set of core values for your team by which they operate?  Do they follow these core values in their personal lives as well?  Here are the five guiding principles for the All Blacks.  They are so simple and yet solid.  We can use similar principles in our businesses in 2016.

  1. Sweep the Sheds (humility) – the simple act of cleaning up the locker room after themselves, literally sweeping up their workplace, keeps them humble.  No job is too low for them.
  2. Follow the Spearhead (zero tolerance of poor attitude) – In New Zealand, the spearhead symbolizes the extended family.  The spearhead’s three tips must move in one direction for maximum effectiveness.  This means a bad attitude by a team member is not tolerated because it impacts the effectiveness of the entire team.
  3. Champions do extra (a focus on continual improvement) – this philosophy means going above and beyond what it takes to make the team better.  Continuous improvement in a supportive learning environment supports this core value.
  4. Keep a blue head (being grounded and focused under pressure) – they worked with top psychiatrists to understand how the brain works under pressure.  A ‘blue head’ is an optimal state in which you are on task and performing to your best ability.
  5. Leave the Jersey in a better place (leave your team better off than when you came) – they understand that they represent the people who came before them and the people who will follow them.  They take this responsibility very seriously and their behavior on and off the field mimic this.

These core values will manifest in your revenues, stock price, awards, and in the quality of people who are a part of your organization.  Being a winner is reflected in their attitudes and behavior both in business and in their everyday lives.