Lessons You Can Learn From The All Blacks
After a six weeks of bit hits, nail-biting finishes and hospital Emergency Rooms filled with burly rugby players, the Rugby World Cup reaches its grande finale this weekend, with the red-hot Australians, taking on the defending champions, the All Blacks.
New Zealand remain the hot favourite to retain the trophy, but in its arch-rival Australia it faces the only team to have beaten them in the last year. For the All Blacks, a win would cement a truly remarkable run of form that dates back to the last World Cup it won at home four years ago.
As one of the most consistent and dominant forces in international sport, the name All Blacks has become synonymous with a kind of relentless pursuit of excellence most of us think is beyond our grasp. So rather than harp on about tackles made, and line-outs lost, we here at Esquire have decided to look at a different aspect of what makes the All Blacks the dominant force that they are.
In James Kerr’s book From Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life, the author looks specifically at what the rest of us can learn from the mighty Kiwis, and we’ve condensed five key lessons you can try to take on board:
1 | Sweep up after yourself
In the All Blacks, you never get too big for your boots. Post match, senior players will stay behind to clean up the changing rooms. Humility is taught in all things.
2 | Invent “The Rugby Club”
The All Blacks’ social night deliberately harks back to the local rugby culture each player has sprung from, reminding them of why and how they came to be here.
3 | Set your watch 10 minutes fast
The All Blacks run on individual integrity. This means total accountability, and by actions not words. No one is ever late for meetings; players set their watches fast.
4 | No Team Talk
Former head coach Graham Henry made pre-match time the team’s own, as part of his devolved leadership plan. It’s one example of how he built a team of leaders, not followers.
5 | No Dickheads
Have a mantra, even if it is shamelessly stolen from Australian rules football team the Sydney Swans. Also, be curious enough to find out what other teams’ mantras are.
From Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life by James Kerr (Constable), out now