The core values in all great teams are drilled into athletes on elite teams can be the difference between a SuperBowl and disappointment. There are countless teams in business and in sports that have the best players with the worst results. Great teams implement and deliver more effectively, day in and day out. The structure, the leadership, the accountability that the teams like the New Zealand All Blacks, and the New England Patriots have are easily translatable in the business world.
The New Zealand All Blacks
The Haka. You may know this as the dance the New Zealand All black’s rugby team performs before a game. Well, the haka is not a dance, it is a symbol. A national symbol, an age-old Maori posture dance which symbolizes the defence of territory. Once a player on the All Blacks puts that jersey on they are playing for the team, not the individual. This sound cliché, but the All Blacks do this better than anyone, which is one of their recipes for success.
Sweep the shed. If you are a part of the team, you know this saying well. Before leaving the teams dressing room at the end of the game, some of the most famous names in rugby would stop and clean the room themselves. The All Blacks believe that it is impossible to achieve stratospheric success without having your feet planted firmly on the ground. This illustrates a great example of it doesn’t matter who you are, the top player, or the trainer, you are all equal striving towards a common goal.
The All Blacks follow a very strict schedule, and the demand the team puts on each individual is intense yet rewarding. They follow 15 main principles; here are some examples from the All blacks:
1) Pass the ball – Leaders create leaders
2) Create a learning environment – Leaders are teachers
3) No Obnoxiousness – Pull your weight
4) Ritualise to Actualise – Create a culture
5) Invent your own Language – Sing your world into existence
The All Blacks are a historic team, if you don’t play rugby or any sport, I can guarantee you have heard of them. Their success, their unity and their commitment to each other. This is what makes them one of the greatest teams to ever touch a Rugby field.
New England Patriots
The new England Patriots are one of the greatest dynasties ever assembled. Their track record over an extended period of time is impressive to say the least. Reaching the Super Bowl 9 out of the last 18 years with 6 championships, which is the most out of any NFL team ever. This team has the winning formula. But, what made them so successful? The Patriots have championship attributes, and values in everything they do and there are 5 key qualities that really illustrate this:
1) Clear Vision. When any player joins the Patriots, there are no questions on what the goal is. The team strives for the Super Bowl every year, and they have a very specific plan to obtain their ultimate goal. From the owners to the third-string quarterback, everyone shares the same vision all year.
2) Inspiring Leaders. The Leadership of the Patriots Organization lead the way in multiple areas. From Robert Kraft, to Bill Belichick, to Tom Brady. This hall of fame group is the best in the game. The key contributor to the success of any great team is the leadership guiding the way. There is no one that is more prepared then Brady and Belichick. They go over every little detail, prior to their game to ensure they have done everything possible to give their team the best chance to win.
3) Team Cooperation. This focuses on roles and responsibilities within the organization. Bill Belichick is one of the most, if not the most demanding coach in not only the NFL, but all sports. He demands perfection in the system that he coaches. Not all players work out with the Patriots, and the staff are okay with that because they are looking for the players that will buy into the organizational structure, knowing that it is the recipe for success.
4) Constructive Communication. Teams are always a work in progress. The best teams are open to feedback, as this is constructive communication, which will allow them to grow, and enhance their individual skills for overall team success.
5) Appreciation All-Around. There is a myth that only the leaders and managers can pat you on the back. There is a false persona that they are the only ones with that power. Every single teammate, coach, manager that is a part of the team can show appreciation. This will allow the team comradery to grow throughout the year. You become more then-teammate, you become brothers willing to go through the wall for one another.
If you are looking to build the powerhouse team you’ve always dreamed of, learn from the best and start with these three easy tips:
1) It all starts with people. Customers return for the people, not the business. Build from the middle out, and that starts with a strong core of great people
2) Value for Every Employee. Everyone has a different skill set, gravitate towards their strengths and watch them grow within their position as they take ownership
3) Everyone is a leader. It doesn’t matter where you sit on the organizational chart, everyone brings something special, and just because you aren’t the boss, doesn’t mean you can’t lead in areas that are your expertise
You can easily see the correlation between business and sports. If you can build a team that shares the same values, leadership, culture, and you too can build an unstoppable team.