A numbers game

If the All Blacks were a regular business that you and I directed, we’d surely prefer the All Blacks’ performance record over any other rugby team. Yet, going into last weekend’s semi-final against South Africa, the stats were 2/3 in their favour – exactly the same odds apply for the Aussies this weekend.

Yet, if this were any other kind of business, we’d far rather have a business with the All Blacks’ performance record than the other two teams.

But it is not a regular business; rather it is sport. What do they say……? “Not a matter of life and death – more important than that.”

Talk about PTSD…

  • “Four more years, boys” deeply etched into our national psyche – forever neural- networked with the name George Gregan
  • Still smarting from losing the ‘best of 9 races’ America’s Cup regatta, from an 8-1 leading position last year
  • Memories of hopes dashed at the Cricket World Cup this year
  • Thinking ‘not again!’ when the Silver Ferns fell to the Aussies at the Netball World Cup

All four of the above heart breaks were at the hands of Australians (Sydney-born Jimmy Spithall skippered Oracle to victory.)

We surely can’t expect to be calm, controlled and measured going in to this weekend when considering this is:

  • Richie’s last game captaining the All Blacks
  • Daniel Carter’s first and last World Cup final after three former World Cup disappointments
  • The last All Blacks game for legendary ABs Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Keven Mealamu.

But fear and trepidation are not healthy emotions. Research has proven that positive emotions are better for health and longevity! And hope is one such emotion.

This team has come a long way since 2007. It was clear they were underdone in pressure-cooker World Cup knock-out footie. Now, they are not only physically fine-tuned, they have the well-carved character that comes from many a battle, wisely contemplated and reflected upon.

Not only do they have a winning formula in their high-performance culture and proven ‘sweet spot’ leadership approach (See http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all-blacks/73310064/ab-coach-steve-hansen-reveals-sweet-spot-management-structure-key-to-success), they have been drilled in mental strength. This is evident from their calm assertion that they welcome pressure. Pressure is the enemy of peak performance – unless you have turned the enemy into a friend. (Well-proven NLP high-performance technology.)

In a classic act of brilliant leadership, this All Black team has been bred for pressure and prepared for when the going gets tough. Theirs is a leadership team that cares about employees’ futures. This leadership wants them to have a strong, positive future, whether in this ‘company’ or any other. It has done its most important task: make these people valuable, in every sense of the word. Equipping them to excel when the coast is clear and the opposition is weak is no service to them at all – sheltered employment is hard to find but all too common.

On the contrary, this team has been painstakingly prepared to carry the hopes and dreams of an entire nation on its back. They have been drilled to relish public scrutiny and intrusion. They have been led to believe that the expectations of the New Zealand public is to their advantage as it keeps them forever striving to improve, which in turn equips them for the next big hit.

Knowing this gives me hope and one more emotion that I know is a plus during a crazy rollercoaster week of different emotions: Pride. Pride in being represented by a team that is full of character and humility, yet fierce determination and professionalism in how they go about their work. Imagine if every one of our businesses, and every person in that business, went about their work with that much dedication and precision.

A win or no win this weekend………….no number will change that pride. But a win would be good for our economy, quite apart from the sheer joy it would bring to so many! Simply imaging that win is healthy – go ahead and bask in anticipated glory!


About Cherri Holland

Fascinated with business, brains and how to use the brains on the payroll to make business buzz.
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