Seven Rugby Principles of Teamwork
Updated: Nov 15, 2017
In rugby, there are seven principles of teamwork that even a child can learn, but that we often forget as adults. They have everything to do with your personal and organizational values, and whether your culture is one of excellence or mediocrity. (It may be a reason to get your children into rugby.)
Win the ball
Advance the ball
Pass the ball
Support the ball
Catch the ball
Advance the ball (Again)
Maybe it’s time for a refresher. Let’s think each of these through.
Win the ball: Have you focused on what matters and “owned” your role?
Advance the ball: Are you holding back or leading the charge?
Pass the ball: Do you set others up for success? (No “Hospital” passes!)
Support the ball: Are you where you are supposed to be, NOW?
Catch the ball: Do you drop the ball when the situation depends on you?
Advance the ball: Do you take the next pass at speed, breaking tackles?
Repeat: Is the pursuit of excellence an expression of who you are?
Rugby is a fairly simple game. Barring a failed strategy, it is the relentless pressure that one team creates through their quality of execution and passion to win, that separates them from the competition. Poor execution or a slack attitude puts pressure on all of us.
Have you taught your team to win? Do they grasp the opportunity? Is there a sense of urgency to score before time runs out? Do they understand the ways others depend upon them? Is there visibility and accountability for outcomes?
Does it begin with you?
George Henderson is Founder and Principal of the Top-Quartile Performance Institute (TQPI), a global community of transformational experts who partner with mid-sized to Fortune 500 companies on strategy, organizational development and continuous improvement. TQPI has a track record of delivering 10:1 returns and a >90% strategy execution success rate based on developing people rather than outsourcing the problem(s). Most recently George facilitated USA Rugby’s Strategy 2020 and founded the Rugby Business Executives Association (RBEA) as an industry council of TQPI.
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