6 qualities from sport that let you know you’re playing with an A-team in business

Playing rugby was the perfect breeding ground to lead me into my entrepreneurial journey. On the muddy pitches of the South African rugby fields is where the foundations of the characteristics I needed to forge my way into the challenging world of business were laid.

Every late night practice, every gut wrenching loss, every nail biting final crafted me into the business man I am today. I will forever be grateful to every coach, countryman and supporter I had the honor of waiting in anticipation with for that whistle to blow to start the game.

I believe that those years, when the knees were a little less shakier and the bellies were a lot tighter, were where I was being taught simple lessons of what the word “success” would look like.

Looking back now it’s clear that “success” was not a word that stood alone but was, and is, shaped by the team, the people who stood, stand, by you. I played in many teams throughout my life and I clearly know now that if it was not for those in my team there would never be the possibility of any form of “success”.

It was always important to me to make sure I had the people around me that would push me the most. Business is no different.

So how do you know you’re playing with the A-team.

1 – There is a universal respect for the captain

Great teams know who their leader is and for the 80 minutes of that game there is a universal respect for that individual. The captain is respected because of who he is and because he will lead you into the battle field. A-teams respect the captain because they know without a leader there is no team.

2 – They practice like they play

High performing teams know the importance of bringing your best to every possible situation. A-teams do not need the coach to “motivate” them to bring their A game. They know that every opportunity on the pitch is an opportunity to grow. Come rain, shine or snow, winning or losing streak, when the jersey is pulled on the effort is put in.

3 – Individuals take their role seriously

The beautiful thing about the game of rugby, like most sports, is that it’s a sport built around the diversity of the human figure. Every A-team member understands their role in the team and takes their responsibility of contributing to the teams success seriously. No role is less then the other.

4 – They have each other’s back

A-teams back each other with no second thought. there is a deep seated respect for one other and a family bond that is not easily broken. Heaven help those that try to disrupt that bond.

5 – There’s collective responsibility for the loss

A-teams know that the loss is something to be shared. They stand with each other and support one another in those hard moments. A-teams are teams that will pull together in those tough times.

6 – They celebrate the wins together

As united they stand in the loss, A-teams are equally united in the win. Hugs and high fives all round and let’s not forget the celebratory beer in the club house after lifting that trophy together. A-teams know how to share the win with each other and take a moment to enjoy the achievement together.

True for sport – true for business

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