SHIFT the team

SHIFT the team

Connection and Commitment versus Talent and Experience

The Super 15 Rugby final seems an age ago now but having a fanatical rugby family means Super 15 is closely watched and followed. I’ve been intrigued at how a team like the Crusaders, with years of success and the same core team and coach, didn’t make it to the final. Perhaps even more significant is how teams like the Highlanders and Hurricanes have moved so quickly up the ladder to earn their place in the final.

I was listening to the Highlanders coach on Monday morning who when asked what he thought the winning edge was for the team – given they had only a couple of years ago nearly ended the Highlander franchise due to significant financial challenges.

His answer was great. He said “You have to back yourself and have the conviction to win.”

Interesting. Got me thinking about how rugby teams are just like any other team. Great rugby and winning is the ultimate goal but like any other team in business, it needs a good leader or manager and a committed and connected team.

But when is that not enough?

If you look at the Super 15 teams, the Hurricanes have a new coach this year who has brought regenerated energy into the team which almost got them to the title. The Highlanders have a coach who has rebuilt the team from scratch and this has taken two years to get to the ultimate – the Super 15 title – an extraordinary success.

On the other hand, the Crusaders have been a very successful team with a very experienced coach, but one wonders after all this time what new ideas and energy (if any) actually impacted on team performance. Overall, they looked a little stagnant. This also shows in young talented players choosing to play in other teams for next year.

With the Blues it’s different again – they have had so much change both in team players and coaches. Talent wise they are great – there are more individual Blues players in the All Blacks than Highlanders. But is there the connection between the players, coaches and management team? You can’t have a team of talented individuals gunning for a team title. AND the ferocious conviction is missing on a team level.

In business it’s the same. When we have been in the same leadership or team lead role for some time, we can become a little complacent or even stagnant. This only becomes apparent when there is new energy or new people brought into the business who are hungry for success and have ferocious conviction to make a difference.

Success can only happen if there is a good team connection and all are focused on the end result, otherwise there will be attrition and retention of great team members will be much harder.

So then, where do you and your team sit? Is it time to review your game plan to ensure you have the right leadership and the right team to create the win?

As always, love to hear your thoughts so leave them here.

Until next week,


Rebecca Morris

Rebecca set up Paradigm Shift in 2011 because in her corporate career she repeatedly observed leaders choosing to let chaos reign rather than work out strategies for effective change. Or put simply – poor leadership.

With a background in educational psychology, roles as CEO, sales executive, business coach, business owner and teacher, Rebecca uses her proven experience and insights along with her practical tool box to get results.

Rebecca observes human behaviour and associated patterns and enables leaders to become present to their patterns through her IP, Observational Intelligence (OI). Rebecca uses her 'cycle of interruption' approach to interrupt, innovate and lead from new paradigms creating collectively powerful leaders and culture-safe organisations.

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