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about 1 month ago by Libby McCaughey

England Rugby World Cup: Business Lessons

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With the England Rugby team about to face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup Final in less than 24 hours, we found it fitting to make them the centre of this blog.

Late last month O2 Business sent former England International player, Ugo Monye, to Japan prior to the first match to find out what England could expect over the coming weeks. Ugo met with Head Coach Eddie Jones to discuss the origins of Samurai code, Bushido, and the relevance of its values in sport today.

So, what is Bushido – it literally means ‘the way of the warrior.’ Bushido is the code of honour that Samurai lived and died by. Several of these accident principles are still relevant in sport, in business and in everyday life, five of which most relevant to Rugby. Ugo asked Eddie whether or not these five principles also applied to business.

  1. Duty

A core value to any team is a sense of duty, players have a duty to look after themselves and their family.

Duty as a value is equally relevant in business. Each one of us commits to completing tasks, adhering to deadlines and making promises. We understand why it is also important to attain our duty and what has to be done to manage our obligations to clients, candidates and business relationships.

An effective leader will take responsibility for what they do and say. They avoid excuses and don’t shy away from their duty. With regards to Bushido, to do less would be dishonourable and considered a great failure. Duty in the sense of business is a commitment, once you’ve made this commitment you must do what you can to deliver it.

  1. Courage

Eddie Jones very simply considers Bushido courage to mean the courage to do the right thing. “For a player it means being able to be yourself and play to the game as you think you should play it.”

Mirroring this value in the world of business is fundamental. Managing a business or even a team can be tough. It takes courage to make those difficult and often unwelcomed decisions when challenging market conditions or facing aggressive competitive activity. Much like England when facing New Zealand in the semi-final, in the face of aggressive competitive activity (the Haka), the decision to make a ‘V’ formation faced criticism however England succeeded winning 19-7 securing their place in the final.

The most effective leaders need to have courage to keep motivated and to motivate their team, through the peaks and short falls. This doesn’t mean to pursue ego-driven goals, but taking the needs of everyone into accounts, and raising yourself above the moral obstacles that you will undoubtably be faced with.

  1. Respect

Eddie talks about respect in terms of tolerance – recognising difference in other people. In any team (sporting or business) there will be an array of personalities, yet they will all share the same aspirations and goals. They will all have the shared desire to put in their best to achieve the best results.

Respect in business has never been more vital. Respect is about being inclusive, respecting diversity, going beyond more than just being polite.

One of our core values at Cherry Professional is respect. People are at the heart of everything we do, are committed to equal opportunities and are working hard to ensure our processes are always up to date with legal requirements. Diversity hasn’t only helped make us a more innovative business but enabled us to better understand our clients and candidates to deliver a better and more efficient service.

  1. Loyalty

In both the sporting and corporate world, staying focused on your vision or goal can be challenging which is why loyalty towards the case is imperative. With England’s rugby team, you would expect complete loyalty between teammates. This magnitude of loyalty will establish strong bonds and relationships between players.

In reference to business, loyalty is often regarding to customer brand loyalty however in Bushido loyalty is about people. Having your people be more loyal is an asset to your business, no matter what it takes you team will deliver for you simply because they are emotionally invested in your business.

  1. Integrity

“Playing rugby with integrity is about knowing what your team is trying to achieve and taking responsibility for understanding your role and doing the right thing” says Eddie Jones.

Within the business sense, it is important to recognise that consumers want to buy from a business or potential employees who want to be a part of a business which operates ethically, sustainably and honestly. Millennials are the first generation to demand a better work life balance, whereas previous generations could only hope for it. In fact, it is so important that work-life balance was the top-rated factor when looking for a new role.

Whether you are fan of rugby or not I hope you took some value from the lessons that can be learnt from the sport. From managing a small team to running a multinational business there is something for everyone to take from Bushido and England Head Coach Eddie Jones.

Watch Ugo and Eddie’s interview Click Here

Information sourced from O2 Business: Work Smarter.