Hello PPMA members and friends,
Living with three rugby enthusiasts the rugby world cup final was a “must watch” this weekend.
It started with one of my favourite rugby moments-the All Blacks doing the haka. For the un-initiated amongst you, the haka is both Maori war chant and challenge and is customarily performed by the All Blacks before major games against non-New Zealand teams. It’s quite a spectacle and a magnificent piece of symbolism. This time though it was even more compelling as the French team formed a white arrow and marched towards the All Blacks, facing them on their own terms.
Symbolism and ceremony create a sense of belonging, pride, commitment and energy. These things are important in the workplace too, and that got me thinking about all the other workplace issues that were so clearly highlighted by both of those world class rugby teams.
*Great leadership was shown by two outstanding captains, leading their teams, pushing the envelope. Richie McCaw, the All Blacks captain since 2004 believes the years of experience he has accumulated as skipper, with setbacks as important as the team’s many triumphs, have allowed him to grow into the role.
“You back yourself a little bit,” he said. “Just because you’re given that responsibility, just because you can play the game doesn’t mean you’re going to be any good at it. You’re going to learn a fair few lessons along the way. “
*The importance of the right support. Each team is more than the players we see on the field. Whether its coaches and physios, or people in your back office, they are all essential to the performance of the team on the field and to our own “front line staff”.
*Succession planning. A series of mishaps meant that New Zealand had to bring on their fourth fly half, Stephen Donald, who proved the true value of succession planning when he kicked the 45th minute winning penalty.
*Team spirit and motivation. The French team had been heavily criticised with some pundits even saying they did not deserve to be in the finale after a narrow semi-final win over Wales and two pool stage defeats. But, as their spirited response to the haka demonstrated, they were together as a team and determined. “It was really close,” said Les Bleus flanker Julien Bonnaire. “We can hold our heads high at the end of this World Cup. We gave it our all, just as we said we would.”
In our workplaces, there do not need to be winners and losers. We can all be part of successful teams. All over the public sector we have world class teams doing great work every day. Let’s celebrate that!