06 Mar 2018
It’s at this time of year when “Rugby’s greatest championship “, the 6 nations, captures the hearts and minds of the nation ( well six nations). From Leicester to Limerick, Llandudno to Limoges and Livorno to Livingston, people aged 1 to 100 watch “the game they play in heaven” with hearts pumping in a patriotic fervour.
Rugby, however isn’t just about big guys running into each other, it really is a sport that lives its core values.
Having played the sport myself for many years it has helped shape me as a person and I hope has made me a better businessman/recruiter.
Why is that I here you ask … ?
The core values of rugby are: Teamwork, Respect ,Enjoyment ,Discipline and Sportsmanship.
How can this translate into a working environment ? Let’s break them down
Absolutely essential to rugby/business is teamwork. Every player on the team has a role to play and contributes in their own way to the overall success of the team/business. Rugby is played by people of all shapes and sizes and everyone has a different skillset they bring to the team. It is also important to take pride in the team you work with and wish the best for your colleagues, recognising that their success benefits the team as well as themselves.
Respect is exceptionally important in rugby. Respecting match officials and accepting their decisions is integral to the ethos of the game as is respecting opponents and supporters. For me the same can be said in business. It is important to respect your candidates and clients. After all we are all trying to achieve a common goal- successfully filling a role with the most suitable candidate. If you treat candidates and clients with respect in your communications you will receive the same back. As in rugby, sometimes it best to bite your tongue and let the dust settle in stressful situations rather than lose the respect of the match official/ candidate/client. Although you can always try to influence decision making in a respectful manner.
We play any sport primarily for enjoyment. There needs to be enjoyment in the job you do, both on and off the field. Of course, there will be difficult times, but success often feels better when challenges have been overcome. We don’t grow when things are easy we grow when we face challenges. It is also important to celebrate success and bond as a team away from the office. Sometimes teams lose matches, candidates drop-out, offers get turned down. Blowing the froth off a few beers with your team can sometimes help put everything in focus and help you think about the bigger picture.
A game of rugby can often be won and lost on discipline. Too many penalties given away and it can be hard to gain any traction in the game. Also in a contact sport like rugby, the physical aspects of the game must be controlled. A disciplined team will also choose the right options in the correct areas of the pitch and follow routines that have been practised at training. Attending training itself can be an act of discipline on those cold winter nights. Similarly in recruitment, there are certain actions that need to be followed in order to produce outputs. There are procedures that if followed diligently will lead to positive outcomes and ultimately a successful career. However that doesn’t mean that you can’t “play what is in front of you” ,adapt to the conditions and occasionally run the ball from your own try line. A mixture of discipline and flair is a great combination.
Sportsmanship is the foundation on which rugby union is built. A rugby player should be generous in victory and dignified in defeat. We play to win but not at all costs. How can this translate to business/ recruitment….? I believe that playing the “long game” with candidates and clients is essential to building a successful career. Examples could include, not “shoe-horning” the wrong candidate into a role, parting on positive terms with a candidate that turns down a job offer or puts their search on hold, respecting a clients decision to give a role exclusively to another business, accepting that a candidate may have received a better offer elsewhere and respecting their decision.
Of course rugby is an extremely competitive game and so is the world of recruitment. It’s how you play the sport that matters.
Looking forward to an exciting 2 weeks of rugby and hopefully the big showdown on 17th March, unless Scotland can spoil the party.
Have you learnt any lessons from your chosen sport and how that can translate into the business world ??