Lessons from the Lions


Jun 2017 | Ben Bolt

So as the Lions head to the land of the long white cloud to face the mighty All Blacks the biggest challenge facing any Lions coach is how to (quickly) generate team spirit and unity in a bunch of athletes more used to spear tackling each other than uniting against a common foe, and a pretty impressive one at that.

Of course a common goal is key to any team and in that, no matter how daunting, there is undoubted unity amongst the tourists as they seek to become only the second ever Lions team to win a series in New Zealand since 1888, the first being the tourists of 1971. This worthy goal will be accompanied with huge levels of passion and commitment but this in itself will not guarantee success.

At its core any effective team has mutual respect, complimentary skill sets, charismatic leaders and above all a plan. And so too in business. Whether you are launching a new product, attacking a new market, embarking on an acquisition or spearheading an MBO, the probability of success increases several fold with a well articulated, thorough and cohesive plan with contingencies considered and addressed.

Leave shareholders, investors and financiers in no doubt that it’s the right plan where the sole risk is in relation to execution and execution alone. And, critically, that you have the team to deliver; the right personnel; well-motivated; and with the right capabilities.

Gatland has a plan for sure. Does he have the personnel to execute against the best in the world? Could it prove to be a little one dimensional in the face of All Black counter attacking prowess? Only time will tell but it should make a great spectacle.


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