Article | Fabulous Women

Lessons in business from England's rugby success.

Posted on 27/10/2019

I am not a big rugby fan, but I do like to support England especially in the World Cup and I defy anyone not to be inspired by their magnificent win against New Zealand in the semi-final in Japan.

Most of the pundits backed New Zealand to win. Who wouldn’t when they hadn’t lost for 18 world cup matches and had won the trophy on the last two occasions? As if that record wasn’t intimidating enough New Zealand always have the Haka with which to intimidate their opponents.

But England had a plan not just for the game but also for the Haka, a plan that played to their own strengths. Listening to the pre-match press conferences it was clear that England were focusing on their own game not worrying about their opponents. I believe there are some lessons here for our businesses.

Competition is an opportunity not a threat

Sometimes in business we allow ourselves to be intimidated into decisions by our competitors. We allow our competitors undue influence over our plans. We go into reactive mode. We see their activities as a threat and too often go on the back foot. When we do that we have lost control over our own destiny and no-one wants to be in that position. I am most worried about businesses for whom there is no competition. If there’s no competition is there a market? So competition presents an opportunity not a threat.

A vision of success sets the path

I am sure that everyone in the England set-up shares a vision, no doubt they picture themselves celebrating with the Webb Ellis trophy. They have been working towards that vision for the last four years or even longer. They have analysed what they need to do to achieve that vision and brought in experts in various areas to help them achieve that. The plans have included developing skills and the mental attitude of the English players with an emphasis on building a team fit to take on the world. Whilst the plan has considered the competition it has focused on developing the team to take on all comers and they have used the shared vision to drive for success.

Do you have a plan for the next four or five years? Does it include a clear vision of what you want to achieve? Have you worked out what you need to do to turn that vision into a reality? What skills do you need to develop? Where do you need some expert help or advice? What support do you need to overcome challenges and self-doubt? Who is on your team?

Build the team

The trouble for many of us in small businesses is that we are a team of one. We don’t always have support or the luxury of thinking space. We’re trying to juggle so many activities, some within our zone of genius and some way outside our comfort zone. Is it time to take a different approach?

We can’t be brilliant at everything so does it make sense to outsource some of the things we’re not so good at? Would it help to have some supportive friends in business to help us to develop a vision of the future we want in our own enterprises? Should we be asking for more support when faced with challenges?

Our businesses may not sustain more than one salary but by thinking outside the box there are ways in which we can build a supportive team. I believe that team exists within Fabulous Networking but are you making enough of it?

Using your network

Our meeting agenda allows time for a hot seat or business focus session, why not use it to get ideas on ways to overcome one of your challenges? If you’re struggling to achieve a clear vision, or clarity on any other topic, other people’s questions can help to remove the fog. If you’d like to be featured in one of these sessions contact the Group Leader ahead of the meeting and in most instances they will be able to make the time available.

Who in the network has the skills you need but don’t have? If paying them for their service isn’t an option do you have skills of equal value to them that you could trade to help each other? If you don’t know anyone either post your request in the Members’ Facebook group or contact me and I’ll try to find someone who can help.

Members of Fabulous Networking are talented, but they are also hugely supportive people. Unlike England rugby we have more than 31 players in our squad! These are people we can bounce ideas around with, people who can encourage our ideas and pick us up when we’re down, people who can help us to spread the word. I believe that England can win the World Cup next Saturday and I believe that we can all win in business with the help of a clear vision and a supportive team. You will find that supportive team in the Fabulous Networking Community.

Glenda Shawley is the Managing Director of Fabulous Networking, The Collaborative Business Network. At Fabulous Networking everyone is welcome, no lock out clauses, attendance rules or pressure to refer. We believe that people buy people and that when we share and support each other everyone can succeed. Why not visit a meeting and experience Fabulous Networking for yourself? Follow us at Facebook.com/fabulousnetworking for up to date details of our meetings each week. 

Back Author : Glenda Shawley

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