wales-australia_1123492cI recently watched the Welsh rugby team play Australia – a team they have only beaten 4 times in 40 years.  They didn’t win, but they did look like a team who could win.  In the words of one of the Welsh players “We have put the basics right, made sure we went onto the pitch with heart, spirit and aggression.”

As the recently appointed CEO of a company that has been hit hard by the recession these words resonated with the situation I find myself facing.

A successful business needs the people to work as a team – not just to call themselves a team.  There needs to be a shared vision of what success looks like and then the enthusiasm and commitment to go to work on achieving it.

The Welsh rugby team’s approach is exactly what we need; to get the basics right so there is a strong foundation to build on, supported by the passion and commercial aggression to make success possible.  This is the time where the leaders need to step up and show their passion, integrity and commitment to beating the competition.

‘Aggression’ may appear to be a strong word to use in business, but experience knowledge and skills are irrelevant if the drive is missing.  Skills can be trained, but enthusiasm, team spirit and a positive attitude are almost impossible to pass on to others or to learn on a training course.

My vision of the team who will achieve the success that I know is possible will have these inherent qualities and I fully expect to be challenged, to see honesty and openness between everyone in the team and to be inspired by the creative ideas they will have that will take the business forward.

Change is never easy, but if we can get the basics right, put heart and spirit into the company and demonstrate the commercial aggression needed to achieve results – against tough competition – then we will win.

And perhaps the lessons we can learn from these top level sports teams will be translated into some off-duty fun playing rugby for real!