The book, "Legacy" by James Kerr covers lessons in leadership that can be learnt from the game of rugby. The book discusses how the All Blacks achieved greatness and applies some of these lessons to the world of business to help make us into better business leaders.
I have previously covered:
- Lesson 1 - Sweep the sheds
- Lesson 2 - Go for the gap
- Lesson 3 - Play with purpose
- Lesson 4 - Pass the ball
Today, I am covering the fifth lesson from the book.
Create a learning environment
Egos often make us feel we know it all. However, the reality is different, there are always new things to learn that will help us finesse the ways that we do things. The interesting thing about rugby is that there are so many different gameplays and it is quite possible to think of new tactics that haven't been used before. However, many in sport go way beyond just the tactics on the field but they examine every single factor that may influence their performance. The obvious ones are things like nutrition and sleep patterns. However, there is a huge amount of research into optimising sports equipment and even sports clothing. In sports, the term "marginal gains" is used.
It is about continuously seeing improvements in the way that we perform. In sport, just another inch on the field can make all the difference.
Life's this game of inches. One half-second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us
We can easily see how this applies to the world of business. We should never stand still thinking we are the best at what we do. There are always "marginal gains" to be sought out. We should keep looking back at our processes to see if we can make them more efficient. We should be looking at our people to see how we can make them more effective. To achieve this, we must develop a culture where we promote learning. Let's keep oiling the wheel and finessing the way we carry out our work.
Excellence is a process of evolution, of cumulative learning, of incremental improvement
Legacy (Chapter 5)
The key to making "marginal gains" and the necessary incremental improvements, is to examine the environment
There is something further than this. Quite often the best way of learning is to teach. In your business, make everyone keen to teach others. It is a win/win situation. Your more junior staff learn the techniques of the trade and the senior staff also deepen their understanding as the teaching process makes them formalise their knowledge.
Leaders are teachers
Legacy (Chapter 5)
Is the environment you work in a place to learn?