Business Profiles by Sampsonhall

So what are Eddie’s 7 traits to win? We all know that a positive mental attitude and a determination to succeed are essentials in sport but how does that work in business?

Here are two sporting examples: Trevor Bayliss transformed the national cricket side from slow and stodgy and beaten by the West Indies into Ashes winners within four Tests of taking charge, his compatriot Eddie Jones has now pulled off an Antipodean resuscitation perhaps even more remarkable. In five matches, Jones has not only ended a 13-year wait for a Grand Slam – with the 31-21 win over France – but done so with a team that should have its best days ahead, and in a place where victories will always be that little bit sweeter.

So how can two coaches transform the same group of players from under performing into potential world beaters?

Both coaches take emotion out of their work there is no room for a lack of honesty, so what are the 7 traits these coaches use for success?

1) Positivity: An ability to take positives and use them effectively and to identify talent that is good enough whatever the age and experience. This is evident in the switching of Robshaw from open side to blind side where his talents are more suited and the introduction of Itoje whose talent lit up the last two matches. Negativity and doubt destroy confidence and neuter creativity as fear dominates innovation. Positivity is the father of confidence and creativity.

2) Clarity: Comes from knowing what you have to do and Jones brings that in abundance. An example is the use of the two scrum halves for the last two very different games; one where process and procedures needed to be followed and one where genius and freedom were allowed to expose a dogged French Defence.

3) Confidence: Jones has a wonderful pedigree in International and Premiership rugby. He is not afraid to make the tough calls and one merely has to look at the decision to replace Robshaw as the captain with Hartley a man with a ruthless streak and a die-hard attitude that has led to him missing several international and premiership games for disciplinary reasons. Jones knew what he needed and where to find it.

4) Courage: Jones has that in abundance he is his own man and someone who makes his own decisions. Coaches are his lieutenants and this can be seen clearly in his decision on Hartley’s captaincy but also on his decision to retain Robshaw within the team.

5) Freedom: Jack Welch once said “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings ……… you almost don’t have to manage them.” And I think once Jones had decided his plan he gave his players the freedom to carry it out. They were the ones on the field and whilst this led to some mistakes the positivity it brought far outweighed the stagnation that total control brings with it particularly when people are at the peak of their powers.

6) Ingenuity and adaptation: You play the team in front of you and you play it with your best players- the best players to win that match however if it is not working you change it. If we look at the prop situation with Joe Marler and Mako Vunipola. Marler was possibly not available awaiting a possible ban so Jones trained and built his team for France with Vunipola, however, as the French scrummage was becoming more dominant he quickly switched back to Marler.

7) Ruthlessness: Is an essential ingredient of success and great sporting teams it is achieved as much as anything by a refusal to yield when reasons to yield are all around, by a cussedness as much as a cavalier spirit, by an ability to wriggle out of tight spots and to secure the tight, tense wins. Hark back to Martin Johnson’s decision to go left in Dublin, Ireland as part of the initial protocol. It is the ability to laugh in the face of adversity and the courage to continue whatever the circumstances blended with the determination to win and the unselfishness to do it as a team. All are the ingredients of my former career in The Royal Marines and all can be measured using our Mental Toughness test.

Have you got what it takes to make the right call, have the courage and determination to be a winner in business?

Take the Business Profiles Mental Toughness test, designed in conjunction with former England Rugby Coach, Sir Clive Woodward and see how you perform. The test delivers three reports, one for development, one for coaching and one for recruitment.

Phil Sampson, expert in strategy, leadership, individual and organisational development, culture and team cohesion.

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