Current rugby World Champions New Zealand go into this weekend's final pool match against Tonga as hot favourites to retain the trophy they won at home four years ago.
As one of the most consistent and dominant forces in international sport, the name All Blacks has become synonymous with a kind of relentless pursuit of excellence most of us think is beyond our grasp.
However, the book From Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life by James Kerr looks specifically at what the rest of us can learn from the mighty Kiwis. And here are five key lessons you can try to take on board:
1 | Sweep up after yourself
In the All Blacks, you never get too big for your boots. Post match, senior players will stay behind to clean up the changing rooms. Humility is taught in all things.
2 | Invent “The Rugby Club”
The All Blacks’ social night deliberately harks back to the local rugby culture each player has sprung from, reminding them of why and how they came to be here.
3 | Set your watch 10 minutes fast
The All Blacks run on individual integrity. This means total accountability, and by actions not words. No one is ever late for meetings; players set their watches fast.
4 | No Team Talk
Former head coach Graham Henry made pre-match time the team’s own, as part of his devolved leadership plan. It’s one example of how he built a team of leaders, not followers.
5 | No Dickheads
Have a mantra, even if it is shamelessly stolen from Australian rules football team the Sydney Swans. Also, be curious enough to find out what other teams’ mantras are.
From Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life by James Kerr (Constable), out now