I eagerly watched Richie McCaw’s movie “Chasing Great.”
It was a great reminder that a successful person is not born successful – and neither is a successful business. Richie and the All Blacks becoming world-class was, and is, a constant work in progress. I took a lot of business learnings from the real-life, movie story.
The first lesson was you do need to have a “few years ahead” plan in business. Call it a 3-year or 5-year or 10-year plan, it does not really matter. Just have some future medium to long-term goal and then – like Richie did – break it down to a year-by-year picture of where you must be in order to be on track for your longer-term business goal.
Whilst not every business can be bigger than say Google or as successful as the All Blacks, it is truly simpler than you think to achieve great things.
It is one thing to achieve success but another to be truly great. Richie ended up being great. What it takes is a focus by the leader and other key staff to get truly greater 24/7. Very few businesses would actually consider, “Did we get better this past week compared to the previous week?”
It is widely known that the All Blacks from 2008 onwards have had a weekly question to check if every single person in the team (non-players included) has improved that week compared to the one before – even in the off season.
Standing still week to week is not great, as long as you recognise you need to pull your finger out the coming week and get better, to make up for not improving last week, then you are likely on your way to becoming great. All it takes is a little step in the right direction and you are closer to being great than you think. Becoming greater is a state of discipline. Sir Edmund Hillary said, “People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things”.
Nobody in business has all the answers, meaning you need to take some advice, learnings and inspiration from others. Richie gathered core advisors and it made him a better leader and gave him the ability to handle pressure. Do you as a business leader have some limitations? Of course you do. Who can you talk to about making your limitations less “limiting?” There is always someone who has been there and done it before you.
Working to your strengths will be where you should put most of your time, but if you can make those limitations that little bit smaller, you will be able to achieve even greater things. By limitations I mean those of your business, your leadership and communication style and even your mental strength.
Every business has stuff that could go wrong – and I don’t just mean health and safety or disaster recovery. The All Blacks would consider what could go wrong and then work out how to get around that. What are the biggest things that could go wrong in your business? Here are four examples:
1. What if you lost your biggest one or two customer accounts – would you still have a profitable business?
2. What if you, the business leader, had to stop working for a few months – could the business carry on without you?
3. What is the one thing you wish you could have insurance for? That question might open up your mind into a few things that could go wrong in your business.
4. What could a competitor do that might potentially wipe you out?
What are the biggest things that could go wrong in your business? This question is worth pondering for the future sake of your business and likely to leave you sleeping better at night!
Zac de Silva is an award winning business coach as well as the co-founder of the Nurture Change Business Retreat on November 2 to 6, 2016 at the 5-star InterContinental Fiji. The retreat is for business owners, senior managers and entrepreneurs looking for new ideas, space to think on their business, inspiration, relaxation and connection with others from the business community. Speakers include Diane Foreman, Lisa Carrington, Jeremy Moon, Hamish Carter, Murray Thom and many more across business, health and wellness. Details online at www.nurturechange.com.
– As published in the Sunday Star Times and www.stuff.com