Ten business lessons that you can learn from rugby

(6) It’s important to find a role model, someone who you can learn from. Most of all, don’t make that role model Richard Branson or Alan Sugar, because what you see of them is more to do with their PR consultants than reality. 

Find someone real in your life, someone who has faced problems and overcome them. Many of our young men felt that they had gone wrong in life because they had nobody to look up to, no one person to guide them and keep them on the right path. Well, what stops you from finding your own mentor? After all, they’re in your life right now, you’re just not listening to them.

(7) Your customers, employees and partners all need to feel that they can rely on you, they can trust you, and they get that feeling, not from what you say but in the commitment you show to everything that you do. 

When you’re running down a cold, wet rugby pitch and an opposing player is running towards you like a charging rhinoceros, he can see your fear, he knows that you’re going to flinch first, and he knows he’s going to take the ball off you. 

Now make yourself that player, charging like a steam train, fixing your eye on your goal and pushing all distractions out of the way. Approach everything in life and your business with commitment and you’ll simply get further, faster.

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(8) Bad things happen to everyone in business, but the real winners, the people who achieve genuine, lasting success, are the people who take life’s events and choose to see them in a positive way. 

For example, Michael Henderson, who was captain of the Croydon team, had a great saying about the physical aspect of the training. “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” he said. Whether that’s true or not won’t change how you feel, so you might as well choose the more positive outlook.

(9) It’s so easy to beat yourself up for the mistakes you’ve made, the deals you’ve lost, the money you’ve wasted, but you have to remember that this is all part of the learning process in business. There is no success or failure, there are only survivors. 

We’ve had young men coming through the show who have been abused in their lives, who have spent time in prison, who have done all kinds of unthinkable things, yet those men are worth no less and no more than any one of us. Whatever you’ve done or not done, you are not your behaviour, you’re more than that, if you choose to be.

(10) Communication is important in everything we do, because it’s what sets us apart as a species. 

In rugby, if you don’t communicate you get hurt, it’s as simple as that. You might have an idea about where you’re heading, but if you don’t find a way to communicate your intentions, you either get left behind or trampled on. 

Communication is the conduit for team work, and I think one of the most valuable lessons to learn is that we’re always communicating, whether we like it or not. We can’t hide away and have a quite moment, because even that communicates something to other people. 

Once you’re connected with someone, you’re forever communicating, so you might as well make your message something worth hearing.

I hope these ten lessons that I’ve learned help you to achieve more of the life and business that you want too, and remember, at the “School of Hard Knocks”, it’s always time for your next lesson.

Paul Boross is “The Pitch Doctor”, an authority on communications, presentation, performance. He is also the resident team psychologist and presenter on Sky TV series “School of Hard Knocks”.

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