The British and Irish Lions ended their successful rugby tour of New Zealand with a captivating 15-15 draw against the All Blacks on Saturday – an achievement not possible without an incredibly robust team spirit.
As a consultant specialising in business development, team building, motivational speaking, and sales & acquisitions, Josh Cote understands the importance of cultivating a strong element of team spirit in any organisation. In the past, the EAW Consulting owner has openly talked up links between the environments of sport and business and believes that sporting attributes can transfer seamlessly into the business world. He also revealed in his previous roles that he intentionally looked out for individuals with sporting backgrounds during any recruitment processes, as he believed they were the ones most likely to display the ethos of team spirit.
The British and Irish Lions are a composite rugby team selected from players who are eligible to represent the national teams of England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales. They are given less than 8 weeks to practice, train and bond together before playing against tough opposition – on this occasion this came in the form of the All Blacks, whom many consider to be the best rugby team in the World. The Lions lost the first match, won the second, and drew the third on Saturday, leaving the series as a draw.
Can the methods used to build a multinational sports team shine a light on the challenges of integrating business teams? It certainly appears that Josh Cote thinks so, as he credits Lions coach Warren Gatland for building a team that went beyond skill level;
“I believe that a good coach is one who understands the talent and weaknesses of individuals, whilst also going above and beyond to create an unbreakable connection and healthy day-to-day morale,” stated Josh Cote. “It is clear to me that what Gatland has done with the Lions team is exactly that, and credit to him, he has turned a collection of previously loose elements into a truly world-class fighting unit.”
Indeed, taking a selection of talented individuals playing for different teams in different countries, and readying them into a team to play one of the best in the world (in less than 8 weeks) is no mean feat. What’s more impressive is the nature of the performances from Gatland’s men, who went toe to toe with the All Blacks and could’ve almost come out victorious.
Business consultant Josh Cote believes that building a team is more than just training – that’s why he places the majority of credit for the Lions’ success at Coach Gatland for creating a “forget your nationality, your Lions now” mentality.