Be brave and really try

Rugby World CupLast night, much to the surprise of the world, Japan won their match against South Africa in the Rugby World Cup.

They have been working to beat South Africa for several years, the pools being drawn relatively early in Rugby World Cup. In the final moments, with the chance of a penalty shot and a historic (enough) draw they chose to play the ball which led to their overall win. Amazement, jubilation and supporters in the crowd and the team all started crying.

I know very little about Rugby. But I recognise something else here as well as a magnificent game. So indulging in a little related analysis, here is what I take home from Japan’s performance last night:

Work hard: That working to a goal for several years can end in nothing but is possibly the only way it might end in something amazing. Patience, diligence, practice and commitment: all required for whatever the goal is. I prefer not to advocate for lucky breaks but hard work. Luck is just a bonus.

Real team work: In that moment where you need to decide to take a risk (to go for 5 points rather than 3) you need to know that your team are there, without question, and that they have confidence in you even if you end up with your face in the mud.

Plan, and then again: You plan in advance, then review the plan, then start the plan again, review…

Be brave: Sometimes you can’t overthink a situation – you just have to go for it, for what feels right and run. Needless to say with a plan and a team behind you the likelihood of success as you run is considerably higher.

Cry: When something goes well there is nothing wrong with crying. Be moved by what you can do. And be moved by what others can do. Things that matter are done with passion.

I adore the fact that the Rugby World Cup is bringing moments like these stadiums around the UK. But what I love more is that Japan’s against-the-odds win is beautiful in itself and it can remind us what it is to work hard, try and then win or lose with passion. Game on.


Did you get the memo about….? Sticky notes (Post-Its to you and me)

Post-its (or sticky-notes) are only useful if you understand their place in the management structure. I urge people that work with me not to use them other than for short pieces of information that are relevant for a short period of time.

Stickies are not a permanent form of note taking. They are a temporary fix. Quite literally. Anyone who has left a post-it note stuck to the wall will know that it has a life expectancy connected to the material it is fixed to, the humidity of the room and erm, the brand purchase. Lets face it the cheaper they are the less they ‘fix’.

So if you manage thing or are helping someone to manage things – use stickies at their best. Write down thing to do, remember, pass-on. Expect their life-duration to be limited. Therefore expect the information on the sticky to be of limited duration.

For me the idea of something being written ‘on the back of an envelope’ sometimes means there has been some swift but rubbish planning. Sometimes it means creative and ‘in-the-moment thinking’. Whichever it is, positive or negative, the information is in a temporary holding space until it is incorporated, acted on, improved on and generally moved up the attention order.

Therefore, for longer running information, planning or musings use a stationary catalogue and buy something that will not fall of my wall (notebook, phone, screen) and stick to my cat within a few days. Thanks