1. Clean the changing rooms
Rule number one speaks of respect for oneself and above all for others: “Clean the changing rooms. Never feel too big to do small things.” James Kerr starts from the character of each of us. And as a good motivator he explains that it is always right for someone else to praise our strengths. After each match, the All Blacks – he says – take the broom and start cleaning up the locker rooms, piling mud and used bandages in a corner. “Successful leaders balance pride with humility; absolute pride in performance; total humility in the face of the greatness of the task.”
2. Attack the spaces
Rule number two: adapt to circumstances. Which translates into “attack the spaces”: when you reach the climax, the goal changes. Because a winning organization is an environment of personal and professional development in which each individual assumes one’s responsibilities and shares ownership. And change is better managed at the peak of success.
3. Play with purpose
You always have to ask yourself why you do something. Each of us needs a clear purpose in mind to give our best. Here is rule number three. It takes a broad vision to see the horizon. The All Blacks used to say that “better people make better players”. And a purpose to believe in something makes you work with passion. The best leaders attract supporters and valuable collaborators with the strength of their vision.
4. Pass the ball
Playing (and living) alone is too difficult. Rule number four is “to pass the ball”, because leaders create leaders if they know how to share, transfer responsibilities and knowledge and create a climate of trust. Inclusion, among other things, serves to motivate employees to commit themselves to a common cause. How do you create a winning team? Leaders give their subordinates a purpose, they know how to bring people together. And then they step aside.
Create a learning environment – each of us has to learn from others. The fifth rule is: “to learn”. The mantra of the All Blacks is to collect good food and throw out the trash. True leaders teach, but they also know how to learn. Without forgetting that the first stage of learning is silence; the second is listening.
6. No heads of C…
The strength of the wolf is the pack. So, the sixth rule to be successful is to avoid dickheads, that is, those who think for themselves and do not know how to give to others. Because, as the Maori say, a drop of water that enters from a small hole can sink a canoe. And leadership is best expressed when the team takes the lead.
7. Embrace expectations
Aim for the highest cloud. Expectations must be adequate to the challenge being launched (rule number seven). They should neither be too high nor too low because not only is motivation everything, but the objectives must also be commensurate with the strength available. The All Blacks remember defeats more than victories, it's a matter of attitude: successful leaders have high benchmarks. They set expectations high and try to exceed them.
8. Train to win
Maori maxim for rule number eight: “The way the twig is shaped determines how the tree will grow”. Train to win. And to do so, exercise under pressure. Training to win conditions the brain and body to give the maximum, allows the best performance to become automatic, develops a winning mentality.
9. Keep a “blue” head
Check your attention and practice managing pressure. For rule number nine, keep your head cool (blue, for Anglo-Saxons). And remember that bad decisions are not made due to lack of ability or instinctive judgment, but due to the inability to manage pressure at a crucial moment.
10. Know yourself
The Maori maxim for rule number 10: “Group the branches of the manuka so they won't break.” Consider yourself as a bundle of fragile branches, join them together and protect them with each other. Together they will be stronger. Know yourself. And be yourself.
Rule number 11 is sacrifice. Because the champions go further. Find a higher motivation and give everything for that goal.
12. Invent your language
Sing your world to make it exist: invent your language. Because all great leaders are also great storytellers. Winning organizations have grown out of a captivating story. This central thinking helps people understand what they are fighting for and why. It is rule number 12.
13. Create a culture
Having a reference culture (and rituals) helps the team find its own identity. It is a ritual to recognize yourself in. Rule number 13 is to create a culture. Rituals tell your story, involve your people, create a legacy, and make the intangible real.
14 & 15. Be a good ancestor and write your legacy
The last two rules, 14 and 15, speak of inheritance. “Be a good ancestor.” That is, plant trees you will never see, as the Maori culture explains. And remember that you are but an ounce of present between two eternities, the past and the future. True leaders are the stewards of the future. They take responsibility for increasing the inheritance. And finally, “write your legacy”: the pages in front of you are still blank. It is your time to leave your contribution, your mark.