At Wiley we love honouring other teams and their successful ways. One example and interesting insight is of the All Blacks. Their “no dickheads” policy’s for example, which is operated by the players themselves. The point of the policy is to wean out inflated egos and make everything about the team.
“A dickhead makes everything about them.”
They are people who put themselves ahead of the team, people who think they’re entitled to things, expect the rules to be different for them, people operating deceitfully in the dark, or being unnecessarily loud about their work.
Often teams put up with it because a player has so much talent. The All Blacks look for early warning signs and wean the big egos out pretty quickly. Their motto is, if you can’t change the people, change the people.
Their management team might not spot these counterproductive behaviours. Therefore the players and leaders themselves call others out for their inflated egos.
Their coach Steve Hansen, a brilliant man, once came into a team meeting a few minutes late. As he walked in, one of the senior players stood up and said, ‘Coach, you can’t be late. Not again, please.’ So it’s actually the team monitoring this behaviour.”
The All Blacks believe culture is crucial to any team. You can have all the strategies in the world, but in the end, what will enable you to overachieve – or underachieve – is your culture.
They celebrate their culture every day by drawing from rich Maori heritage. In their cornerstone philosophies, the team towers above the individual. You will never succeed on your own, but you will be successful as an individual if the team functions well.
The team creates the environment so they can sit down and allow themselves to be vulnerable. It’s a powerful strategy – allowing one member of the team to share their vulnerability, leads to everyone else doing the same, this environment has become a culture of acceptance for all, empowering an awesome sense of belonging for team members.