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Business Is Not a (Team) Sport
Here's nonsense at work #313
Reading time: about 1.3 minutes
Every four years, I feel compelled to repeat myself. Okay, okay. I repeat myself more often than that. But I'm talking about a very specific repeat. A post about teamwork.
Why every four years? Because the Rugby World Cup happens every four years. (Why rugby? Because decades ago I played rugby. I still have the scars and aches to prove it.)
The 2023 Rugby World Cup is currently taking place in France. Twenty national teams from all over the globe. And already somewhere on our planet a management consultant, a business guru, a leadership thought leader or an executive coach (ahem) is writing another article presenting sports teams as models for business teams to copy.
Enough already! It is ridiculous for business teams to strive to be like sports teams. And it can be dangerous. Here’s why.
Sports teams train for only one sport. Team members know exactly what sport they’re playing, how to play it and which rules apply. How simple.
Sports teams wear uniforms so that you can easily spot the competition. And they also introduce themselves as your competition before each game. How polite.
Competing teams agree to respect the referee. Sports referees (and umpires) are very visible, very loud, and very strict. How reassuring.
Best of all, sports teams face only one competitor at a time, date, and place agreed on well in advance. How convenient.
In business, you do not have these luxuries. I think sports teams should study how business teams do it.
Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.