You know I like to watch rugby matches? Most weekends I will find a match or two to enjoy and we’ve just been through the Six Nations competition so I’ve had plenty to keep me occupied.
However the last few matches I’ve watched, including one yesterday, have not been so enjoyable. Why? Well they seem to have been plagued by errors, indiscipline and generally poor play. I have found myself groaning and eventually speaking out loud, to no one in particular with comments like, “Really” and “Not again”. These are well paid professionals who seem to lapse to school boy errors, struggling with the basics.
And here’s the musing. It’s not hard to be excellent in life. You just have to turn up and do things well, consistently. When in business, this became something of a mantra starting with: “It’s not hard to be good”, then progressing. We came to this belief having observed the behaviours of others and standing back in a little disbelief at the lack of care being taken, poor training, the absence of ambition and the general unengaged way others behaved.
The mere fact that we strived to do the basics well and do that consistently put us head and shoulders above many others. Add to that the fact that we enjoyed what we did and took a pride in doing it well. We were cruising! So many others paid scant regard to the basics thinking them stuff for beginners and below their ability. But, believe me, whilst not the things of excitement, the basics done consistently well can make you a winner over and over.
Oh, there are those around you, maybe competitors, who will have a bit of flash in their repertoire, a little pocket of difference and will catch attention for a moment, just like an erupting firework. But if it’s short lived and not supported by consistency it will be of limited interest. Don’t get distracted. And those who actually do do things better, over and over? Well, if you look below the surface I’m betting you’ll find a discipline that has mastered the basics, pays constant attention to them, and has built, little by little with a continuing mind to improvement and doing everything they’ve learned in the very best way they can before adding any more.
Here’s a week when we take stock of what we’ve learned, how we apply it and any improvements that can be made. Do we need to take a step backwards and master a basic again? Strengthen our foundations? Do less but do it exceeding well? Build a reputation for reliable performance?
I know the basics can be boring but doing them excellently is not. So let’s get back to good rugby!
Yours, doing a review,