During a recent preseason workout of the minor league baseball team I serve as team chaplain (http://www.southernillinoisminers.com/), as our manager addressed his team in the dugout, he referenced the book, Legacy - 15 Lessons in Leadership: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life by James Kerr. He talked about their culture of excellence and imported their practice of cleaning up after themselves to our club. Rather than the players regularly drinking from a paper cup and then throwing it onto the floor of the dugout, he said we will no longer do that. Instead of leaving the visitor’s clubhouse (changing room, locker room, shed) in total disarray and covered with the litter of athletic tape, dirt, mud, soiled towels, etc., for the clubhouse manager to clean, we will bring our own cleaning equipment and we will leave the place even cleaner than when we arrived. Noble intentions for sure. We will see how well the players, especially the team leaders, embrace this ethic and make it their own.
Following is a simple paragraph that describes the book, which I will soon purchase and read. “Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds. They follow the spearhead. They keep a blue head. They are good ancestors. In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success – sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you’re gone? What will be your legacy?”
It seems that Yanks like me have some things we can learn from our Kiwi brothers, especially from a culture of excellence like the All Blacks Rugby club.