I recently read a book called Legacy by James Kerr. The book follows the All Blacks, the New Zealand national rugby team. They have an extraordinary track record. The book takes you through how their success is essentially based on the powerful culture of the organization. It is both exciting to read and at the same time makes me a little edgy as I read it.
The reason it is exciting is easy — it inspires me to strive for such an organization ourselves, right here at Duval & Stachenfeld, and I see a lot of parallels, and that makes me excited and proud too.
It also makes me edgy because as I read it, I can’t help comparing our organization to the All Blacks. And as amazing as my law firm is, being honest with myself, we aren’t (yet) like the All Blacks.
The writer starts with an analysis of the special culture, which makes so clear that the team is “everything” — truly everything! One thing I love is the statement that everyone “sweeps the floors” and that is exactly what they do together after a game — they clean and sweep the locker room — everyone does it. No one is above that.
When one first dons the incredible All Blacks jersey, it is a commitment, not only to do one’s best for the team daily, but also to strive for an even loftier goal that when you surrender your jersey at the end of your career, you leave the jersey and the team in a better state than when you joined it.
There is accountability — and boy is there accountability. If you screw up, you are accountable to the teammates you let down. Nowhere to hide and no two ways about it.
There is sacrifice. Indeed, sacrifice of everything for the team.
There is an incredible commitment to winning. Both a celebration of wins and a thorough analysis of why losses occurred.
There is analysis of how to handle pressure, as well as clearly stated expectations, and, something I found particularly interesting, “rituals.”
I didn’t like the book. I loved it! And more importantly, I learned a lot from reading it. It is an easy read, by the way, if you aren’t a big reader….
What does it have to do with marketing? It is simple. As my super consultant — Court Chilton — taught me and my firm years ago: “Lone wolves don’t eat — hunt in packs.”
We at Duval & Stachenfeld are pack animals. This means we work together – 100 percent. No, we aren’t as cool as the All Blacks — although I am going to inflict the book on my team and I think this will inspire us to get even better at what we are already good at.
My point and question to you is this: when you get the book and read it — as I am sure you will — you should be asking yourself, are you a member of a pack or a lone wolf, and is your pack like the All Blacks or not?
As someone who spends well over 40 hours a week on marketing — no exaggeration — I couldn’t do diddly without my pack. And neither can you!
If you aren’t part of a great pack, maybe you should seek out one and join a team that is like the All Blacks or striving to be such.