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How work is like rugby

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

On the rugby field, your physical safety depends on your teammates. In that sense, every member of a team has value and could be the one to save your hide.

That’s a lesson learned by Andrew Cosslett, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, over the 25 years he played the game.

“In rugby, you really do rely for your physical safety on people ... protecting you when you’re on the ground. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your degrees are, how much money you have. On the rugby field, you are absolutely equal,” he says.

“That taught me so much about the value of everyone on a team.”

He learned a similar lesson during his career by observing leaders he admired, who had an “ordinariness” and an ability to connect with people at all levels of an organization, inspiring devotion from the team.

The lesson: Think of the workplace as rugby, where each person has value.

— Adapted from “Leadership on the Rugby Field,” The Wall Street Journal.

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