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At the end of 2019, Team X2 were lucky enough to see two of England rugby’s best-known sports figures as they undertook tours for their new books across the UK.

Both Eddie Jones and Sir Clive Woodward produced some excellent insight into the world of leadership, teamwork and management through the prism of sport, and many of the points raised are very transferable into the world of business.

It’s safe to say that the advice that these outstanding England coaches gave is something the current England team in their current Six Nations campaign could do with listening to after their defeat to France in their first Six Nations fixture.

We saw Eddie Jones in Bath talking about his new book My Life and Rugby, which The Sunday Times called “brilliant, honest and combative”.

In his book he takes the reader through his career from the beginning including England’s incredible 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign. There were a number of quotes and comments that really stood out that evening.

Some of our highlights were:

  • Any great team has a shared sense of identity and purpose
  • Great teams have to be organised and do the basics brilliantly – but also have to be adaptable
  • Accept responsibilities for your mistakes – it makes it easier to move on, and be even more successful

We were then lucky enough to see Sir Clive Woodward speak about his new book How to Win: Rugby and Leadership from Twickenham to Tokyo.

  • Learning to manage people successfully is the great skill I’ve learned
  • Make people feel that you believe in them
  • Managing upwards is an art form
  • Great teams are made up of great individuals constantly seeking to make the very best of themselves
  • The highest performers work 95% IN the business and 5% ON the business every week

Clive gave us a further insight into the importance of people management and managing a team effectively. People are the key to running a successful company and if you have your team/employees behind you then anything is possible – as England winning the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and reaching the final in 2019 is testament.

These achievements would not have been possible without effective leadership from both coaches and Clive having his team trusting him in 2003 and Eddie having his team behind him in 2019.

These principles set out in both talks certainly apply to anyone looking to startup and grow their own business and we highly recommend reading Eddies and Clive’s books to anyone on that journey.