In a recent post on All-Black culture, I discussed some of the value systems that have been put in place. The All-Black culture puts the needs of the team above that of all individuals. The challenge is for each individual to leave the jersey in a better place than they found it – to add value to it.
Upon their return from a bad beating by South Africa in 2004 at a time when they struggled to fulfill their potential, the team management along with performance psychologist Gilbert Enoka, captain Tana Umaga and vice-captain Richie McCaw went about changing the pervading culture over a 3 day conclave - the result being a transference of positive leadership from the coaches to the players.
Sharon was recently overlooked for promotion in her job after 20 years service. During that time she had taken on numerous extra responsibilities, from voluntary to leadership roles, in a company that is widely regarded among its staff, to be a toxic work environment. When a new employee with limited experience joined the company and was offered promotion after a very short spell, there was a strong sense of revolt among the staff. While the new employee was very nice and obliging, the sense of injustice among the staff towards Sharon was palpable. The new employee had been promoted after developing a strong personal relationship with one of the VPs and had other links within the company. For Sharon, this was the last straw and she felt she had to resign. It was hard for her to leave the company she had shown such loyalty to, but the minute she left, she felt a huge weight lifted off her shoulders. The company recruitment process was rotten from top to bottom.
Everybody has anxiety! We just all experience different levels of it with some people more pre-disposed to it than others. It is a topic we hear a lot about recently - a mental health issue that often went undisclosed and unspoken of in times of yore.
Typically, anxiety can be categorised into 2 levels;
1. Trait Anxiety
2. State anxiety
We all have a natural level of anxiety. We call this our trait anxiety or the level of anxiety that we are normally predisposed to. This can vary between individuals with highly anxious individuals experiencing a high level trait anxiety.
At the football World Cup 2018 in Russia, the president of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović flew to Russia economy class. She took a regular seat with her fans in the stadium at all of the matches bar the semi-final with England where she was busy at a NATO conference. At the final, she is spotted in the crowd with her people and invited to the VIP section. She is told she can't wear her jersey or nation's colours in this section. She wears them anyway - supporting her team all the way!
After the narrow loss, she is invited to the presentation podium with national leaders of both Russia and France. While other leaders stand under umbrellas, she greets her team and the opposition with pride in the spilling rain getting drowned wet! She embraces each player at the end, both winners and runners alike like long lost sons! Social media takes it viral! The people of Croatia are ultra proud!
Performance psychologist - accredited with Irish Institute of Sport