It's been over 12 months since I resigned from my dream job at the Wigan Warriors. As a Wigan lad, born and bred, it was an absolute pleasure to have served as coach and to have led them to many prestigious trophies. It has taken quite a lot of adjustment, to transition from such a high pressured and intense job. But what I have found incredibly enjoyable, are my speaking engagements - speaking to different businesses from all industries and sizes.
When you are a head coach of a sports club like Wigan Warriors, it is easy to get wrapped up inside a bubble. I made a conscious effort to create relationships with other clubs and businesses, as there is a lot to learn from each other. But there isn't much time available to spend with people outside of that bubble - every minute of every day is spent on making sure you win every game.
Now that I have had more time and freedom to speak to different organisations and business leaders through my speaking engagements, I have been surprised at how many organisations don’t seem to get the basics right.
You need to create a strong culture that everyone buys into. This culture will trickle through to your customers (whether that be a customer buying a product or a sports fan watching a game) so it needs to be reflective of what you want to achieve and what your customers want to see.
In addition, you need to set standards that are non-negotiable. There are certain things that you will need to do in order to meet your goals - don't let them slip. If you let them slip in day to day activities, they are bound to slip at the most important times.
You also need to communicate them clearly to everyone within the organisation so that they know what is expected of them. A lot of business leaders know what they want and expect but if you asked every employee, you would probably get different answers. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
Do not compromise on the culture, standards and communication - continually hold those standards sacred. Getting these solid foundations in place will give you the best chance at succeeding.