Rugby World Cup: The Final

October 30, 2023

And so it ended, under wet skies in Paris, South Africa retained their title and gained a new one: “The One Point Winners”. We watched it in a sports bar, a different one from the Irish pub we went to see the third place play off.

As expected, it was a tense game, which at one point saw both captains off the field with yellow cards, one of which was upgraded to a red. I was pleased that South Africa won, for no more reason than I think they have been the better team across more matches in the tournament, but also because I feel they were doing it for their country at a time when it is much needed and maybe that is what made the difference to their performance on the night.

At my first job after leaving University, there were many stories of the various milestones that the company had achieved since its formation. Perhaps the most significant was about how a small group of half a dozen people had been responsible for putting together a design and specification bid which eventually won a $180 million contract from the US Navy to build a high altitude surveillance airship.

Similarly, the RWC 2023 will also be remembered for not only the intensity of some of the matches but the moments when minnows overcame the odds to beat more experienced teams. An example for us SME owners that great things can be achieved with the right mindset and when the right individuals are brought together to form the team.

While in Paris, one of my friends was telling us about how part of his degree requires him to work on a project with 3 other people, 2 of whom are less capable. I could sense his frustration of firstly knowing he would be “carrying” the weaker people in order to complete the assignment, but also his uncertainty as to how their failings could impact his score and thereby potentially impact his final grade.

How have you been affected by being forced to work alongside people who were not pulling their weight?

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