We don’t look to win matches. We look towards performing at a really high level. Winning is just a consequence of our reaching that level.
Brendan Venter, director of rugby at Saracens
I find this both powerful and challenging, don’t you? In an excellent article in The Guardian this week, Donald McRae interviewed Venter about this highly unusual sporting philosophy.
While so much of our culture focusses on success regardless of the cost to other areas of life, Venter firmly believes that success (as a sportsman, as a doctor or in any other area of life) only comes when your whole life is in balance. It’s about character, he believes. He strives to help his team members become better people, because that is a worthy end in itself, but it’s no accident that in the process it produces better rugby players.
The key is that of focus. Venter doesn’t want his men to focus on scoring points or winning games, he wants them to concentrate on playing well.
Are you focussing on getting that promotion, achieving recognition or winning some other prize? Or are you focussing on doing your work, honing your skills and conducting your relationships to the very best of your ability?
What is your goal? To win, or to be the best?