Will you break the gain line this week?

The Six Nations Rugby Championship ended in Europe this weekend past.  Natural order was restored with Wales beating England to win the Championship—again. 

This is the second year in a row where Wales have been winners. It is always good for smaller adjacent nations to be superior to their larger neighbours in at least one aspect of physical, culture or economic endeavour. It provides balance in their mutual dependency, and diminishes the need to display ‘small-man’ aggression.

But I want to focus on a key statistic from the match on Saturday; success in crossing the gain line.

I have written previously about the obsession by rugby coaches and media pundits on ‘possession of ball’ or ‘territory’ statistics. 

This is akin to the market share obsession by some marketing managers and CEO’s. High market share is useful but not sufficient (or even necessary) for commercial triumph.

What you do with what you have is all that counts.

In rugby, like American Football, forward motion is everything.  But probing a path forward brings with it exposure. You may lose the ball in contact; you may lose some market share or face some customer rejection but they are necessary dangers to which we have to expose ourselves.

What’s true for a sports team and corporation is also relevant to their respective leaders. You can’t progress by trying to keep (your) possession(s).

In the week ahead, what are you going to do to break your gain line?


"An army that stays in its fortification will always lose."