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Richie Mo'unga: 8 lessons in 8 minutes

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

If you’re like me, you’ve spent a solid portion of today thinking and talking about the All Blacks v England semi-final tomorrow. And you’ve probably been gobbling up every ounce of rugby content throughout the Rugby World Cup.

And the content has been great! Big shout-out to Spark Sport, All Blacks TV, 1014 show and the Rugby World Cup daily.

Yesterday, watching the 1014 interview with Richie Mo’unga, I was blown away with the lessons anyone can take from it, not just rugby heads.

1) Environment is key

(:58) Gareth wonders how the ABs are able to bring in new players, with little test experience, and enable them to perform at the top of their ability. Richie responds, “It’s just the environment. When you think about great teams, culture is a word that is never far away from a great team.”

Reflect on your work environment. Do you make newcomers feel as included as the ABs do?

2) Common values

(1:13) Whenever you hear All Blacks speaking about the black jersey, there is a common recognition that the jersey transcends ego and self. Richie says “the black jersey lifts you up and energizes you.”

ABs often describe their purpose as “leaving the jersey better than you found it.” How are you making your work better?

3) Preparation, preparation, preparation

(1:50) Richie was asked how he is able to be so confident entering his first RWC. He says “you understand that your preparation really does need to be gold standard.”

Think about the activities you need to nail at work. Are you applying gold standard preparation?

4) Good feedback comes from a good place

(2:35) Richie’s response to how Ronan O’Gara (Crusaders assistant coach) has helped him is very telling. He says “I love…how honest he is, and how brutal he can be, if he needs to be. It’s all to get the best for you as a rugby player and he wants to set you up to succeed.”

Getting feedback is not always easy. But, when you trust the person providing it has good intent, it changes how willing you are to accept the feedback. How do you provide feedback to the people you work with?

5) Learning isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary

(3:48) The All Blacks are innovative. We know this by how they moved Beauden Barrett from #10, whilst he was arguably the best #10 in the world.

To do this successfully, you have to have a learning mindset. Richie is playing in a brand new way, and when questioned about the newness he states, “you gotta be honest, at the start it’s challenging. It’s something that’s foreign and that you’re not used to.”

This is a great reminder to remember that learning anything new is a challenge for everyone. But never let that stop you!

6) Decision making needs time + space

(4:45) Richie states that a major goal in a game is to take time and space away from their opponent. This pressure directly decreases their ability to make a decision.

Reflect on all the big decisions you make in your role. Do you have the adequate time and space to make the best decision or does it look like an army of AB’s are chasing you down?

7) Be solutions focused

(6:10) He’s been asked how he connects with other players on the field. “But I think the things you answer to the most are solutions. You don’t want to hear the problem or what [the opposition] is doing. You want to hear about what you want to do.”

In a rugby game that means telling your teammate to ‘kick left’ rather than saying ‘there’s a whole bunch of [opposition] players on your right.’ How good are you at bringing your teammates solutions, instead of only highlighting the problems?

8) Connect based on mutual trust

(6:10) Richie is our #10, which is a position that is a vital play maker for the team. However, he doesn’t always have the ability to see everything on the field. He believe that his trust in his teammates allows them to thrive in their attack. “If I hear a cross-field kick call, without looking, I just need to be able to execute that because they’ve seen it.”

Many of us are not in the position of making split second decisions that can change the mood of a country. However, many of us have had to make decisions without being able to see the whole picture. How much easier is that decision when you trust the people around you?

Thanks Richie for the great insights. Best of luck tomorrow, boys! Go All Blacks!!


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