The Japan Rugby World Cup – A Nation’s Inspirational Attitude

5 Minutes

With the world cup final on the horizon, we wanted to take a moment to look to the hosts of ...

By Pareto Team


With the world cup final on the horizon, we wanted to take a moment to look to the hosts of this year for inspiration: Japan.


Konjo, the Japanese word that encompasses the discipline, endurance, sacrifice, strength and loyalty of the samurai warrior and honourable code of conduct that is so important to the nation embodies the attitude we have seen in Japan this year. Both Japan’s team, The Brave Blossoms, and also many of the volunteers at this year’s World Cup have shown their unfailing commitment to these values. Not only have Japan’s rugby team hugely exceeded expectations, being the first nation from Asia to win its group at a World Cup and then going on to make it through to the quarter-finals with their fighting spirit, but the whole country has pulled together to ensure the success of the sport at the World Cup this year in the face of disaster.


After Typhoon Hagibis hit many of the volunteer’s homes were severely damaged or even completely destroyed. As the country was still battling overflowing rivers and searching for those still missing, volunteers turned up to the stadium in Yokohama to carry out their duties the same day.

Alan Gilpin, the tournament director said: “There were people working whose houses were destroyed that day.”

He held that even though we often hear about the Japanese code of conduct, to see the selflessness and composure of those volunteers to smile and help to direct fans after such personal loss was staggering. The Japanese rugby team, after much deliberation from the World Cup committee, continued their game and went on to conduct a ferocious performance against Scotland showing their ability to pull together in the midst of anguish.



What can we learn from Japan’s loyalty and code of conduct?

As we enter into the last quarter of the year we can all take inspiration from the attitude of Japan; especially as business leaders and managers. Facilitating the success of a team is paramount to the overall success of any business. Looking to Japan for both their ruthless fighting spirit alongside the commitment, dedication and loyalty they have shown is a sure way to inspire the success of your sales team in the lead up to the end of the year.


The build-up to Christmas in sales is an obvious opportunity for B2C marketing, but it can also be a very fruitful time for those in B2B sales too - companies are looking to spend surplus money in the budget and seeking out new solutions for business challenges when faced with the figures from the last 12 months. It’s important to consider how you will support your team to avoid the dreaded ‘we will just meet in the New Year’ replies and work hard to get the most out of this year with their clients.


Albert Schweitzer said: “The three most important ways to lead people are: by example…by example…by example”.


So, what does it really mean to lead by example and foster an environment where your team will show total loyalty whilst also being highly motivated to achieve individually?



Give your team a purpose

The sacrifice and loyalty of both the Japanese rugby team and stadium volunteers highlight how strong commitment to work is in Japan. As a business leader, you need to show your own sales team total support and encouragement and instil in each team member how important their work is to the success of the team. When your staff feel valued they will move mountains for you.


Starting with loyalty is the key to building a high performing team. Your team must feel they can identify totally with the vision, values and culture that you want to create. Make time for every person in your team and be prepared to offer some one-on-one support and conversations to make them feel valued.


Show discipline

We all know that as sales professionals we face setbacks and obstacles every single day; thankfully in sales these obstacles are never life or death situations as we saw in Japan. It is essential to lead by example and show your team how to turn up and come back after failure. A huge part of this is training your team how to bounce back. It’s a learning curve and takes a lot of resilience and toughness to master – even for those who have been in the sales industry a long time.


So, investing in on-going training for your team can show them how much you value them. Investing in your training and being disciplined about your own professional development will show them how essential this is to on-going success. Richard Branson said: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”.


Developing your people is where you will make the biggest differences.



Be transparent

Building trust by being transparent about goals and targets will foster a committed and hard-working attitude within your team. 


If you create an environment where your team can make mistakes and still learn from them then they will be much more dedicated to working hard towards the shared vision. Praise their successes and when they do fail show them where they went wrong and teach them how to do better next time. Encourage open discussions to work towards solutions. Building a trusting, hard-working environment is the key to elicit the very best work from your entire team.  


Get in touch with Pareto

If you need support with encouraging your sales team, our Sales Management & Leadership Training course is ideal. We have worked with businesses across over 100 different industries to help turn their sales performance around. Our Accelerate training programmes offers bespoke and tailored solutions to any issues your own team might be facing.


Make a difference to your bottom line in the last stretch of 2019 and prepare to enter into 2020 with a strong, loyal and committed team behind you.

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