Never leave the game early

Never leave the game early

“Never Leave the Game Early” is a powerful phrase widely used by Sir Ian McGeechan, the British & Irish Lions Head Coach in 2009, who led England to victory that year.  He has some great motivational principles which undoubtedly contributed to an England rugby victory some 6 years ago.

And, of course, it’s the Rugby World Cup again! It’s also coming to the close of another quarter, with Q4 upon many sales people.

Going into Q4 can be a real ‘make or break’ for many sales people - a chance to start biting into those generous commission plans for overachievement, or a chance to save your outstanding history of 100%+ year-on-year!  … Or maybe it’s crunch time and time to save your job with a killer quarter!

I wanted to discuss the winning mentality by Japan during the opening weekend of the World Cup, who gave us one of the most entertaining international rugby games we’ve seen in a long time.  Indeed Japan displayed a lot of qualities which sales people need to be demonstrating in Q4/ end of year, regardless of what position [against target] they’re in. 

Japan became the 4th side in history to beat South Africa in the World Cup.

Japan came into the game against South Africa as the underdog, as you might expect.  Throughout the game they managed to hold their own, against everyone’s expectations, and by the 80th minute, they were behind by just 3 points, at 32-29.  In rugby, the game ends at the 80th minute when the ball goes out of play. Japan was awarded a penalty.  Whatever happens after this play, the game is going to be over.  So Japan had 2 options, which were:

  1. Go for a penalty kick – 3 points – tie the game
  2. Opt for a scrum, win the ball and push forward for a try – 5 points - win the game

Japan opted for the scrum, knowing if they lost control of the ball, South Africa would kick the ball out, end play and they’d lose.  Japan scored what will probably go down as the most memorable try in history.  They portrayed a couple of the attributes here that Ian McGeechan had asked of his team in 2009 and led them to victory. Namely:

  • Good enough isn't
  • Never leave the game early (start quick, finish strong)

They finished strong for sure.  Never leave the game early?! They were there at 100% to the very end, and then some.

Good enough isn’t.  Japan could have settled for a draw against one of the biggest rugby nations, but that wasn’t good enough.  Pushing for the win was truly inspirational. 

In terms of us sales heads, in the last quarter you have to ask yourself are you leaving the game early?  Are you settled and happy with your 100%/105% achievement?  Is that good enough? 

Here’s a list of Ian McGeechan’s messages to the team that year in England’s 2009 victory.

  • Up the tempo
  • World class basics
  • Pride in the badge
  • Ruthless simplicity
  • Critical non-essentials
  • Everything beats deadline
  • Good enough isn't
  • Never leave the game early (start quick, finish strong)

Are you prepared to just do the bare minimum to get by, or are you sales person who’s going to push on, right to the end of the year to exceed your target by a landslide? 

Here at Finlay James we increase sales candidates’ P60 earnings on average by 15.2% a year; we can do this because we deal with the overachievers who deserve these pay rises.  These are the kinds of mentalities we look for in both our staff and the candidates we work with!  

自業自得 (Jigou Jitoku) is a Japanese Proverb which means “One's act, one's profit/advantage.” In other words, you reap what you sow.