Two prevailing factors can make or break a team on their journey to victory and sustaining high performance, according to former top tier football players.

At the 2019 PageGroup Rugby Elite Breakfast event, in partnership with the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA), former Australian rugby union player Warwick Waugh, now Director of Girvan Waugh, shared what he considered to be the most important aspect of a team whether on a field or in an office.

“To me, the cornerstone of a successful team or business is camaraderie – you see it physically, you see it emotionally and you see it socially,” Waugh revealed.

“It’s the same feeling you get in your business and what you feel on the footy field.

“And this comes down to good management, which basically means good team work with strong leadership.”

Retired player Jim Stewart, who represented the NSW Waratahs in the Super Rugby competition, is now Investment Advisor Assistant at Crestone Wealth Management.

But before finding his current role, he tried a range of jobs from being a lifeguard, a personal trainer and even installing carpet at one stage.

“Looking back now, when I compare playing sport in a team to the corporate business world, whenever the team would perform at their best, it came down to being in a group where the connection with one another was really strong and everyone was getting along,” Stewart said.

“There was a noticeable bond.

“Back when I was playing rugby if you didn’t really know each other as a team it was actually difficult to communicate in games.”

Stewart said he continues to observe this in the business world.

“There are businesses who have teams or groups that don’t have that connection, and it’s always quite noticeable. And so people ended up leaving or they aren’t executing on their work,” he shared.

“So the biggest takeaway for me was the importance of having that connection within your group in order to perform at your best.”

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Pete Fairbairn, Communications and Commercial Manager at RUPA said on a day-to-day basis, rugby players demonstrate resilience, camaraderie, and take on a lot of constructive feedback to then be able to perform the following week.

“But how do you apply these traits in a business environment?” he said.

Waugh believes there is a wealth of skills that professional sportspeople can utilise in the corporate business environment right away.

“For starters, there’s the commitment and passion to your employer,” he said.

“We also have an incredible portfolio of skills that will apply beautifully into the corporate world, and when boosted with networking and public speaking skills, they make fantastic candidates who will have a presence in your industries.

“But the value that businesses in the corporate world can get out of rugby players and professional sportspeople is undersold both from the players’ perspective and the corporates perspective, in terms of the innate value that we can offer.”

The 2019 PageGroup Rugby Elite Breakfast event also included guest speakers Alex Newsome, Beau Robinson, James Holbeck and Chris Whitaker.

Commenting on the insights shared by the panel, Matthew Gribble, Regional Managing Director of PageGroup Australia and New Zealand said the message is the same for everybody.

“Great organisations are a product of strong teams, and strong teams are made up of great team members and visionary leaders who collectively choose to succeed,” Gribble noted.

“We are delighted to have partnered with RUPA for our annual Rugby Elite Breakfast, which is chance for our clients and candidates to learn more about high performance in the sporting world and the parallels this has with the corporate world.

“As an organisation that is in the business of bringing great team members and leaders into organisations, it is a perfect fit with our PageGroup purpose of changing lives”.

RELATED: Sustaining peak team performance: Top tips from former Aussie cricketers

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