6 July 2016
Tonight’s the night. It’s the Euro2016 semi-final clash between Wales and Portugal.
Much has been said about the Wales team since our win on Friday, mostly about the value of teamwork. It does beg the question: is teamwork really more important than individual talent?
In the weeks or months leading up to the Euros, the Welsh team was often viewed as a two-man team: Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey. But, whilst they are very good at what they do and their talent will have no doubt brought an extra layer of passion and belief to the overall unit, this is clearly a team that has been created around everyone being equal, with superstars playing all over the pitch.
It’s not a new concept: teams that work well together are more likely to do well in any competition. A common goal is much harder to achieve when individuals don’t feel valued, or when some players are lifted above others.
Tonight, I’m hoping to see a repeat of the fantastic collective effort that secured Wales’s victory over Belgium last week.
Belgium’s squad was the most expensively assembled side taking part in the Euros, with clubs all over the world paying a total of £318.9 million for players such as Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku. However, in the end, this didn’t help the Red Devils to pass the Welsh Dragons!
Portugal has a similar problem. Although Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably one of the best players in the world, the team has so far struggled to work together to make the most of their existing talent. They have yet to win a game within its usual 90 minutes timeframe in this competition!
This is an important lesson for building teams, both in sport and – in my opinion – business: a superstar team will always beat a team of superstars.
It’s particularly crucial when going through a period of growth and increasing recruitment. We get many applications from people who – on paper – might be perfect for a job in our offices, but who I know wouldn’t fit the existing company culture.
Recruitment is a big part of our business. To ensure that everyone joining us will cultivate our culture, we hold assessment days and psychometric tests as part of the recruitment process. People don’t always understand why we don’t simply go for those candidates with the best CV, but our culture is something I’m extremely proud of. It is what makes us so good at what we do.
I truly believe that, although a certain level of knowledge and talent is necessary to join any team, skills can be taught and honed. Culture is what makes the difference.
How do you foster teamwork?