The Value of a Values Driven Culture

culture team values Apr 27, 2019

This week we witnessed one of the more exceptional demonstrations of team values by a sporting team.

“The Samurai Blue let slip a two-goal lead as Belgium scored three second-half goals to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup. It was the third time Japan has failed to make the last eight in the World Cup. The disappointment was obvious, with some of the players falling on their knees in despair after the final whistle, while others were reduced to tears .”

After the team had stayed back to thank their disappointed but loyal fans, the playing group and cohort then cleaned up their locker room and left a ‘Thank you’ note in the rooms scribed in Russian.

View image on Twitter @tancredipalmeri


Cleaning the locker room suggests, even though the team are highly paid professional athletes, irrespective of whether they win, lose or draw, despite the occasion, they are not above doing the small things, rather than leaving the responsibility of those small things to others. For many years now the mighty New Zealand All Blacks have displayed a similar post game ritual that grounds the team with responsibility and anchors humility.

Hearing the clearly distressed coach Akira Nishino attempt to speak through the raw emotion in the post match press conference, it was clear to me why his team behaves in this unusual manner.

Following the loss Nishino went on to say, “I was questioning myself, whether I had the control of the game. We were 2-0 up and still the score was reversed. I don’t think it was the players to be blamed, it was me who might have lost control of the game. And when that goal was conceded I blamed myself, and I questioned my tactics.”

Exceptional teams all share high standards and they demonstrate steadfast values and trademark behaviours, we call this a ‘‘champion culture.’’ This unique type of culture is always driven from the top by special leaders like Nishino who not only empower their team with belief and a deep sense of belonging, but also teach them values they can apply in life long after the crowds and cheering have gone.

Even from a far we can see the Japanese team’s values shining through — Respect, Humility and Accountability, just some of the elements within this Values-Driven culture.

Thank you to Noshino and his gallant team for reminding us all how important champion values are on the pitch and how even more powerful they can be off it. #team #culture #values


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