What Lions Rugby can tell you about your Company and Management

Management/Leadership is something that a lot of companies seem to take the “set it and forget it” approach with. But times are always changing. Your business is changing, your clients are changing, and the way you communicate with one another is changing too. With that in mind, it only makes sense that your managers should change and evolve too.

Let’s look at management first and The Lions as an example:

Having an outdated management structure is dangerous because:

  • Makes your company seem out of touch with the times – Lions rugby was created in an amateur era. Today’s rugby and professionalism make it look like a different game.
  • Creates the image that you don’t really care- Little has changed much with lions branding, set up and culture. Die hard fans aside. Where is the growth?
  • Causes a disconnect between your employee’s perception of your company and the company you’re trying to create -Several home nations and Ireland feel somewhat marginalised dependant on what coach is in place. Scotland, for example, has two players in the squad. Can’t see many Scottish people cheering loudly.
  • Has management created a Cult of The Personality? Is one person nearly perceived as more powerful than the organisation-  Warren Gatland has been involved In Lions rugby for many years now. Take one look at social media and you can see he is a bit of a Marmite. You either love him or you hate him. If you love him your probably welsh.


A litany of famous stories of drinking and debauchery can be found online of what the Lions team got up to on tour. And up to recent tours, players could be found smoking and drinking in changing rooms.

When the game turned professional, the Lions were slow to embrace the change in culture from amateur to professionalism. Management it seems were slow to discuss, debate or evolve. The whole concept and brand are slowly dying but the pace has been picking up dramatically from the last tour as the game evolves quicker. they are playing constant catch up with all the global unions.

Scheduling conflicts, bigger playing seasons and the increasing attritional rate in rugby means that this will be the last of the big tours dating back 1880’s.

So what will happen in the future? Will Lions rugby survive?  The fact I am asking these questions shows that management has not articulated a plan for the future nor are they sure they will survive.  The times they are a changing. Do your management/company notice and adapting accordingly. It seems Lions Rugby is just about to flatline.



Email: eolaighin@gmail.com




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