I came down with something nasty the other week. I lost my voice and spent the day watching documentaries, including a programme about the 2003 England Rugby Team. As a big rugby fan, I remember exactly where I was when that superb England team won both the Grand Slam and the World Cup.
What was so inspiring about that side was their utmost respect for each other and their universal commitment to one goal: to be the best in the world. Considering where England had come from – suffering disappointment at the hands of South Africa in the 1999 World Cup – it is incredible that the team achieved world domination within four years.
The measure of any team, whether in sport or accountancy, is how it deals not with wins but with losses. This England team clearly made a firm decision to learn from their mistakes, get the right people in the room, instil discipline and inspire. To achieve greatness, every single member of the team must be fully committed to the goal, whether they are the captain or a squad member sitting on the bench.
Accountancy is changing rapidly. Now is the time for practices to learn from teams like the 2003 England side. Grasp the opportunity with both hands and run with it.
"It was a massive final, it went into extra time, two massive teams going at it. England delivered under pressure and when it counted, but I couldn't be more proud of my guys. We gutsed it out, we fought back. The support from the Australia fans and the English fans, for all us players this has been the highlight of our careers. "We just came up a little short. Jonny Wilkinson is outstanding under pressure and he knocked one over when it counted."