Why team selection is only the beginning and how you’re more like a scrum half than you think…

In terms of sport and business, it’s impossible to avoid the fact that it’s all about the team.

Sometimes the team is visible as part of the game on the pitch or in the boardroom. Sometimes it’s invisible, like the physios, trainers and backroom staff making it all possible. Everyone has their individual strengths, expertise and areas of in-depth understanding.

As any fan knows, choosing the right team is crucial to success. Getting the right personnel together at the right time is important; sometimes a timely substitution can turn a game around – something to think about with the final tax deadline looming on 31st January 2018.

Every player knows training hard and playing well enough to be selected is only the beginning of the challenge.

Working together and allowing everyone to fulfil their potential is the next stage, and this holds true with business relationships, too. Selecting the right accountancy team is extremely important, but it’s only the beginning of the process.

How can we work together? How can we be successful together? What are the crucial ingredients in a team? It’s one of those things you could talk about forever, but here’s my view:

  1. Trust
  2. Communication
  3. Awareness


  1. Trust

For this blog post I’m going to focus on trust as it’s crucial in any successful team. Without it, communication and awareness are nothing. It is true that real trust can only develop over time, but tax deadlines and match dates mean that sometimes you must choose the best players and commit. I think Henry Ford summed it up best:


Coming together is a beginning

Keeping together is progress

Working together is success


On the rugby pitch, players usually follow the lead of the scrum or fly half; they trust their reading of the play and listen to their call. The longer they work together the easier it gets. It ceases to be a conscious process and is an instinctive reaction based on experience.

When we start working together as a new team, business or partnership, we are picked on merit and have to make a move from skilled individuals to a member of a multi-skilled team.

If you have been working on your own, perhaps starting your own business, then until now you have not needed to rely on the expertise of anyone else. You have played all of the positions on the field. Handing over any responsibility for any aspect of your business is a big deal, and requires not only careful selection but a commitment to trusting the team.

It might be helpful to imagine you are a scrum half – a player with many different skills, excellent understanding of the game, a decision-maker – in order to play as part of a successful team you have to trust the props will provide the strength and support. Over time, you come to know they will, and the team works effortlessly.

This is the ideal business relationship too, and the one I aim to provide whether you use Square 1 Accounting as a match-winning addition to this year’s tax return team or as a founder member of your new venture. By trusting us to play our speciality position, you can improve your own performance and win at the game of business.

Next month: Communication