Book Summary: Leadership by Eddie Jones
⭐ Toby's Rating: 10/10 - Recommended For: Business Leaders
3 Big Ideas from Eddie Jones Leadership 💡
In this book summary of Leadership by Eddie Jones you will learn:
The old dictator of a coach shouting out a team doesn’t work anymore. Servant leadership brings out the best in a team. Asking more than telling.
Leaders must build a learning environment. The biggest advantage teams can develop is the ability to learn faster and better than the competition.
Mine for conflict. Unresolved conflict blows up in high-pressure moments. Continuously seek out the unexploded grenades in your team and detonate them before match day.
2 Best Quotes from Leadership by Eddie Jones 💬
A leaders job is to help people get as close as possible to achieving their full potential.
We call them ‘soft skills’ but they’re actually bloody hard.
Tobys Top Takeaway ✅
When I started to learn about coaching I pictured this: A sports coach at the sidelines shouting at the players, telling them what to do. This is no surprise given that's how the dictionary defines coaching. I've learned over the years that high-performance coaching is very different.
The old dictator of a coach shouting out a team doesn’t work anymore.
Leadership by Eddie Jones is the book I've been waiting for. A deep dive into Eddie Jones' leadership principles and values. A detailed look at coaching in an elite sporting environment.
Readers unfamiliar with modern sports coaching will be surprised. Learning that for teams to succeed, it's not about telling them what to do. It's about giving increasing amounts of responsibility to the team. For example, England Rugby players decide their Monday schedule, not the coaches.
A superb read for leaders in business. Learn how to create an elite performance environment in your workplace.
My takeaway: The importance of creating a learning environment, where team members can maximise their potential.
Big Ideas Expanded 💡
This book summary expands on the big ideas from Leadership by Eddie Jones.
Win [Overcome Failure]
At every stage:
Mine for conflict
Map where we are in the cycle
Build the right people around you
You don't need to get on with the team lead socially. All that really matters are your professional and performance relationships. Can you work together professionally to improve the performance of the organization?
Great teams have great performance relationships rather than great friendships.
All the research shows that, if teams think through problems themselves, rather than being told, the chances of them then owning and solving the problem will be much higher.
When a problem is identified don't give the team the solution. Ask them to work together and identify solutions. Eddie Jones often gives his players a challenge and asks them to come back in a couple of days with solutions. It's more about asking the players rather than telling them.
The old dictator of a coach shouting out a team doesn’t work anymore. The idea that a coach changes the course of a match at half-time is now a redundant way of thinking. The partnership between the coach and the players is far more important. You’ve got to work together.
Sometimes, you be very clear and direct and tell people what they have to do. But, for the vast majority of the time, you are serving them.
Some players just don’t need to be coached. They only need to be encouraged to keep being their best. (Example: Jonny Wilkinson) Other players need reinforcement and to know you care about them.
Great leaders decrease stress while increasing focus and awareness.
I did. not always push players hard enough to be their best.
A coach’s job is to paint the full picture of the player’s potential and get them to believe it.
It’s never about what they want. It’s what they need to realize their potential.
A leaders job is to help people get as close as they can to fulfilling their full potential.
In every sphere of leadership, you shape the thinking of those who work with you or for you. You want them to believe that the seemingly impossible is possible. You want them to reach for greatness. So you’ve got to be really creative and innovative, and absolutely relentless in looking for an edge.
Every time you see a member of staff, there’s a chance to have either a positive or negative effect on them.
It’s so important to work really hard on observational skills. Leaders must walk the shop floor. To understand the atmosphere of your workplace. The best leaders are always gauging the mood and canvassing people in their organization. Your eyes and your gut give you more information than anything else.’
Creating a Learning Environment
If I was running a business, the first person I would employ would be a learning expert. The pressing question is always: ‘How can I create the best learning environment?’
England Rugby team meetings usually won’t last longer than 15 minutes. They are limited to three points. Teams break out into small groups for discussion and use a mixture of video, movement and infographics to make it more stimulating.
The only reliable advantage in life, business or sport, is to learn faster than the opposition.
Let the team own their development.
When the England Rugby squad comes in on a Monday, they split up into four groups. Each has a leader. They also have an overall leader of the leaders. It doesn’t have to be the captain (Owen Farell). It’s good to mix it up and have other players take charge. The players now organize their Monday mornings. They decide what kind of meeting each group needs and what work would benefit them the most. It’s totally down to them if they do skill work, or organize something with the strength-and-conditioning coaches. They run the timetable. So they take ownership from the start of the week, by controlling their Monday mornings, as they get ready to prepare for the next game.
Eddie Jones shares that Denarius Frazier has inspired his teaching approach. Denarius is a Math teacher that uses engaging approaches to learning. The perfect example of Sharon Bowman Training from Back of the Room.
Here is Denarius Frazier in action:
Eddie Jones builds curiosity in his player. Curiosity opens up opportunities to learn.
As the game becomes more chaotic, the idea of ‘perfection’ is the ability to adapt. It's not about doing everything perfectly but responding to change well.
We call them ‘soft skills’ but they’re actually bloody hard.
Self-knowledge is always a cornerstone of leadership. The ability to confront your strengths and weaknesses, to know deep down what works for you and what you need to do to keep improving, and to understand the ways you influence your employees, is important every day you are in charge.
The first and most important thing you need to do is coach yourself.
We do not want to carry grenades in the back of the truck.
Grenades are unresolved conflicts within the team. If not resolved, this can detonate in high-pressure moments. England Rugby ran grenade detonation sessions with a specialist coach, Corinne Reid, ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019.
A tough conversation about professional performance in elite environments, needn’t affect your relationship going forward.
A healthy elite environment is dependent on clear honesty and robust conversations.
Conflict can only be healthy if it is constructive and searching. Being deliberately argumentative or always prickly is obviously not going to help anyone.
When the pressure is really on, composure is needed more than conflict. But, away from the heat of battle, and when strategies are being planned and systems organized, a healthy dose of conflict can make everyone much sharper and more focused in their thinking.
Develop Shared Values
Values of England Rugby Team:
Bring it on – having the courage to take anything on
Togetherness – that sense of cohesion and unity is self-explanatory
Clear thinking – which underlined the importance of clarity
The players came up with those three values. With shared values, it is easier to reward and challenge behaviour.
Finding the Access Points to Emotional Connection
Have crucial conversations with team members that they will remember. Something that makes them feel really good or something that sparks an uncomfortable feeling. These conversations can inspire people to see how they can improve.
Under- pressure, three characters emerge in a team:
Stay strong. We need to make a few changes but we’re on the right track. The good results will come and we will get out of trouble.
Uncertainty. They are not sure why it’s going wrong and whether or not it will come right again. They don’t really know what to do or what will happen. They’re looking to be led.
Blame. These are people who are looking to blame someone else. It’s the fault of the head coach or the captain. It’s the fault of his lazy teammates or the barracking fans or the hysterical media. This kind of person is always looking for an excuse or a way out.
Eddie Jones Leadership Cycle
Stage 1 - Vision
1. Setting the Vision [STRATEGY]
Always start with the end in mind
Set the principles
Establish the values
Understand the climate
Know the environment
2. Character over Cover Drive [PEOPLE]
Put the right people around you
Identify the quick wins and the big changes required
Plan the transformation
3. Clarity Is the New Clever [OPERATION]
Provide the clarity – the code of operation, the expectations of delivery
Translate the vision into achievable goals
4. The Glue of Knowledge [MANAGEMENT]
Understand the groups, understand the individuals
Understand the gaps – in capability, values and belief
Align the vision to individual journeys
Stage 2 - Build
5. Growth Mondays [STRATEGY]
Provide the context – join the vision to the transformation
Support change with clarity of direction
Set the horizon – make the end game real
6. Disciplined Thinking and Emotional Journeys [PEOPLE]
Align the resources to the changes required
Deliver the quick wins Deliver the fundamental changes – both upfront and overtime
7. Conflict Is Healthy [OPERATION]
Plan and execute
Highlight the goals – what will success look like?
Apply the hard graft
8. Finding the Access Point [MANAGEMENT]
Build the individuals towards achieving their goals
Stage 3 - Experiment
9. Review Constantly [STRATEGY]
Review the vision versus progress
Take the key course-correcting decisions
Make the revisions
Re-engage with the evolved strategy
10. 3% Reminder [PEOPLE]
Assess transformation delivery versus goals in value terms
Embed the changes made
11. Other Voices [OPERATION]
Review and improve
Move at pace
12. A Close Examination [MANAGEMENT]
Study the working parts – the individuals, the processes, the organization
Stage 4 - Win [Overcome Failure]
13. The Science of Learning [STRATEGY]
Review the current and future environment and the climate
Maintain a clear line of sight between strategy and delivery
14. Red Teaming Transformation [PEOPLE]
Plan the next tranche of transformation – to refresh or rebuild
15. A Clean Sweep [OPERATION]
Review performance and identify trends
Target continuous improvement
16. Chemistry and Diversity [MANAGEMENT]
Tackle the marginal improvements
Realize all opportunities
Address all tactical issues
Drive out minor imperfections
Stage 5 - Rebuild
17. The Cycle Continues
Decide your scale of change. Refresh or rebuild?
Rebuild (if required)
Deliver fundamental changes
Rebuild–Experiment–Win[Overcome Failure] again at a tactical level
Focus Resolve the areas that are sub-optimal