Today’s post was written by my Comms manager and the other half of The Leader’s Digest, Amy Cunningham. Amy is a blogging and social media pro – if you need help establishing a personal or business blog, or want to build your social media presence, she’s your girl! 

It’s been an exciting week for executive coaches and leadership development specialists in New Zealand.

As the nation welcomes our Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks squad back onto home soil, leadership experts and writers around the country have been excavating, polishing and sharing the leadership jewels behind this extraordinary sports team.

When it comes to the All Blacks, the leadership mine is literally overflowing with sparkling gems. As the story behind this epic team continues to unravel, we have become like miners who have ‘hit the jackpot’, discovering piece upon piece of rare leadership goodness.

Earlier this week, prominent psychologist and executive coach, Jasbinder Singh, shared a veritable feast for managers, in her blog entitled “12 leadership lessons from the world-class All Blacks.”

Martin Fenwick from Auckland-based Leadership Development and Executive Coaching firm, Altris, also referred to the All Blacks’ epic win in his blog exploring the truth about winning. 

I have been working with the brains behind the The Leader’s Digest blog, Suzi McAlpine, for over three years now. Earlier this year, we made the decision to join forces, collaborate (excuse the pun) and deliver collaborative leadership workshops to organisations in New Zealand.

By utilising our unique areas of expertise (myself as a PR/comms professional and Suzi as an executive coach & leadership development specialist) we have been helping managers learn practical tools to become more collaborative in their leadership roles.

Which brings me to my point.

There has been no better example of collaborative leadership in action than the All Blacks of 2015.

Coach Steve Hansen ditched the traditional command and control approach – the method preferred by previous ABs coaches – and instead embraced a more synergistic model, which was not only reflected by the management structure but the coach-player relationships as well.

Players were expected to be responsible for every aspect of their own careers – self-reliant and driven to achieve their full potential as both team members and individuals.

Management decisions were made equally by Hansen, Ian Foster, manager Darren Shand and mental skills specialist Gilbert Enoka.

In a recent article Hansen said – “We have a sweet spot that runs the team…between those four people – myself, Shandy, Gilbert and Fozzy – we make all the decisions. Fozzy heads up the coaching. Shandy looks after the logistics and Gilbert the wellbeing. I sit as a helicopter over the top. It’s a model that’s worked well for us.”


To the All Blacks, thank you. Thanks for achieving this remarkable feat. Thanks for role modelling the traits of real leadership. Thanks for reminding us of what collaborative leadership looks like. And thanks for showing us what can be achieved with an ego-free, collaborative mindset.

Want to increase collaborative leadership in your organisation? Click here to find out more about our Collaborative Leadership in Action Workshops.