Ask most people about the benefits we enjoy from participating in sport and there’s likely to be a certain consistency to their response.
Aside from obvious plusses such as better physical and mental health, many folks would identify the deeper, more practical lessons we learn from participating in sport as being equally important.
Sport teaches us to be disciplined, to work hard and, if we want something badly enough, to be prepared to sacrifice something else, usually our time, as we train harder to achieve our goals. We learn to ‘go the extra mile’.
Team sport in particular is a fantastic model in which we learn and understand the basics of co-operation. As anyone who has watched Leicester City this season as they’ve powered their way to the top of the Premier League table would acknowledge, if everyone does their job properly, the team is invariably successful.
Interestingly, the Foxes have the unconditional support of every neutral football fan in the land. Is this because we recognise that by working together as part of a group with a common goal, things can be accomplished that would otherwise be beyond the individual?
Let’s not get too heavy – that sounds like a particularly awkward A-level philosophy question – and turn instead to the application of teamwork.
Step forward Jon Pritchard.
It will come as no surprise to learn that a former professional sportsman-turned-successful-businessman should want to transfer the team ethos from the playing field towards his rapidly-expanding business.
Former Bristol Rugby star Jon, now managing director of one of the UK’s leading loft conversion companies, is the first to acknowledge that not only did his years playing rugby teach him a lot, but that much of what he learnt was transferable to a commercial environment.
“We had the team ethic drummed into us when I played rugby,” reflects Jon. “We were taught to work as a team and were constantly reminded that because no-one individual is bigger or more important than the team, we can all work together for the greater good.
“It struck me that this is precisely the same attitude required to build a successful business. If everyone is doing their job properly, the team, this time a commercial one, can achieve its goals.”
By chance, Jon met up with a former rugby team-mate, Rob Thirlby, who happened to be working in the sports industry as a manager for sportswear company Samurai Sports.
The two had known each other for years and, as the conversation progressed, it inevitably touched upon the team ethic, one in which both men strongly believed.
Before long, Rob had hatched an idea to have every member of Jon’s loft conversion team kitted out in the same gear.
“It emphasises the sense of belonging to a team,” says Jon. “We have our corporate logo on the shirts and hoodies and other items of clothing. It looks good. It’s smart and sporty and from the feedback we’ve had, clients tell us that it gives them confidence in our approach.
“They’re not just getting someone turning up in a dirty old t-shirt looking slightly dishevelled. Whenever you get a Jon Pritchard loft conversion, you get a complete team looking after your project.”
Rob agrees. “Jon was always a pivotal team player when we played rugby, so it made sense for us to get our heads together and create the ‘Jon Pritchard team’ look.
“The smart, sporty appearance emphasises the company’s commitment to the team ethic and shows clients that when they commission Jon Pritchard Limited to convert their loft, they’re guaranteed a professional job, completed by a professional team.”
© Jon Pritchard Ltd 2016