Building sustainable performance excellence: ideas from Eddie Jones

Below are components of building a championship team, grounded in the values of pride, respect and courage. Important it to live those values not just speak to them.


  • The ability to get the best out of the people around you
  • Ability to provide a strong cohesive vision that gives the staff direction to follow
  • Need to understand cultural differences

The skills of leadership

  • Observation skills – Important as a head coach/manager to step back and see the big picture. Not necessary to be involved in every drill.
  • Ability to learn and adapt quickly
  • Ability to plan and implement the plan all the while recognizing that no plan is perfect hence the necessity of staying flexible
  • High work ethic
  • Passion for details


  • Staff – Get the right staff. No yes-men. Must have difference opinions to create a strong staff.
  • Players – Looking for consistency. Good today, not yesterday!
  • Creating the right environment – Values = Behaviors
  • Know when to let staff go – When to cut the cord. He emphasized this is not easy but sometime necessary.

Knowing your strength

  • Know your key competitive edge and work constantly to improve it.
  • Know where the gaps are – do thorough and ongoing gap analysis of where are you versus where you need to be and act on closing those gaps immediately.
  • Know your opposition – Understand their psyche
  • Plan and prioritize base on your strength. Work on what you are good at. The strength will pull up the weaknesses.

Develop a culture of discipline

  • Rules – Very few, very clear and easy to be accountable for
  • Meetings – No longer than 15 minutes
  • Communication – Clear and concise
  • Evaluation – Clear criteria, no shades of grey
  • Selection – not easy but you do not always select best players but select the best team.

Create a learning environment

  • Learn from other sports – Look far afield
  • Learn from other coaches
  • Television – Watch interviews with coaches post match
  • Internet – this is obvious
  • Books – Read everything

Have courage of conviction – Always look for a better way than the way you are doing it and be willing to change.

Thanks to Eddie Jones for these ideas. I know many will read this and think we do that or there is nothing earthshaking here. Think again, these is just words on paper, but it takes a 24/7 commitment, a commitment few are willing to give. It is that commitment that truly separates the good form the great.