The Haka, subject of my last post, continued to make news several days after the rugby itself, a relief for English fans. A colleague, Richard Myers, who happily combines the talents of creative director and rugby coach, had this to say;
“I was at Twickenham and I thought the raucous, full-spirited Swing Low was effective and partly dulled the edge the Haka can create.
On one level the Haka is a piece of hokum theatre. It would have more of a genuine role if all 22 All Blacks were maoris, but they started using it when the heritage of most of the players was farming in Scotland and Wales rather than repelling said Euros from the two islands. Today’s players are a mixture of Euros and Pacific Islanders (who have their own version of the Haka) with a few maoris making up the numbers. Incidentally, the tradition is that the Haka is indeed led by someone with maori blood in their veins.
Today, I think the Haka works less as a ‘challenge’ to the ‘enemy’ and more of a call to teamship for the All Blacks, a timely reiteration of what being an All Black means, that the shirt is priceless and that winning is all.
Applying this to business pitching (ahead of the pitch) and you would have a powerful ritual, instilling a oneness of purpose and the parking of egos, and creating an invisible but compelling feeling for the pitchee that here is a group of people who want your business and deserve it.”
Thank you Richard.