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A team charter

A team charter, they must be more than just words

A team charter is a crucial thing that is vastly different that a corporate or business orientated charter, for unlike the latter, the fates and fortunes of an organisation will not live and die of a few sentences written to describe the ethos and spirit behind a team.

Corporate charters take a significant back seat to budgets and strategic plans, and any other fancy jargon that might be well in place in the big bad world of business, but for a team, a charter is more like a prayer, and series of statements that defines not just the club, but every player that pulls on the jersey.

Have you ever wondered what is said around those huddles in the field of play, especially when something is going wrong, or worse still, when a team has lost?

Often a team charter comes into play in these situations with a power that many corporate leaders could only dream to wield within their own business units.

A team charter needs to embody what you are about, but it needs to go beyond the rugby field.

It needs to be about what it means to play for the team, what it means to represent the community or school, the ethos of each individual, or in some cases the style of play.Charter

Sound like too much to fit in a sentence or two?

Doesn’t need to be, for if you want your team charter to be ‘DRIVE FORWARD’ then that can define so much, but, without uppercutting the business world, what ever words are written need to be reinforced by integrity, for any falseness in your core mindset will let the team down in their time of need.

A great example is if honesty is a word in your charter.  

If this is the case, then it must be honoured at all times, and failure to follow this should in some cases result in penalties.  

If your debriefing sessions, or one-on-ones with players are false or without the directness that only honesty can bring, then you will not be adhering to your charter.

Equally if you are a player, there are no lies, about you as an individual on and off the field.

This directness, and we are talking about honesty alone, has often been the difference between many a side, and most championship teams have honesty running down their spine, a rod of purity that ensures there are no hidden shadows, no backchats and no internal battles – harmony is always important.

A charter is not defined by any law, and can be as few words, or as many, as necessary.

Remember your charter:

•    Can be the mantra when the team is at its lowest, an understanding of what needs to be done (here honesty can apply)
•    Can be the hymn when the side is at its peak, realising you are following a series of words that defines your club
•    Talks about what, in one sentence, will ensure you can conquer all (drive forward anyone?).  A great application could be ‘Carpe Diem’, with a rugby team needing to ‘Seize the Day’ to win most close games
•    Is what you can fall back on when you don’t know what to say do a wayward, out of form of dissident player
•    Is as good, if not better, than any team song
•    Must represent in some way your history, your background, so there is no mistaking it is yours

Don’t:

•    Write anything that somebody, like your Chief Executive, doesn’t have to adhere to.  One rule for all.
•    Commit to a club’s wall something that will ultimately have different rules for different players.  One Charter for all.
•    Forget it.  Revisit it, for if a mantra hasn’t been changed, it will represent so much for the players, such as “do you know who has worn this jersey before you”.