Given the threat that concussion poses to the game of professional Rugby League football in Australia, Peter V’Landys the Australian Rugby League [ARL] Chairman was insistent this weekend that the future of rugby league depends on a continued crackdown on contact with the head and neck during tackles.

“Concussion, like it or not, is the biggest threat to this game, and the biggest threat it’s ever had…. I have a responsibility to give (the players) a safe working environment,” said V’Landys.

He went on to say:

“We need to eradicate any hit around the head. If we don’t, the whole future of the game in 10-15 years is in doubt”.

Some of the game’s biggest stars [past and present players] slammed the NRL’s [National Rugby League] crackdown on contact with the head and other infringements that resulted in eight sin-binnings of players in just two games on last Friday night.

V’Landys said:

“The customer has to appreciate that we want our players to have a future when they get out of the game.”

He continued:

“They [the past players] will get the message. I’m not going to listen to all the white noise coming from a minority because the future of the game rests on it being free of head injuries.”

What was interesting about this:

It was interesting to hear the ARL Chairman refer to the NRL fans and supporters as customers.

And he’s right… these are the people who follow the teams, who go to the games and watch the games on television.

Many of them live, eat and breathe NRL. They are loyal fans supporting their teams.

V’Landy’s reference to the fans as the customers and to the long term future of the game show him to be a visionary.

Although the current crackdown on rules [that have not been enforced as vigilantly as they should have been] is now apparently here to stay and is upsetting some traditional purists and current players of the game, ultimately the game must concede to the fact that actions on the field must also be consistent with the laws of the land.

And this is what the fans want to see… they want to see sport not slaughter.

There will always be accidents that will occur in sporting contests, but the crackdown now serves to eradicate carelessness and to have players concentrate and be more responsible and more purposeful with their on-field actions.

The fans, or customers will not continue to support a game that condones or ignores attacks on the head.

The mums watching the game will not be wanting their children to play and be subject to such physical trauma with long term health and wellness consequences.

Many businesses have failed to see….

Many businesses have failed to see and act on the changing  expectations of their customers. And the results of these blind failures have been catastrophic.

Kodak failed to see that their customers were wanting digital photography, and persisted with film for cameras.

At their peril.

Sure, we do need visionaries to blaze the trail where no one has walked before… and I believe V’Landy’s decision to ensure a future for players and the game and its fans, is the correct decision.

In your business…

In your business, are you looking to be the visionary owner that your customers are wanting to follow?

It is visionaries who have the businesses that attract and keep more customers.

Those businesses that react AFTER THE FACT are the ones who struggle to be truly great.

But what is the true secret to visionary greatness?

It is of course collaboration…. You need the right support network in your business to truly achieve great things…

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