By Marcus Leach

Every four years in the rugby world there is an event that captures the imagination of not just one nation, but four. It is, without doubt, the most special and unique event, and to be a pat of it is a career defining achievement. That event is the British & Irish Lions tour.

The true uniqueness of the tour comes from the fact that not only is it every four years, and therefore something of a rarity, but it pitches together a group of outstanding individuals from four countries who are otherwise fiercely competitive foes. As such the first, and single most important role for Warren Gatland, comes in managing his squad. For without a unified squad nothing else will fall into place. Much like in the world's most successful businesses, the Lions too need each and every individual to buy into the team ethos.

The challenge for Gatland is ensuring that each individual, with their own strengths and weaknesses, plays a pivotal role in the overall make-up of the group. Within the group there will be natural leaders, those who like to be lead, innovators, thinkers, those who let their actions speak for them, but all are just as important as each other. No one person can be bigger than the group, else the unity goes and suddenly there are fractions in the camp.

As the Lions series develop Fresh Business Thinking will be bringing you a series of articles looking at how many aspects of the Lions tour are similar to those in the business world. In essence the Lions could represent a business, with Gatland heading up the organisation and the squad his team of workers. As with any good organisation there will need to be clear defined goals, strong leadership, delegation, team work and most importantly belief.

I for one believe the Lions have the tools at their disposal to win the test series. However, it will take every last bit of Gatland's tactical nous, and every last ounce of effort from his team to do so. This Lions team has the chance to be forever known as one of the truly great teams, here's wishing them every bit of luck in their quest.

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