4 Leadership Lessons from Cricket World Cup

We live in a country where Cricket is a religion and where a child learns the names of the cricket idols possibly before he/she knows names of everyone in the family. The magnitude of Indians’ love for cricket maybe as incomprehensible as its feverish intensity. Cricket also throws up many exciting lessons that every corporate can learn from and integrate in their professional lives.

There is a story behind every selection or rejection. And the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is throwing up some exciting leadership lessons for everyone. Some stories act as a driving force for us to achieve our own dreams, while some leave us wondering how brutal this game can be. Sometimes life is tough and cricket is just a reflection of it.

Know the Competition

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It is the most important thing to consider. Understanding who you are up against can equip you with new solutions to previously attended issues, thus giving you advantage over your competitors. Making split second right decision is what wins a game in the Cricket world cup. To make the right decision at the right moment, cricket teams develop strategies and adhere to them with great precision. Analysing the competitors is a great way of finding the right strategy/path to gain advantage over them. Otherwise, you can have phenomenal skills on the field and could still fail to win for not assessing the strength and weakness of your competitors.

One of the best example of this scenario can be found in the team of Bangladesh. This team has shown ability to make new decisions for improvement through analysing their competitors. In 2015 Cricket world cup, Bangladesh testified this by beating England and reaching quarterfinals. This year, beating a giant like South Africa in their opening game proves Bangladesh’s ability to develop winning strategies through analysing their competitors.

As it is in Cricket, so it is in business! Every leader should make it their first priority or understand the market and competitors. Having a strong team to support and follow your lead is an exceptionally reliable thing. But, you should never skip on researching your competitors to understand their drive, achievements, connections, and pursuits. When you are carrying the responsibility of finding the right path for your team, smart decision making and having a game plan has to be the priority.

Make the Right Selection

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Picking the right players for the right assignments is the second leadership lesson that 2019 Cricket world cup presents. I would like to highlight that although, in the match against South Africa, Kohli and Dhoni could not score much, the right placement of Rohit Sharma resulted in a century and helped the team a lot. Additionally, carefully picked bowling team performed well, balancing the gap and allowing the country keep a positive outlook.

Similarly, in business, when you have talented individuals in your team, you already have an advantage. But, as a leader you should pick and trust the whole team to achieve goals and to give equal growth opportunity to all your team members.

I feel that it is a leader’s responsibility to understand the strength and weakness of the team members. It will help you to develop an effective strategy to move ahead in business, while allowing your team time and opportunity to hone their skills, increasing productivity and offering better results.

Never Lose Sight of the Big Picture

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Think about it, Cricket teams change their operational tactics and strategies at every game, trying to win. It is a cut-throat competition, therefore losing sight of the big picture will result in previously successful teams to lose their position.

For instance, let’s talk about South Africa. Despite having a superb record in previous World cups, the team has lost 4 out of the 5 games so far into Cricket World cup 2019. And as a result, they are facing tremendous pressure to win rest of the matches. While teams like Bangladesh are moving ahead to make a bigger name for themselves in the World cup 2019.

The same scenario can be seen in business environments. Any successful Business will fall from grace if they lose focus on the bigger goals. In my opinion, it is the leader’s duty to always focus on the ‘Big Picture’ and re-align their team each time they have an assignment in hand. A business leader should assess his team considering the task at hand and always keep contingencies of the primary business strategy to stabilize any new challenging situation. In here, we can give example of recent injuries of South African team members and lack of contingency that has led to their performance degradation.

Don’t Follow a Rulebook, Make Your Own

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In Cricket world cup 2019, we see captains follow their game basics and maintain a rhythm in executing pre-determined strategies. But often we witness teams evolve and commit to an un-conventional action plan to face overwhelming challenges or to make better score. This presents a great learning opportunity for young entrepreneurs.

We can talk about tactics utilized by Indian captain Virat Kohli (in the match against Australia) to drop anchor (after he scored 50) and allow his fellow team member Hardik to start attacking the ball for a rapid gain of score. This presents a great example of communication within teammates and asserting your own rules to build trust while enjoying and winning the game.

There is no rulebook, no manuscript or collection of ideologies that can help you become a leader. As an entrepreneur, you can only learn from others’ wins and losses and create a path of your own. That is exactly what great Cricket teams do at times of overwhelming challenges. And it presents an opportunity for the team to turn the tables on their competitors, thus gaining a chance to win. This can be replicated in the business when leaders combine their knowledge and lessons gleaned from others to launch a disruptive business strategy.

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For an entrepreneur moving ahead to become a leader, the lessons can never end. And surprisingly they can be taken from anything and everything to better ones perception and results.

To me, being a leader is about being open, being transparent, letting my team know my goals and mindset, my vision for the future and acknowledging my team’s effort at every turn. These are simple things and very easy to be habituated with. However, lack of inspiration can destabilize a business team and damage your business growth. So, be fair, be kind, responsible, open and honest with your team and you will lead your business to greater heights.

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