Everyone has a different leadership style; there is no question about that. “Captaining a sporting team is no different to running a business, it is imperative that you back yourself and lead from the front with confidence. You need to trust yourself that you are making the right call, at the right time, no matter the pressures or obstacles”, says Michael Clarke.
A few of the lessons I learnt as the Australian cricket captain:
- Trust your gut – if you feel something, go with it.
Changing a batting order or changing a bowler, hesitation can sometimes be your biggest weakness. Trust that gut instinct, no point in trying to make the call you think others want you to make. You are the leader, lead your way.
- Learn from your mistakes – As you go through the journey of being a leader, you are bound to make mistakes along the way. It is important you learn from them to grow as a leader and therefore learn how to tackle situations better in the future.
- Maximise team potential – Every person in the Australian cricket team was very different, I had some guys in the group who were 19/20 years of age and some that were 36/37 and married with kids. So how I got the best out of them individually was crucial because everyone was so different. I wanted them all to feel a part of the one group and have their opinions heard. Letting the individual do their part their way, in the effort to achieve the combined team goal was important. For example, some guys liked to get up at 5 am and go to the gym before we had team training, others wouldn’t. Some would go to bed at 8 pm and others at midnight. It is not necessarily about everyone doing things the same way; it’s about doing things in a way that drives each person to reach the end goal simultaneously with the team.
Being a leader in any shape or form includes the responsibilities of not only having personal success but also the success of your teammates. This results in sometimes taking hits and managing different personalities. This part was always my greatest challenge, but also the most exciting part of the journey, I got to see individuals blossom to be their best selves but also work together with the team to achieve success as a group.