Leadership lessons from team sports


On 19th March 2015, we hosted a viewing party of the ICC Cricket World Cup quarter ­final between India and Bangladesh at the Royal Selangor Club on 19th March 2015. We invited our industry friends to join the fun and also gain some insight into how captains and coaches get the best out of their team. Company teams and sports teams are not too dissimilar and it takes a leader with unique abilities to get the best out of their troops. Lessons learned on the day included:

  • Cool Heads Stay on Top:
    Case in point - MS Dhoni, the coolest man in world cricket who remains unflustered in the most trying of conditions. Seeing the captain like this gives the whole team a boost of confidence.
  • Listen to your Team: India's captain isn't afraid to discuss his tactics with the rest of the team. He stays flexible by having these options and knows that since his team would be executing the game plan, it is better to choose one that they actually believe in. In the work place, some managers fail to consult with or at least convince their team members about certain decisions they make. Such moves alienate employees and don't do much for motivation either.
  • Celebrate, Together: Nothing brings a team together like triumph. A sense of achievement should be experienced by everyone from upper management to the rest of the employees. This is why winning sports teams are said to be "In Form". A taste of achievement will only leave your team hungry for more.

The work environment still has much to learn from team sports. Many of these on-field strategies that we see in action on television can be tweaked to boost workplace efficiency.

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