One of my favourite parts of working with coaches and players right around the country is discussing and discovering different ideas, viewpoints and mentalities towards success through leadership. Here are some of the most valuable and attainable lessons I’ve learnt through the game and the amazing people I’ve encountered along the way.
Impacting others around you in a positive way only brings benefits
- Leaders help shape the direction or path that others can follow through
- Be selfless, show initiative and put your hand up to do things that others might be hesitant to do
- Engage, encourage and affirm your peers, it goes a long way to gaining respect
- Learn to listen and understand - show empathy to someone else's situation. This will grow your emotional intelligence through all sorts of situations and challenges
Decision making is the key to tapping into your potential
- Making critical decisions under pressure is a major skill you can develop on and off the field, whether it be about bowling changes, team selection or thinking about how to train and prepare
- If you’re in a tough spot - put yourself through the ‘TV Test’. Does your decision hold up if you had to explain it to a national audience live?
- Being ethical and having reasoning behind everything you do will grow your confidence when at a crossroads
- Take on feedback - it’s not a knock on you personally. Take your time to have your decisions assessed by others, reach out when you are unsure. Using those around you is a sure way to get the most out of a group, as well as expand your influence and skills. There are always people willing to help, you just have to ask for it!
Developing tactics, strategy & plans will help you become as prepared as possible and keep you calm in the heat of the moment
- Knowing your teammates, coaches and plans inside out is essential to developing rapport and relationships
- Adapting when things aren’t going your way is all part of it, don’t be afraid to look at plan B or C - have that ready to go before you take the field
- Be a student of the game, good leaders are able to read momentum, anticipate what’s ahead and pivot to give your side the best chance of winning the next contest/phase
- Setting team values and expectations early engages all to be team first. Set the standard
Body language & demeanour portrays how much you care
- Show you are a leader with how you hold yourself - you are who people look to!
- Ensure you are doing the 1%ers e.g. chasing the ball hard, wearing the correct clothing, positive chat… it all counts!
- Have a growth mindset, personal development is the key to continuously meeting your goals and staying motivated
Understanding your role will help you stay focused when it's your turn to stand up
- At the end of the day, coming back to your own strengths and weaknesses is key
- When the time comes for you to perform and take ownership of the contest, leaders don't make excuses. Get in there are give your best for the team in the position that you know you can do well
- Avoiding distractions and keeping your mind clear and focusing on the task at hand is imperative to make sure you’re contributing with bat/ball/gloves first and foremost
Here’s what the ACI team came up with as our definition of leadership, what’s your mantra?
- Josh – “A person who is respected and heard by their peers”
- Joel – “A leader is someone you look to in situations you aren’t confident in yourself”
- Seb - “A leader always helps others and shows the ability to help engage and get the best out of the environment they’re in without making excuses”
- Ray – “A Leader has an innate ability to step up when others don’t or won’t”
- Nick “A leader paves the way, they set the example in familiar territory and they’re the first to take a step into the unknown while others watch on to see what happens”
Just a hint… you don’t need to be captain to be a leader! Have a go, give your best and your side will be better for it!
Article Author: Seb Contos
National Programs Manager
Australian Cricket Institute