Leadership Lessons from Cricket Australia

With its recent win at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Australia has yet again proven that a team that has drive, discipline and focus can resurrect itself from the Ashes (pun intended) and go on to regain their title of world champions. Known to be one of the strongest teams in the world of cricket, Australia saw an exceptionally low phase between 2011 and 2013, where they suffered some humiliating defeats. Starting with the 2013-14 Ashes series against England, the world saw Australia slowly get back into form. They played as a team with a clear goal to win. 
There are a few lessons that professionals can learn from Australia’s World Cup win this year.
A leader’s job is to provide guidance and support to build their team’s confidence. For Australia, the strong leadership of coach, Darren Lehmann and captain, Michael Clarke has been nothing short of spectacular. They brought stability and innovation to game tactics and team organisation. The duo’s key priority was to get the best out of the team to help improve their performance and achieve results. They provided their team with guidance and support needed to grow as players. They have gone from boosting the morale of under performing players to driving the best performers to push limits and do even better.  
Passion can move teams beyond their shortcomings and failures. When you are passionate about your goals, you will strive harder to reach them. The biggest reason for the Australian Cricket team’s success is their passion for the game of cricket and their conviction and clarity with respect to what they want to achieve and where they want to be. At the end of the day, it is passion that helps one make the transition from good to better and to best thereon.  
Be it on-field or off-field, we can be sure of success only if we persist on being focused and disciplined. The Australian team succeeded because they lay huge emphasis on discipline to maximise their potential. Success is derived not just from talented individuals but from the organisation of these talented individuals into a team. Lehmann has played a pivotal role by giving his team clarity on where each player’s focus should lie against every team they play.   
Winning is all about strategizing well. Success is impossible to achieve on sheer luck without any strategy in place. Australia’s rise in cricket began in the 1980s with the Australian Cricket Board’s decision to put a winning team in place. Once chosen, players were allowed to mature by giving them chance. This, in turn, helped build a cohesive team. In the present team, Michael Clarke has led an example by not focusing on losses but instead has looked at long term development. He did this by bringing out the best in people like Mitchell Johnson who were low on confidence and making them step up and take charge. 
The Australian Cricket team is well-known for playing as a team and balancing off each other’s strengths. Individual players’ efforts to try to win the team their league match against New Zealand was commendable. Australia may have lost that particular match but not before showing the world the famed specimen of their teamwork. Where the batsmen failed to leave a mark, their bowlers pitched in to try and save the day. In the corporate world, it is a known and well-proven fact that while individual performance does matter and is appreciated, there is nothing like teamwork to go that extra mile to achieve organisational goals. 
Sports and corporate life have strong parallels and it is for professionals to take lessons out of everyday life to become masters of their professional lives.  
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