History judges leaders by the quality of the decisions they take. The outcome may not always be beneficial but the boldness and intent behind the decision are what matter. Whether in war, Business or sport, decision-making is an integral part of leadership.
Those who fail to take a call are remembered as weak and ineffective leaders. In Cricket, a delay in declaring the innings for example, or a wrong choice of a bowler, or a wrong call taken after winning the toss are things that could decide the course of the match.
Often, those who choose wisely are the ones that became successful.
Pakistan played Australia in the 2009-10 and had a wonderful opportunity to beat the world champions at home. They had Australia on the ropes with eight wickets down and very few runs in the bank. Instead of going for a kill, captain Mohammed Yousuf suddenly went defensive, placing fielders on the boundary line and waiting for the batsman to make a mistake.
By the time they did, too many runs had been scored and the game was lost.
Yousuf was weighted down by leadership rather than buoyed by it!
This is an important point to study before appointing leaders. Does their own performance dip due to the additional pressure?
We often ask managers in our corporate sessions to think about whether leadership can be practiced.
It is never the same thing but sometimes players on the field can imagine what they would do if they were the captain; what field they would set, or which bowler they would bring on, on whether they would make a substitution.
We would like to highlight that Dhoni got a job in 2007 because Tendulkar, standing at first slip, realized that the young wicket-keeper was already thinking like a leader. And Virat Kohli said that before he was made captain, he was always involved in the game. It came as no surprise that each of these two seemed ready to become leaders because in their minds they had started thinking like one.
May be it is possible for young managers to think about how they would handle a situation or for middle managers to look at a situation from the point of view of a CEO. They would have the advantage of not actually having to take a decision but the thought process would have begun.
Source: The Winning Way 2.0 by Harsha Bhogle
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Dr. Shital Badshah works as a Leadership Coach. He can be reached at Shital@GrowthCatalystIndia.com or +91 94284 19021. Give us your details, we will get in touch with you soon.