Lessons From England’s Cricket World Cup Win
England have won the cricket world cup! Let us just write that again…
… England have won the World Cup!
The single most dramatic world cup final that any sport has ever witnessed and England came out on top, somehow. No-one deserved to lose that game. New Zealand, if we are honest, probably deserved to win it, but here we are. The winning of the World Cup stands as the ultimate triumph for a team that just 4 years ago were embarrassed by an early exit in Australia. A defeat just as ignominious as England’s footballers exit from at the hands of Iceland at Euro 2016.
The World Cup win is the ultimate cherry on top of a cake whose recipe was written following that defeat four years ago. Andrew Strauss, former director of Cricket (He left to look after his dying wife Ruth) wrote it and Eoin Morgan was the chef entrusted with baking it. And what a cake it proved to be!
There’s lots of books that have been written and presentations given about how Dave Brailsford transformed Team Sky and the Team GB cycling teams and the lessons we can take from that into our own lives and businesses. Just as there was when Clive Woodward and Martin Johnson lead England to glory at the Rugby World Cup in 2003
But trust our geeky zeitgeisty radar, this is the next big story that needs to be told. How Strauss and Morgan transformed English cricket and what we can take from it. Here’s our take… you read it here first!
Don’t be afraid to change
Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results (Albert Einstein)
It was clear things needed to change for English cricket, the recipe hadn’t really changed in the 20 prior years to 2015’s failure and yet it seemed all so difficult. It takes a strong personality sometimes to map out change.
If you aren’t getting the results you want or need, change.
Sounds simple, but it’s one of the hardest things we can ever do. Our geeky advice? Make the decision to change, commit to it, but plan our next steps more thoroughly than we did the last ones that didn’t work. As we always say, the only failures we have is when we fail to learn.
Have a VERY clear vision
You don’t win the World Cup without planning to win it. In elite level sport, winners aren’t formed by accident. Yes, luck must always play it’s part, but it can never be relied upon. If we want to win something big, then we must have the vision in place and commit to it. From there it’s much easier to map out a route to success when you know the destination. It’s the same in life and in business. Commit to our goals, write them down and plan our route to achieving them
Have an authentic operating system
Or blueprint if you like. England made a commitment that they would play free-flowing attacking cricket and that they wouldn’t back down from that, no-matter-what. What made that approach successful wasn’t that playing attacking cricket inherently wins more games. It was that it was a way of playing that was authentic to the DNA of the squad and their players and most importantly, it was a reflection of the leaders inherent belief in how the game should be played.
Whatever we do in our businesses, has to be authentic, for us to ultimately to be successful (if you measure that success by happiness or fulfilment). There will be many moving parts in our businesses. Different personalities, different viewpoints, differing beliefs. It will only be held together through shared vision and the leadership to implement it.
Don’t be afraid to take risks
It is after all what business is about! England’s philosophy can be boiled down to an understanding of risk versus reward. They knew that if they wanted the greatest reward (The World Cup) then they had to commit to taking the greatest risks. We aren’t advocating that we all take the ‘greatest risks’, but perhaps we take risks that are proportionate to the reward we expect?
The power of trust
Eoin Morgan trusted his players implicitly. He backed them, completely, even when they made mistakes. In fact he encouraged an environment where mistakes were fundamentally part of the journey they were on, because they were breaking new ground and he believed in the vision. As a result, not only did his players deliver for him but they delivered for themselves beyond what they may have achieved on their own.
Many players have gone on to be known as the best in the world, purely because of the environment of trust that Morgan created. Our Geeky senses tell us that likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, as talented as they are, would not have flourished or reached the heights they have done without Strauss’ chang in philosophy and the trust Morgan placed them to deliver on that.
We need a team around us, whether we employ them or not, we need people in your corner to be a success. People will only ever commit themselves to a cause if they are trusted.
If England’s success teaches us anything, it is the power of trust. If we have it in our businesses we can change the world. (SalesGeek)
When the going gets tough, the tough get going (Billy Ocean)
England going into the World Cup set a world record 50 over score of 481/6. They were regularly racking up scores of 300 plus. Then they failed to chase 232 against Sri Lanka in the World Cup putting their qualification for the semi-finals in doubt.
If you read the press then you might have mistakenly felt that the sky had fallen in on Englands project. England and Morgan were heavily criticised and there was, (believe it or not), a lot of anxiety that they would fail on home soil. But not inside the squad. Morgan has always used failures to improve and just as importantly to rally his players around
As much as this may seem contradictory to our first point in this blog, it is a truism that we can only truly succeed if we commit to something completely. There will be tough times, we will be tested, our character will be questioned. If we are invested in our authentic selves, then you will be able to withstand those slings and arrows.
Get over the line
It took all sorts of luck and so many things to go their way, but England somehow, we still can’t truly believe it) managed to get over the line and (to coin a phrase) fulfil their destiny.
There will be times when the circumstances present themselves when the only thing that’s important, in the moment, is grasping the opportunity.
If we have done all the groundwork listed above, then perhaps, just like England, when theses opportunities come along, they will feel like destiny.
And they sound like the opportunities we are all looking for.
Let’s learn from Eoin Morgan and give ourselves the best chance of success.
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