Cricket is more than just a game. It is more than batting records, run rates and ‘no balls’. Cricket teaches us about life at work, meetings and communication skills.
I don’t know much about cricket apart from the very basics and the ‘need to know’ information but there are some lessons that the game teaches us about life at work.
A leader must remember these for self and his/her team mates:
Conducting productive meetings
When the captain of a cricket team brings together his/her team mates for a group huddle, the captain only ever has seconds for instructions to be given, quick strategy to be shared or for a decision to be made. Those seconds can decide between a win or loss for the team. The quick chat needs to be productive. The seconds cannot be lost in debating too much, massaging egos or playing to the most influential person. Similarly, when you call for a meeting you need to be to the point, precise and ‘switched on’
A captain always follows the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) principle when communicating. The captain must keep conversation during a huddle short and simple. Get to the point without waffling. If someone knows the subject already they don’t need much background information else quickly give them a rundown of the situation and subject/concern. Remember though to Keep It Short and Simple!
Celebrating every success
After every wicket gone or 50 runs on the board there is a quick celebration. The pumping of the fist, running around the field, raising the bat and getting together with mates is common during a victorious moment on the field. While you may not be able to run around the office, a quick celebration is a must after reaching a milestone, bagging a deal or acquiring a difficult client. Stand up in front of the team say Thank you, offer a handshake or go out for a coffee/drink. Celebrate!!!
Changing every failure into success
There is sometimes a slump and an often victorious team does have a downfall. The team always assesses the reasons and makes changes and amendments. At work too, it becomes important to understand and appreciate the reason for the slow progress or no progress. Take it in your stride, reassess and emerge the winner. Follow the ‘Never say die’ spirit that cricketers possess.
Jubilation of a victory or sorrow from a match lost is shared across the team. A team needs to stick together. One man/woman does not a cricket team make! At work too you need the team to achieve your business goals. Team cohesiveness is critical and the difference between success and failure of a department, organization and team. In cricket, the team mates forget their individual differences and get together with enthusiasm to win for their club or country. They are focused and their goal is very clear!
These are not just lessons from cricket but I assume every team sport follows these principles.
Think about it, isn’t the workplace like a cricket pitch after all? Collaborative and result oriented?…keep your eye on the ball…
- Make meetings productive
- Communicate the KISS way
- Celebrate success
- Failure can be changed to success
- Your team is critical
Howzaaat? Can you add more lessons?