As a cricket nut, I couldn’t resist a post on the extraordinary week that surrounds Kevin Pietersen’s autobiographical score-settling.
Being in Team England famously became known as life in the bubble during the past decade. A bubble, it seems, beset by the danger of several pricks.
Any of these happening in your sales team then there is a serious problem with management. One which’ll need more than the odd “re-integration” session to remedy.
1. Someone that refers to themselves in the third-person as somehting like The Big Cheese and even perhaps insists on being addressed with such a matey-shortening of it like Cheese by colleagues
2. Public humiliation follows an honest error where you’ve inadvertently made a mistake forcing an apology in front of a full team meeting
3. Supposed lieutenant’s openly blame juniors for under-performance
4. Considered feedback is jumped upon by leaders who then resort to rule by the language of fear and seek to ‘build a regime, not a team’
Let’s park for now the Alex Ferguson great teaching that no matter how top a performer, any malcontent must be axed. In England’s case here, such bullying culture prevailed around the time they ascended to Number One test team in the world. A quite remarkable occurrence if true. (And unsurprisingly the Aussie’s have been quick to stir the pot suggesting that it is).
The sage cricket mind that is Simon Hughes intriguingly quoted a former Barcelona forward, Scot Steve Archibald, who once quipped;
“team spirit is an illusion glimpsed in the aftermath of victory”
Oh how true this can be. In all the team’s in which I’ve participated – Sales & sporting – it is striking how all is so smooth when winning. Yet when under the cosh, well, that is the real test. I am sadly familiar with the venom of the vipers nest.
Yet I believe that to know this in advance of any downswing is to be able to mould spirit to your advantage.
Fostering an environment of improvement through testing refinement rather than trepidation by force is the only way.
And to use this tale anywhere across the cricketing world right now could well move you into that most enlightened – and rewarding – of territories.