“Captaincy is the ability to think ahead of play, not be left responding to it.”
As the latest saviour of English cricket takes the helm, one of the many broadsheet opinion pieces cited this eminent wisdom. Courtesy of the sage that was Richie Benaud.
Despite being Australian, much loved the cricketing world over.
I shall be forever indebted to another of his many pearls.
In one rain-break as a nipper, I heard him suggest that another art of thinking, is that you should ask yourself;
'what would the opposition least like you to do next?'
Then do it.
A mindset that led me to much glory. From the recreational pub pool tables of my youth, to elements of the competitive Enterprise selling that helped make my career.
It is not difficult to adapt the above quote to your own solution sales environment.
Echoes of the 'better to shape events rather than be shaped by them' approach.
Also reminiscent of the joke;
There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.
Add in your own emphasis expletive if required.
Newly crowned skipper Ben Stokes is England's talisman. Similar appointments have been disastrous. His two most recent world-beating forbears crumbled.
Botham and Flintoff. The latter breaking my heart by being supposedly spotted by those I was alongside out large on the town during the Melbourne Test humiliation under his reign.
Fingers firmly crossed for Superstar Stokes.
The fabled ability to think ahead championed by Legend Richie here, is readily transmissible into our arena.
Sticking to your process - that pattern of events that when in train, guarantee you prevail - chief among them.
Not fighting on their turf another. Nor even acknowledging them outright.
To do any of these, means you must have a plan. Have you? And how are you enacting it?