Presentation Fail For SA Legend England Cricket Coach Candidate

The next man in line got the job. There’s so often a tension between succession plan deputy promotion and new broom star parachuting. In the case of first-time world cup winning England this year, their new cricket coach came from within. Just.

This was a surprise. The expected appointment was to be former S Africa opener and international coaching experienced (not just in global short-form leagues but also 2011 World Cup champ leading India) Gary Kirsten. Not least by the man himself. Reportedly considering his ‘final interview’ a mere rubber-stamping forum.

Yet his ambition unravelled.

The English press feverishly reported that the squad’s current backroom number two gave an ‘all-singing powerpoint presentation’. Whereas Mr Kirsten simply settled for a cosy old-school chat. Perhaps even without a single slide or agenda prepared at all. Implications included that his employer must trust him to get the job done as an act of faith, without any real detail committed to up front.

The official language was telling. The prevailing candidate showed “intimate understanding of our structures and systems” and offered “detailed thoughts” on his plans to realise the organisation’s stated goals (including getting back to No.1 Test ranked side). All the best to new coach Chris Silverwood.

We infer from coverage that these were absent from the runner-up’s communication.

I was once witness to someone recounting a 20-minute meeting they’d had with Bill Gates at Microsoft HQ in the late-90s. They got the distinct feeling as they awaited their audience outside the room that a slidedeck was expected to be presented. They got worried. None had been prepared. As they entered the room and sat down, apparently Mister Windows began, ‘we can get a bit too much of slides, can’t we, how about we just sit and chat…?’ The relieved under-prepped partner couldn’t believe his luck.

I mention this in an exception-that-proves-rule manner.

We will prepare.

And we will then prevail.

Even more so though, note what really resonated in the sport sphere.

How well do your prospect presentations truly show ‘intimate understanding’ of where they are now, coupled with ‘detailed thoughts’ on how you’ll help them get to where they wish to go?

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