Strauss's Ton

Lunch. Second day of a fascinatingly poised Test match at Lords which will determine World Number One cricket team status.

It’s captain Andrew Strauss’s 100th Test, and the TMS team are assessing his career to date. They’re all talking sense. Great to hear Ed Smith again.

The wisdom on offer is full of praise for his captaincy over 50 matches so far.

I feel some kinship with Strauss. For although I’ve never met him, I’ve watched him play around the world – I recall catching his eye as Bell and Collingwood performed heroics at Newlands on that amazing 2010 New Year’s Test fifth day – and know someone that does hang about with him (even if he frustratingly knows nothing about the game).

I love the parallels between sport motivation and salesteam management. Especially from cricket.

Ashes winning skipper Michael Vaughan was asked about the perceived tactical deficiencies in Strauss. His response was awesome. To précis;

When I’m asked about whether a young player could make a good captain, the last thing I look for is tactics. I look at respect, man-management, how they lead in difficult situations and if they speak well … and can communicate something to their mate.

In Selling, we have our own tactical focus. Call-by-call, deal-on-deal actions and reactions. And just like in cricket, an emphasis on these can be misplaced.

Are your sales leaders, or is your sales leadership, too skewed in this regard?

If so, consider these other areas. Strauss seems to listen to anyone say anything, however unpleasant, in the sanctity of the dressing room. No grudges are held, and all concerned move on in a positive manner. That doesn’t sound like many a salesforce I’ve seen.

How can you communicate better, genuinely develop people, get everyone moving towards common shared goals and garner true respect?

Any salesperson with CEO aspirations needs to heed these I say.

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