I read a Shane Warne article in The Telegraph this morning it is about the building leadership crisis in English cricket, where the captain, Alastair Cook, is under pressure after a string of bad results.
I haven’t actually got to see much of the cricket so far this summer. I have heard a few spells of TMS. The results aren’t good and there are always rumblings.
While writing this I was also chatting to @FridayFood about leadership. A dangerous subject, another one of those words that’s so dense and complicated, you ought to need a certificate to be allowed to use it. See also culture, strategy and love.
Anyway, the tiny sliver of leadership we’re discussing is about (because it’s not all about anything) the creation of safe environments. The odd thing about safe environments, where trust and interdependence are high, is that we use them to take risks, do exciting new things, make new friends and in lots of ways, win.
I don’t think Cook feels safe, so he takes fewer and fewer risks. The rest of the side are waiting for it to go bang on his desk so also take no risk, doubtless wasting energy on gossip instead of supporting each other and getting better at what they do together. The result is a low risk approach to the game, oddly, a safe one, and that’s not good enough in the competitive heat of top class sport (or a fast moving business). The worst thing that’s happened to England recently is beating Australia by accident last summer.
Over all I think he should step down, likely take a break so as to come roaring back for what he is. One of the THE BEST batsmen in the world.
As to who’d replace him, I haven’t a clue. As we’ve seen recently in several top sporting contexts, the intense heat leaves little room for the necessary ambiguity and risk of effective succession. But that’s another story.