The Return of the Ashes!
Got em, yes, …you’re out!
What a series, what a series indeed. A 5-0 Ashes white wash, with the fifth and final test over in just three days. This comes after the Aussies lost seven of their previous nine tests (including the last Ashes series).
The past 12 months have been a rocky ride for the Aussie cricket team with reported in-fighting and the suspension of four players over, what appeared to be, trivial matters.There was also the sacking of the coach Mickey Arthur. There is no denying that this type of disruption to the team had a negative impact on their performance.
Along with this came an inconsistency (or the lack) of a core and stable playing group. The team rotated (used) 17 players in the last Ashes series and 22 in the last nine tests, of which the Aussies were mostly win-less.
How did the team re-group and turn things around in 6 months to take back the Ashes and ‘Return the Urn’?
Two key things have occurred;
1. Boof…the new coach with a new style of leadership
Darren Lehmann (who goes by the name of Boof) has certainly brought a new style of leadership and influence to the team…which has seen results.
Boof believes in being positive, having a laugh and having fun. A joke is told before every training session and the team is allowed to celebrate with a beer on the bus after a win.
More importantly though, he tells it like it is and is prepared to engage in honest, if not brutal conversations with the players. “We’re brutally honest” he says. The value of these types of conversations is that ‘all cards are on the table’, everyone knows where they stand and therefore trust levels are high.
This relaxed, social and honest environment is in contrast to the school teacher ‘reprimanding the kids’ style we saw from Mickey Arthur.
2. Stability within the team
The team stuck with the same 11 players for the whole of the series. What this meant was that the team had an improved chance of getting to know each other on all levels, had a greater shared experience and common bond through spending more time together and, as a result, are a tighter and higher performing group.
How could this possibly happen with the previous rotating squad of 22 players?
The players are enjoying themselves again and more importantly, enjoying their cricket. Boof’s ‘old school’ leadership approach is new and refreshing for the players and the familiarity and experience amongst the players is leading to great results.
The players have a real passion for the game…a desire to win.
Is the leadership and stability in your team allowing you to ‘win’?