In the words of former India coach John Wright “You know coaching is tough and you make this team or that team, you are sometimes judged by the results. This is a tough assignment.” Coaching a high-profile team like Indian Cricket Team, Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Brazilian Football(soccer) team can take its toll. If you have second thoughts, ask the managers who were fired by Real Madrid or Chelsea to know how results have had an impact on their job. I thought coaching in cricket was all about only man-management but all of that changed post the impact that the Indian coaching team on their recent series victory over the Aussies.
Know your opponents and do your homework: It is extremely important for the leadership to understand the opponents, know their strengths and weaknesses beforehand, and do their homework long before the game starts. You train by simulating situations and try to replicate your plans. This is exactly what the Indian team did, the coaching team analyzed the opponents and set the vision for the team to remove the off-side for the strongest batsmen of the Australians. The plan was well executed and the team won. This Laissez-Faire Leadership style has inspired great organizations. The leaders in the team set the vision and goals and trusted the team to execute their plans. The responsibilities were delegated and well defined with very little interference.
“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their growth.” – John Whitmore
What to do when the chips are down: 36 all out, match ended in one session, and to top it captain is on paternity leave. In these tough times, it is very difficult to maintain a positive and pleasant environment. The leadership team was in prime focus and the pressure was on. The team management believed in their team, their skillset, and their values despite the presence of many inexperienced players in the team. The management team identified what was needed and worked on those gaps efficiently. They went on an attacking mode rather than going too defensive. Drawing parallels in the business world, a Coaching Style Leadership will ensure that the youngsters in the receive the much important confidence to work efficiently. It is also possible that some employees might feel micro-managed and the leaders need to know when to stop.
“A manager is a title, it does not guarantee success. Coaching is an action, not a title and actions will result in successes!” Catherine Pulsifer
Tough times demand tough talk: Fourth innings of the 3rd Test, India down, and mostly out. India managed to pull out a draw thanks to Ravi Ashwin(Sore back), Hanuma Vihari(Hamstring/loss of form), and Rishabh Pant(Place under scanner). 4th test was even worse considering the leaders of the attack were injured. It was seen as a battle between 1000+ wickets versus 13 wickets and add the threat of the much-hyped Gabba. The leaders played a key role in instilling belief and self-confidence among the members. The coaching staff should be appreciated for their strong Transformational Leadership that helped communicate a clear vision and strategy to the team. Ashwin and Bumrah despite being injured, helped the team from the sidelines. In organizations, transformational leaders pull their team of their comfort zone and push them to perform above and beyond. Ravi and his team were charismatic and transformational as they are skilled communicators, verbally eloquent, but also able to communicate to the team on a deep, emotional level.
There is not a set type of leadership style that works always. Good leaders know when and how to adapt their styles according to the situation. Though there are other forms of leadership styles, the above-mentioned styles of leadership is something I have seen exhibited by my mentors and leaders that have worked wonders for the organizations that I have been a part of. Sports has also seen autocratic leadership style in Greg Chappel, John Buchanan, who disturb the equilibrium and harmony of the side resulting in bad performances and results. It is a style that is highly detested and leaders need to have control of the organization but also ensure that they consult the right lieutenants to take a good decision.