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Published date: July 25, 2019
Last modified: July 25, 2019

HOW world cup winners showed us that leadership, teamwork and collaborative effort makes the results difference


4 years ago the English cricket team had once again failed to meet performance expectation, but someone realised that its wasn’t that we couldn’t get the results we wanted….(because we’ve always had great players!) but it was just that we hadn’t YET built a strong enough team, with robust leadership and a resilient mentality to succeed.

Like most organisations we had some very good talent, and yes some not so good. Crucially the development of future talent, progress of current talent and managing out of non performers had really not got much of a plan and indeed the leadership of these processes (or lack of it) was badly affecting results.

So what can we learn from this teams’ success in terms of our own organisations, our own leadership, and the things that will make our own teams successful?


The ability to bounce back, to not lose sight of what got us here in the first place…and to ensure that we stay focused on the goal. In the group stages of the world cup cricket, England lost games, trailed behind, struggled to hit any pre-tournement form, and were below expectation, BUT they knew that they could be the best, they had a robust spirit, and self belief based on the fact that they had been successful before

When a child is learning to walk and they fall down 100 times, they never think to themselves ‘maybe this isn’t for me’. They finally get the idea of how to walk through effort, persistence and resilience to succeed, the same applies in terms of our own business results. See resilience workshop

It’s important to recognise that we CAN achieve great things especially if we use solution focused thinking or possibility thinking as a means to understand how we can be successful ie what ‘could, might or can’ I do? This helps to also get other team members on board who can visualise the successful future and buy into taking personal responsibility for success.

Playing to our teams strengths

So many time organisations put the wrong people not just in roles, but on projects, working with people, in situations that they feel uncomfortable with. It’s about having the right opening batsmen, and having people playing in the right positions! See Personal Impact workshop

A degree of luck

Sometimes you need things to go your way, but you also create your own luck by being positive and having the confidence to drive forward in the knowledge that whilst you might meet a few humps in the road, you have the behavioural awareness and emotional intelligence ‘knowledge’ of your team to win through. When was the last time that you really stopped to behaviourally understand your team?

Support from within – great number 2’s

Great number 2’s are vital. These are right hand ‘trusted’ colleagues who not only support you and the organisation, but add value on a consistent basis and often with little fuss. In every role I have had, there has been a great number 2… the sort of person that is a 7 or 8 out of 10 every day. See Team Leader Development Workshop

Leadership that is consistent

Individuals and teams trust what is consistent. The England cricket team knew that their captain would communicate, add value, be supportive in the good and the bad, provide knowledge when necessary and above all remain calm in the eye of the storm.

Planning for now and the future

This is about recognising the value of understanding where you are now, and why, then following through a process of evaluating your goal, what people to involve, possible priorities, and the things that might prevent you from success, so that you don’t have a false start. People like to see the route map of success. See Solutions Focused Workshop

Learning from mistakes

So if you know that running into that wall gives you a smashed up nose, then why do you do it again?

In organisations I am continually working with leaders who just don’t get that if you continue to behave in the same way you will get the same results.

The TAR (Think, Act Results) model is easy to understand and implement ie thinking backwards to achieve greater results, you need to act differently. To act differently you need to think differently. Otherwise don’t be surprised if you get the same results by acting and thinking in the same way!


As leaders and managers the idea that our own ideas are always the best may be a short route to failure. The opportunity to use the fantastic brain power of our teams through team building, team days, team development or collaborative effort should never be missed. Indeed time put specifically o look at how we can react to change, the future needs, and how the team are working is a must. See Team Development Day opportunities

Consolidating, measuring and celebrating success

It’s important to take an honest view on where we are with success, and what role we have or have not played. I always tell clients that Join the Dots isn’t an L&D business partner that brings ideas to start again, indeed it’s our role to build on the previous successes, and to build resilient and engaged people. So consolidating on past successes, and enabling people to take responsibly, accountability and action from results works! See Testimonials of success

Teamwork – we are all have a contribution to make if we are engaged

And finally, most people who come to work as part of the team want to come to work to engage and to be part of something good, connected and successful, where they feel that they have played a valued role.

The conundrum here is simply that as leaders/ managers, it’s our role to coach, performance manager and collaboratively motivate where our ‘colleagues’ contribution best sits. Importantly to do this, we need to understand yes, the technical skills of our people, but probably more importantly the behavioural things that tick our people off, and also make them tick. Only then can we play the people game brilliantly well and get outstanding collaborative success.See Team Development Day opportunities

Martin Rafe is Learning and Development Business Partner for Join the Dots

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