Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene’s classy unbeaten 168 against England on day one of the ongoing test match shows us how a single strong performance by one individual can raise an entire team’s game.
Prior to Jayawardene’s introduction, Sri Lanka had trudged to a dismal 3-15. At stumps, the south Asian outfit were 8-289, with three lower-order batsmen all chipping in with 20 or more runs each. Jaywardene’s innings illustrates one of business management’s truest maxims: managers should lead by example.
Much of getting the best out of one’s workers is based around getting them to buy into the company’s ethos. If employees believe that what they do at work is fulfilling, enjoyable and – ultimately – the right thing to do, it shines through in their work. An inspirational and successful leader who practices what he or she preaches is key to this.
Jaywardene on Monday gave his team belief that the test was winnable by getting to the crease and making it so. Actions speak louder than words, and no amount of inspirational talk could be a substitute for his scoring almost two-thirds of the team’s runs, and single-handedly keeping them in the match. Through deeds, the Sri Lankan captain said to his team “Here’s what we can and should be doing. Its over to you.” Truly, as the cliché goes, it was a captain’s performance. In the coming days we’ll see if it was enough. Given England’s dismal performance with the bat this morning, it is very likely to be.
Management ups and downs
There can’t be many management jobs in football where candidates are told: “We’re in the relegation zone, you have no money to spend, and the fans will consider you a failure unless you win the European Cup. Twice.” But words to that effect were said to Cotteril before taking on the gaffer’s job at Nottingham Forest. Cotts may be a long way from securing a Euro-cup double, but last week’s 7-3 victory at Leeds, may have turned the club’s season.
The Scottish Football Association has opened a disciplinary hearing against the Celtic manager for comments made to the referee at Sunday’s Old Firm derby. Lennon should know by now that the SFA is coming down hard on any actions that look as though they could be seen to have inflamed Celtic’s already tense matches with Rangers. He should have held his tongue.