I recently heard one of the senior members of the cricket team we were playing against say -
you know our problem is that we have 5 captains and 5 vice captains.
On hearing that remark everybody in our team cracked up laughing. Unfortunately, more often than not, that is the reality in a number of teams. There is this constant tussle amongst different players on who should lead. Should it be the person who put together the team? Should it be the senior most member of the team? Should it be the best player in the team?
In cricket, decisions need to be made involving batting, bowling and fielding; they need to be made at every point of the game. What I notice in cricket matches now is that the actual decision of the chosen leader actually depends on popular opinion. In some cases the leader is actually garnering team support for his decisions. Both these cases are bad signs!
It is very hard to effectively play as a unit if there isn’t a leader to follow or if the leader cannot get the other members of the team to follow him. Respecting the leader and his decisions irrespective of the outcome is KEY to getting a team to play as a team. If you are playing a team sport, you should ask yourself two questions:
1) who is your team leader? Clearly point him out.
2) are you willing to follow him irrespective of your views or the outcome of his decisions?
If you do not have a clear team leader or you challenge his decisions then there is a good chance that your team is made up of individuals who never come together as a common force. Without leadership the collective mission of victory will be elusive more often than not.