Often the world of sport can offer the business world useful lessons and insights. To perform in both worlds people have to deal with pressure, continually delivering increased results, getting the best out of yourself and teamwork to name but a few things.
As an Executive Coach I get to work with some of the business world’s top talent. But often talent alone doesn’t guarantee success. A recent example from the sports world highlights this challenge.
Back in May 2015 professional cricketer Kevin Pietersen was seemingly frozen out of England cricket.
Now few people could deny the talent Pietersen has and the incredible achievements he has accomplished during his career. As his own official website states:
His phenomenal talent and self-belief can never have been more evident when he hit 158 on the final day of the last test at the Oval cricket ground in the 2005 Ashes, securing England a first Ashes triumph in 18 years.
He has a highest test score of 227, averages over 50 in test matches, and is one of the fastest ever English batsmen to reach 4000 test runs.
Whilst playing for England in the 2013 Ashes series, by making a match-saving 113 Kevin became the highest run scorer for England from all forms of the game.England went on to win the series making Kevin a four time Ashes winner.
So why would the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) effectively drop Pietersen from their team? England’s Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss explains the ECB’s reason:
“The first thing to say is now’s the time for some really honest and open conversation about Kevin Pietersen. No one has ever doubted Kevin Pietersen’s ability as a player. He has been a phenomenal player for England over a long period of time. His record stacks up to anyone in England cricket, and he should be very proud of that. But over months and years, the trust between himself and the ECB has eroded.” *
Unfortunately this situation is not uncommon in the business world. All too often highly talented people become accidental diminishers; they are unaware of the impact they have on others and accidentally diminish those around them.
Executive coaching can be a useful tool to help talented leaders manage their personality and preferences so that they don’t derail their careers and become accidental diminishers.