Mike Brearley: Leadership as a Soft Skill
The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, Vol. VII, No. 3, September 2013, pp. 31-39
Posted: 29 May 2014
Date Written: May 28, 2014
To cricket aficionados, Mike Brearley needs no introduction. He is sure to find a place in any list of the all-time best cricket captains. Though Brearley was primarily selected to play for England as a batsman, his batting record is nothing to write home about. However, fortunately for him and for England, his tactical acumen and flair for the leadership role were noticed by the selectors much early in his career, and Brearley was made the captain of England national cricket team in 1977, a year after he made his Test debut. And Brearley did not disappoint the English selectors and the cricket-loving public at large. His famed man-management skills won him many laurels in his short but illustrious cricket career as captain. Especially, the way he masterminded and turned around the fortunes of England in the third Test match at Headingley in the Ashes in 1981 is what every incumbent or aspiring cricket captain’s dreams are made of. This paper takes a close look at Mike Brearley, the cricket captain, and the celebrated Headingley Test to educe soft skills lessons and key leadership takeaways that every leader in every field can benefit from.
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