20 August 2009

Do you have a Freddie Flintoff in your office?

Do you have a Freddie Flintoff in your office? This is what the BBC site asked its readers as its headline.

This has nothing to do with the Flintstones' cartoon character and does not involve singing - "Flintstones...Meet the Flintstones they're the modern stone age familiy". This is in reference to the Ashes Test Cricket series being played in England where the English side are set with the task of regaining the Ashes from the Australians. It's going to be a tough battle as the Roses take on the Kangaroos and Flintoff faces his last test match (being played at the Oval).

The article is indeed referring to Flintoff's incredible leadership capabilities on and off the cricket field. He is charismatic. He is a tall man and certainly stands out from the crowd. His body language is confident. He is humerous and has the ability to connect with people. He represents the kind of guy you would love to go down to the pub with to have a drink, a laugh and seek advice from. He is a natural motivator and inspires people. More so, he does not just talk the talk but he walks the walk. He is incredibly skillful and has proven his abilities time and again.

Flintoff is what MBA students would call a charismatic leader. He stands out from the crowd and uses his charms and wits with a blend of incredible skill to motivate and inspire people to achieve there highest potential. He is like the Richard Branson of the cricketing world. Branson himself uses his wit and charm to entice his audience. I once remember walking down Holland Park Avenue (close to Notting Hill Gate) and walking past Branson. He had a smile on his face from ear to ear as he swung his briefcase to and fro, while walking confidently downhill in his suit. All the while people kept blowing there car horns and waving as he waved back. That is another man who resonates charisma.

Flintoff on the cricket field and Branson in the business world: what can we do to harness these leadership capabiliteis to train our future leaders to an extent that they are able to command respect with mangetic followings.

Flintoff and Branson would have started off some day as you and I would have. I believe its through there experiences and circumstances in which they have overcome personal and work place challenges, harnessed there learning and looked through a positive eye that has given birth to such character. Motivating your team rather than cohersion and thinking outside the box; these are some of the skills we need to foster in our future leaders. These could be achieved throught the harnessing of learning via Experiential Learning courses and life in general.

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