The example of Steve Smith in the ball tampering episode exposed today is the clearest example in recent memory where a failure of leadership has led to rule breaking. Failures of leadership always lead to rule breaking, it is just at what point this gets exposed. This is the essence of normalised deviance, where team members break smaller rules, and progressively bigger ones as the rule breaking becomes normalised.
In our normal work, failures of leadership can manifest as a ‘blind eye’ towards behavior that is undesirable, but gets results. It can manifest as an unwillingness to have a hard conversation with a team member who needs correcting. Very rarely does it manifest as collusion between a leader and subordinates to break rules.
The former examples progressively lead to a greater propensity to break rules. Normalised Deviance is a slippery slope - as smaller rules are broken and no action is taken, rule breaking becomes the norm, and greater rules can be broken. In its earliest stages, leadership failures can occur simply through giving someone the ‘benefit of the doubt’. Eventually, as larger rules are broken, rule breakers are able to refer to precedent, and leaders are unable to simply stop their team members’ behaviors, as doing so will implicate themselves. Eventually, the rule breaking becomes so brazen that all are exposed.
This is why Cricket Australia should sack the entire Australian team’s leadership group. The exposure of today can not be a ‘one off’, and a culture of normalised Deviance around the rules needs to be identified. The magnitude of this incident suggests that the leadership is unable to rectify small breaches, resulting in a culture that seeks opportunities to flaunt the rules, and then attempt to hide the evidence.
For the good of our game and pride in our national team, the leadership group involved must go.
On making people 'want' to work for you
One of my recent clients provided an excellent opportunity for me to solidify my thoughts around leadership, in particular, situational leadership and achieving goals through other parties.
After observing his interactions for several days, we identified that this leader needs to learn how to make people want to work for him. We discussed two habits to achieve this:
Moving into the unknown
When does a groove become a rut? This is easy to answer from a literal, off road driving perspective- it is when the benefits of the grooved surface start slowing down the car because the underside is scraping along the surface. The groove became too deep from over use.
It is harder to answer this question when it is symbolically applied to our lives, working habits, careers or health...
Communication with external participants leads to far greater experiences.
I've always taken the approach that everyone can teach me something, and on this trip, where there were a great deal of unknowns, this philosophy was reinforced. Just a casual chat with a passer by can lead to a gem of information. We met a fellow traveller at Portland who was just returning from his own top end adventure. He had taken note of all the fuel prices throughout, which allowed me to plan our fuel stops to take advantage of the best prices! He was quite eager to share his knowledge with us, and as this was early in our trip it really made me consider the wisdom of Dale Carnegies teaching on letting others talk about what they know.
Another great example occurred through a chance conversation at a fuel stop at Erldunda......
Over Christmas, my family and I drove 6000km from Gippsland to Darwin. We didn't travel direct, spending 19 days and seeing a lot of Australia on the way! Here's some of the things I learned from the trip.
On a trip like this, you are in closer confines than normal for longer periods. This exacerbates the normal differences in the way problems are approached. Clear communication between participants is one of the ways to ensure harmony is maintained. When I assumed that my wife ....