• Simon Russell

How former Australian cricket coach John Buchanan got the most out of his team

When it comes to high performing sports teams, there aren't many with records as impressive as the Australian Cricket Team in the 2000s.


This 'golden era' team achieved unprecedented success, including three consecutive World Cups, a world-record of sixteen consecutive test match victories and a thirty-six-year drought breaking victory against India on Indian soil.


It's a track record of success that has given the man at the helm, former coach John Buchanan, valuable insights into what makes high performance teams tick.


John shared those insights on a recent episode of Pickstar's Off-Field Podcast, where he told listeners how important relationships are in any high-performance environment.


"Whenever you start out in a particular role, it will take some time for you to establish good strong relationships and respect that goes both ways," he said.


"I think it's really important to always lie the ground rules out so that people clearly understand who you are, where you're going and basically what you stand for."


According to John, who is one of 1300-plus sports stars listed on the PickStar marketplace, this approach allowed players to understand him as a leader and the vision that he had for the team.


"I really try to let them know that I want to know more about them, and that was always about them as people.


"I try to take that approach all the time just to understand what is going on in their lives. I Always try to provide that listening ear or genuine interest in the problems that they're having."


John thinks that many high-performance industries fail to prioritise relationships and do not recognise how important relationships are to overall success.


"I think these days, what I find with a lot of senior leaders is that even though they will talk about developing relationships and getting to know their staff, they really don't invest the time in doing that.


"But the key to them being successful is their people, they need to know their people."


John says it's also important to think introspectively and have confidence in yourself that you are the right person for the job. When his role as coach was challenged in 2005, he asked himself three questions that he believes any leader or coach should ask themselves regularly.


"One is, can you still make a difference? In my mind I could still make a difference, going back to my philosophy, it was about really trying to do something special with this group.


"Second was, do you still want to do it? I've been here for six years, do I still want to be under the microscope of the media?


"The third question was did I still have the respect of the players? I could answer yes to all of those, so therefore I was able then to go back to the board and say, look, this is what's going to happen over the next twenty months."


You can listen to John Buchanan discuss what it takes to lead the best team in the world on Pickstar's Off-Field Podcast. Off-Field focuses on the world of sport outside of the arena with the people who make it happen.


Visit PickStar's marketplace to book an inspirational leader like John to speak at your next event or function, or to help get the most out of your team. Pickstar works fast with ANY budget. Visit the PickStar marketplace now.


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