Business Lessons That Can Be Learned from Cricket
Seriously? What could I possibly learn about my business from cricket? This will only take a minute, why don’t you read this short post to find out?
Cricket’s origins date back to 16th-century England. By the 17th century, county teams were formed, and by the 18th century, cricket became a premier sport throughout England. By this time, cricket had already started to spread all over the world with the growth of the British Empire, and it became a common sport to play in North America, the West Indies, Australia, and beyond.
Cricket is still played all over the world today — with fans everywhere eagerly following the latest matches results and happenings — but the sport is most popular in the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Pakistan, and South Africa. Thus, such a long-established and widely-loved sport can teach us more than a few lessons, particularly when it comes to business.
Here are a few business lessons that can be learned from a game of cricket:
Be a Team Player
In cricket, all of the players must have an area of expertise — something to contribute to the team. But they don’t have specific roles that they must always play, like in football, for instance. They must be able to play all of the other positions too, if that should be needed.
One of the best business lessons you’ll ever learn is that adaptability, flexibility, and teamwork are necessary for any successful business.
Being able to work both independently and as a team is incredibly important. This means being respectful and mindful of your team, and doing your job well and on time so others can do their jobs well and on time. But you must not only be able to complete your own tasks. If you want the business to succeed, you must be willing to occasionally take on tasks that don’t fit your job description. Maybe a coworker called in sick, an important order was never delivered, or your business is on the verge of losing a big client. In these cases, you should be able to pull together and work as a team. When you’re willing to help out your other team members when they need it most, they’ll be willing to someday return the favor when you need it most.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
How many professional athletes do you think get on the field before a match without preparing? Very few to none, because not only is there a lot at stake in professional sports, but even natural-born athletes need to hone their skills. The same is true for cricket. If a player doesn’t prepare for a match, he’s likely to perform worse. He’ll also let his team down, because his lack of preparation will show that he’s not willing to pull his weight and doesn’t take the game seriously.
In business, preparation is also very important, from the initial job interview, to a meeting with coworkers, to a pitch with a client. Thorough preparation is a sign of respect for your peers, and it’s also one of the easiest ways to impress your boss or clients. Put some extra effort into your daily tasks, and do some extra research before a meeting. If you don’t do your homework beforehand, it will quickly become evident. Do this consistently enough and you’ll likely lose your job.
Additionally, both cricket and business are fairly unpredictable. Sure, you might know how certain players will behave or what your tasks will be for that day. But preparing in advance will help you to better manage the unpredictable on the field and in the office. You’ll be able to reasonably and appropriately respond to any situation that arises because you’ve prepared for it.
Be Disciplined and Accountable
In cricket, you must obey strict rules and codes of behavior or you will be penalized. For example, if a bowler crosses the bowling line, they’ll have to complete an extra ball. In business, the level of discipline varies depending on what the subject is. For example, an employee is expected to be on time every day, dress professionally, work the agreed number of hours, and complete a certain number of tasks. If an employee doesn’t obey these rules, they’ll likely be reprimanded or fired.
But a business itself must also be disciplined. They must set working hours, and then be open during those hours. If a small boutique consistently opens late or closes early, customers will become frustrated and stop shopping there. If a business offers certain services and agrees to deliver them by a certain time and of a certain quality, then they better accomplish this. If they don’t, they will quickly lose clients. Whether for businesses or for employees, being disciplined all comes down to holding yourself accountable to certain standards and meeting those standards — or face the consequences.
Take Calculated Risks
Playing cricket involves taking on a certain amount of risk. There’s the risk of serious injury, and then there’s the risk of performing certain moves, because you don’t always know how those moves will play out or how others will respond to them. But you have to take chances if you want to win the game.
Risks are unavoidable in business, whether you’re just starting out or are a long-established business. Startups in particular are risky because they’re new. With young businesses, everything seems like a risk, from the location you choose, to how you market yourself, to the employees you hire. But the better informed your risks are, the greater the chance that your risks will pay off. For example, seeking out more experienced employees might cost you more in the short term, but they might be able to bring more in the long term than employees fresh out of college who are just learning the ropes. On the other hand, if you can’t hire a more experienced employee, then you’ll need to take a risk on those eager grads, so try to choose employees who are versatile and understand the often chaotic nature of startups.
For long-established businesses, an example of a risk that must be taken is innovation and evolution, or else the business will quickly fail. Businesses must adapt to changing markets in order to stay competitive. For many older businesses right now, this involves updating cybersecurity practices, upgrading to the latest tech, and making sure that they’re offering the services that their clients want.
There you have it — some essential business lessons you just picked up from the game of cricket.
Cricket and business have more in common than you might initially think, and there’s a lot you can take away from the game.