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Duncan Fletchers Golden Rules


John Knights

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Duncan Fletcher, the Cricket Coach who inspired the England team to beat the Australians in 2005 shares the secrets of his training success:

  • Joint Leaders don’t work
    As far as management goes, two’s a crowd. If two individuals are in a position of authority, ensure that their rules are clearly divided and that ultimate decision-making power rests with just one of them.
  • Never be afraid to hand responsibility to people.
    Have faith in human nature. Don’t try to dictate to people. Give them a chance to prove themselves and to learn from their mistakes. They will rarely let you down.
  • Co-opt the rebellious by awarding them management responsibility
    Don’t get irritated by people who won’t subscribe to a team ethic. If their ability makes them worth keeping, give them management responsibility and watch their character change.
  • Listen to what your team is telling you.
    There is nothing more de-motivating than a manager who doesn’t listen. Your workers will more than likely know their own job better than you do. So if they’re telling you something, it might be worth taking heed.
  • Always be sensitive to the human balance of your team.
    Team spirit is a vital ingredient for success. Take care to ensure your team has a critical mass of individuals who get along with each other and have a team-oriented personality.
  • If you show faith in individuals, they will repay you.
    People will generally respond to a manager who says that he believes in them and is prepared to work with them over the long term to capitalize on their strengths.
  • Commitment from the manager is in itself a motivating force.
    Don’t ask your workers to put in maximum effort if you’re not prepared to do the same. Resentment and cynicism will be the inevitable result. A strong work ethic, on the other hand, can be infectious.
  • Only criticize in private.
    No individual likes to be rebuked in front of others. Arguments in the heat of the moment can escalate causing irreparable damage to a working relationship. Save your criticism for when you are behind closed doors.
  • For every action, there is a reaction – always establish the root of the problem.
    Don’t jump in head first to attack problems in individual or team performance. What you are seeing are symptoms. You constantly need to ask why something is happening and then address that.
  • Recruit character – it’s very difficult to change mental make-up.
    It’s much easier to improve technical faults or to teach new skills than to transform an individual’s personality. Ensure as far as practicable that the person you are recruiting has the right stuff.

The LeaderShape view: John Knights thinks “Duncan Fletcher kills the myth that you have to be charismatic to be an inspirational leader. Many inspirational leaders are in fact introvert. Inspiration is simply “the action or power of stimulating the intellect or emotions”. Duncan Fletcher has done that in spades and his golden rules are good ones. But I think he should have added a 11th which I am confident he would agree with - “Recognise high performance regularly - and in public - and celebrate success”.

To discuss this further, please contact John Knights at LeaderShape on +44 (0)870 990 5576.

About the Author

John Knights a Co-founder and Chairman of LeaderShape Ltd. “My purpose in business is to help leaders develop leadership excellence.” He is an experienced Coach, Mentor and Facilitator of individuals (especially CEOs and Senior Managers), teams and peer groups. His business experience encompasses a broad range of senior management responsibilities in international corporate environments in the U.S.A., Europe, U.K. and Asia. To boost your leadership skills and understanding, please call: +44 (0)870 990 5576 or visit

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-10-09 11:54:20 in Employee Articles

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