Steve Smith – more than the world’s best batsman

by | Oct 3, 2019 | Leadership

Although Australia has retained the Ashes, it probably wouldn’t havebeen the case without the brilliant batting of Steve Smith.

Smith is now regarded by his peers as the best batsmen in the worldand possibly one of the all time greats of the game. With some saying he could knock on the door of many of the great Don Bradman’s records.

But this is not about how brilliant Smith is as cricketer. It is about how a world class sportsman climbed back from the embarrassment, humiliation, shame and disgrace of the ball tampering scandal in 2018 to emerge, twelve months later, and stand on the world stage with pride, confidence and poise.

So how did he do it? I haven’t interviewed Steve, but here are my observations.

  • From the start he accepted full responsibility for his part in the scandal
  • He allowed himself to be vulnerable. Who can forget the emotion he displayed at that press conference when he returned to Australia.

But those two events would most likely not be enough to turn the tide of the upset he was feeling.

Neuroscientist Dr. Joe Depenza explains that every experience we have leaves us with an emotional imprint. If we keep revisiting the experience we also trigger the emotion of that experience. Do this often enough and we embed the event in our habitual subconscious mind.

How do we prevent this? Research shows that we need to become greater than our environment. What does this mean? In Smith’s case it meant he had to disregard the negative influences all around him. His environment would have been full of judgments; bad press, opinions from commentators and social media. Blocking all this out and focusing on who he was as person and how he wanted to move forward was most likely his greatest strength.

In my opinion Steve Smith is already a legend. There are few that would be able to dig deep into themselves to find the courage, self-belief and determination to counter the critics and naysayers and then go on and drive their career and, in Smith’s case, his standing in the cricket world, to a new level.

No matter whether he returns to the Australian captaincy or not Steve Smith has already displayed what it takes to become a truly unique leader.

No matter whether he returns to the Australian captaincy or not Steve Smith has already displayed what it takes to become a truly unique leader.

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