Mark Taylor discusses leadership, 2008

Transcript of sound recording

People generally say communication makes a good leader, and I don't disagree with that, but I think one of the main parts of being a good communicator is being able to listen to people and actually find out what they're after or what problems they might have. So I would definitely say that listening would the most important thing that I can think of in being a good leader.

People say that I was a good leader but I don't know if I was a born leader. I think I became a leader. People, you know, let me lead to positions that I didn't think I was ever going to achieve. So, look, I'm not sure you're a born leader. I think you just learn it as you go along. I looked at it that I was leading a national cricket team, yes, but I tried to keep it reasonably simple. I was leading a cricket team, and not too many people die over games of cricket. So, from my point of view, the game wasn't ever that serious. Obviously when you make a national side, you know that you're under quite a bit of scrutiny. But at the end of the day, you're there to win or lose cricket games, which is, as I said ... people don't die over that, so it's not as important as a lot of people tend to think it might be.

I'd like to think that I was a realist, and you know that making mistakes is a part of life, no matter who you are or what you do. So, look, I think I try not to get bogged down in the aftermath of making a bad decision and as I say, looking towards the future. I think in cricket terms you play the very next ball - that's the important one, not the one that's gone by. Remember that you're playing a game. Obviously once you make it to a certain level, a professional level, it becomes a bit more than a game because it becomes your livelihood, but I think the players who can keep a good perspective on the game, still enjoy the game even though it is their livelihood, are the ones that to me seem to be the ones who are more successful in the game. So try and keep it all in perspective that you're playing a game of cricket. You're not really changing the world.