By Dr. Rudi WebsterON March 13, 1967, fifty years ago, Sir Frank Worrell passed away. He was loved and admired by cricket enthusiasts around the world and will not be forgotten. In the Caribbean his achievements are constantly extolled in numerous cricket discussions and memorial lectures. This is extremely important. But most of these lectures have taken on too much of an academic slant.Consequently, the practical application of the cricket culture that Worrell developed as well as his principles for cricket development and performance enhancement have been forgotten or lost. This is unfortunate.The skills of ‘literacy’ – knowledge, information gathering and dissemination are very important, but are different from the skills of ‘operacy’ – doing or executing. Both are needed for successful performance. Sadly, the current West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has consistently neglected both of these things, hence the very poor state of West Indies cricket.In 1960, the WICB abandoned its policy of appointing captains only from European ranks and selected Frank Worrell as its thirteenth captain of the West Indies team.Frank then led the team in Australia and what a series it was! That tour revived cricket down under and although West Indies lost the series approximately half a million people lined the streets of Melbourne to bid farewell to the players and to implore them to ‘come back soon’.This was quite amazing because when the players arrived in Australia hardly any of them had much of a reputation, but by the end of the series they were all stars or superstars.After that series Richie Benaud, Australia’s captain declared, “I don’t think it would be uncharitable to say that Worrell’s turn as captain was long overdue.“Worrell has been a fine cricketer for West Indies for many years but this was the first time he had been given the opportunity of leading his country, and how wonderfully he justified the confidence placed in him. However, it is possible that over the years the part he played in his side’s triumph may fade.“That should not happen because he was the main cementing agent of the successful teamwork of his side. He is a man of stature, not frightened to say what he feels about any particular matter, and prepared to stand by his opinion.“Above all, on this tour, he held to the maxim of not telling the team something that is patently incorrect. There is nothing of the ‘con’ man about Worrell. He pointed out to them (his players) all through the tour that the Australians could be beaten, but only if the side of individuals played as a team … to say that he was right would be to understate the case.”Richie added, “Worrell will quite rightly go down in cricket annals as one of the best captains we have ever seen. His quiet, happy disposition and fine public relations have done much not only for the game of cricket, but also for many who have played with and against him.”When Frank returned to the Caribbean he further improved the team and later joined a select band of captains that won all five Tests in a series. Furthermore, he created a winning culture that Sobers, Lloyd and Richards carried on.Richie Benaud and Frank Worrell admire the eponymous trophy in 1961.What were the personal attributes that made Worrell such a great leader? First, he possessed a high level of integrity, a powerful set of core values, a healthy level of self-confidence and a strong sense of self-acceptance and self-belief.Second, he had extensive knowledge of the game and its history, a sharp understanding of his players, their culture and the things that made them tick. Third, he had wide experience and a tremendous track record; he knew how to control himself and how to stay calm and focused under pressure.Fourth, he had the ability to create harmonious, cooperative and stimulating relationships within the team. Fifth, he had a keen mind, strong analytical abilities, good judgment and the capacity to think simply, clearly and strategically.Sixth, but by no means least, he possessed high levels of motivation and self-discipline, two of the most important factors in performance at the highest levels of sport. And he did his best to imprint some of these qualities into the minds of his players.It is quite rare for leaders to have all of these personal qualities. But successful leaders who have limitations in some of these areas usually appoint people to the leadership team who have the skills to make up for their limitations.Although Worrell had these great personal qualities he knew that he would only be successful if he could use them to get the players to execute his plans and strategies.He had great confidence in his players’ ability but he first had to get them to see the talent that they had within, and then stimulate them to express it effectively to deal with the many challenges they were likely to face on and off the field.Frank was a great ‘man-manager’ and soon accomplished those goals. At the end of the Australian tour, he said. “This is one of the happiest teams I have ever toured with, and the response from every player was tremendous whatever the circumstances or the result of any particular match.”Worrell had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve for West Indies cricket and how he wanted his team to play the game. When he shared that vision with his players and clarified their roles and responsibilities he created an awareness of purpose and a strong feeling of belonging.The players then brought passion and commitment with them because they believed that they could truly make a difference to the performance of the team. And when Frank directed and focused these energies to the tasks and challenges at hand, a major requirement for success was satisfied.West Indies cricket is in urgent need of revival. The Board, coaches and players should make a point of revisiting the Worrell era to see what they could learn from the past to jumpstart this revival, since human performance is not only influenced by goals or models formulating the future, but also by history and past experiences.
In the aftermath of a historic election, the debate about how much power the federal government should be given, particularly in terms of education, will always be present in the United States. With a communist political system, Cuba’s government maintains complete authority and control over social and political issues. While the United States would never transition to such an authoritarian system of government, and I’m not suggesting this as such, it could learn from Cuba’s educational system. Specifically, Cuba’s high accountability standards, continual professional development for teachers, high access rates for all genders and races, among others, could be replicated if the United States wanted to have a high quality education system.At the World Conference on Education for All in 1990, scholars gathered to develop consensus on what factors should be associated with a high-quality and highly effective educational system. These factors range from the institutional organization of a country’s educational system, such as supportive policies and sufficient funding and material resources, to school-based factors like clear goals and highly effective teachers. The Cuban government independently included several of these factors when creating their educational system, which helps account for their high achieving students.Multiple studies have illustrated the high correlation between a pupil’s test scores and his or her socioeconomic background. Cuba breaks out of that mold as one of the countries in which, despite students’ relatively low social standing, students generally perform very well and have higher test scores than their low income would predict. Moreover, Cuban students outperform those in other Latin American countries with similarly low levels of wealth and receive the same high quality education that only wealthy, upper-class students would receive in other Latin American countries. So what is so unique about the Cuban education system that creates such high-achieving students? The communist system of government that encourages high-quality teaching with well-defined goals to ensure that schools focus on student performance. One of the biggest takeaways from studying the Cuban education system is the positive impact that low income inequality can have on a country’s system of education. While poverty does exist in Cuba, even the very poor have access to food, shelter, healthcare and education. Additionally, by enforcing child labor laws, providing free healthcare to all and guaranteeing adult employment, Cuba works to ensure that low-income students are able to attend schools and do not have to work or go hungry. While a communist government affords few individual liberties, through large governmental oversight, the Cuban government assures that low-income students are given the same educational opportunities as higher income students. Additionally, Cuba’s system of measuring teacher performance helps assure that teachers continue to improve their craft with a reliable feedback and monitoring system. The United States largely keeps teachers accountable through monitoring student test scores, which results in educators focusing on teaching students content to pass exams more than developing critical thinking skills. In contrast, teachers in Cuba are presented with a portfolio of lessons and a video example of another teacher giving a lesson. This not only allows for greater collaboration among teachers, which would help all of the teachers improve, but would provide feedback for teachers with low pedagogical skill. Cuba is able to ensure such a high quality educational system because it requires families and teachers to conform to state-sponsored standards for students’ learning and has the unique governmental structure in place to guarantee conformity and control. One of the ways to achieve such collective interests, in which everyone is concerned with granting all students a high quality education, is that the state has to be much more of a guarantor of quality education for all. In other words, much like Cuba, the United States needs to take public responsibility for the success of its students. By tackling debilitating issues like poverty and income inequality, which both negatively impact a child’s educational attainment, and setting high standards for teachers through developing effective performance measures, the United States can move toward guaranteeing all students a high quality education.Julia Lawler is a senior majoring in history and social science education. Her column, “Get Schooled,” runs Fridays.
Since I last wrote about Pinterest (see: Should Pinterest be part of your B2B social media strategy?) it seems that the new social networking site has gotten even bigger. More and more of my connections on Facebook are pinning away — but don’t just take my word for it. Just last week, Mashable released a study showing that Pinterest is driving more traffic than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ combined.Yes, you read that right. Combined.Monetate (an OpenView portfolio company) also released a great infographic showing that Pinterest has become one of the biggest referrers for retailers). With traffic statistics like that, it would be silly for B2B marketers to ignore the virtual pinboard.Since Pinterest is the talk of the B2B social media town, I wanted to help busy marketers digest all of the blogs that are seemingly written about Pinterest every day.A Guide to Pinterest for B2B Social Media MarketersWhat the Heck?Pinterest is What YOU Want it to Be – Our friend CC Chapman just published his thoughts on Pinterest. If you are a skeptic, be sure to start here, as CC describes his initial apprehension toward the new social network until he realized the user has complete control.What is Pinterest? How Can I Make the Most of it? – The team at Lady and the Blog tackled the question in the fall of last year. This is a great intro post to learn about Pinterest and the basics.Building the Business CaseShould Marketers be Pinterested? – Corey O’Loughlin of MarketingProfs recently wrote about her company’s experience in getting started with Pinterest by specifying the goals, how to measure success, the manager of the account, and the added value by participating. Consider using this framework when planning your Pinterest strategy.Getting StartedPinterest: The Ultimate Guide – The Inspiration Lady has put together a great soup to nuts guide on using Pinterest. This post includes information on getting set up, adding the “Pin It” button to your site, and finding others on Pinterest.B2B Best PracticesHow and Why to Use Pinterest for Business – John Jantsch offers 5 tips to B2B marketers interested in Pinterst. Step 1 Create, Step 2 Search, Step 3 Pin, Step 4 Invite, Step 5 Engage.Should You Use Pinterest in Your B2B Social Media Strategy? – Last month I shared my thoughts on why it makes sense for B2B marketers to start pinning. In short, do it for SEO, content distribution, inbound links, and engagement.To Pinterest, A Love Letter – Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media recently professed her love of Pinterest. In this post, she offers great examples showing businesses that they can use Pinterest to connect and engage with their audience on a new level. Instead of just posting pictures of your products or sharing your content, Barone encourages businesses to pin “stuff that shows what you are about” and “cut the crap.” Love it and love her.Examples of Brands/Companies on PinterestNote: I know this list includes B2C companies, but don’t overlook them as examples of the potential of Pinterest. ChobaniHGTVMarketingProfsSo take a cue from these experts and get pinning!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis