The Star Performer

Roselinde Torres on leadership –


There is always an art and skill to most human endeavours and leadership is no different.

In this excellent TED talk from Rosalinde Torres she discusses her findings from the research and the experience she has had with Fortune 500 and top political leaders such as Mandella.

She also makes the point that a lot of leadership education, training and programs are simply not working because they are forged from the patters of old, rather than questioning what is needed in the future.

She summarise her work into three qualities or attributes of good future leaders, and these are –

    1. Good leaders will anticipate change – Good leaders will have the capacity ‘to see around corners’. They will do this because of whom they associate with, what they read, the topic that they are prepared to engage with, and learning from experimenting and doing
    2. Good leaders will have a strong diversity approach – to be able to ‘see around corners’, they need to engage with a diverse range of people, diverse systems, across a whole spectrum of potential influencers. In so doing they will be able to find different solutions, find different patterns emerging from which to be ahead of the pack
    3. Good leaders will be courageous – in my terminology, “if it ain’t broke, break it!”. Good leaders will abandon the past, or at least heavily question it. Good leaders dare to be different and they have incredible supplies of emotional stamina


As head coach of the Australian Cricket team, and other teams, the Queensland Bulls, Kolkata Knight Riders and Middlesex CCC, I can totally support her views.

I was always seeking diversity within our group and what information could be brought to the group, for example:

  • I had an American baseball coach, Mr Mike Young help with fielding skills and personal coaching
  • I employed a performance skills coach, Dr Phil Jauncey because he did not deliver the usual sports psychology – he was about positive doing, not positive thinking
  • I was the first coach to utilise computers to provide better analysis of the patterns in cricket, while at the same time it provided more accurate feedback to the athlete
  • I constantly looked for support staff who could bring something different to the group
  • I read about and observed sport coaches from other sports and filtered what I thought could work in our environment
  • A constant companion was The Art of War by Sun Tzu

And I remained true to my values, principles and philosophy, eventhough it meant that I would lose my job at Kolkata and Middlesex; however, it was one of the reasons why success came the way of Queensland and Australia

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