Ricky Ponting has conceded his international cricket career over after 13,336 Test runs in a record equalling 168 matches, and 13,704 one day runs in 375 matches, including 3 World Cups.
Throughout this sparkling Test career, and cricketing career as a whole, Ricky Ponting has always been a polarising character. A marvellously gifted batsman and hugely successful captain, his unwavering commitment to doing things his way has made the Australian public either love him or hate him.
At times his captaincy was criticised and his temperament questioned, but like him or not, he’s been an exemplary leader and can be held up as defining three very valuable leadership qualities.
Throughout his captaincy, Ponting always set clear goals for the team to achieve and laid out how it was to get there. He took ownership of the goals he set and openly communicated them to the media and within the team.
“The effect Ricky has on the team is unbelievable, even before he walks out to bat. He is a leader, and the way he takes responsibility, the way he leads by an example on and off the field is a huge thing,” said Michael Clarke of Ponting, September 28, 2010.
Good leaders must have a clear, vibrant picture of what success looks like and the steps required to achieve it. They must share this vision and be determined in acting upon it. As Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said, "Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion."
What you saw with Ponting is exactly what you got. He didn’t muddle his words and was the same gritty, uncompromising character on the field as he was off it. Throughout his career there were skeptics questioning his honesty and character as captain, but if he appealed for a wicket, it’s because he thought it was out. No ifs or buts.
Integrity means being the same person inside and out. It’s saying what you do and doing what you say. Leaders with great integrity instil trust, and when people trust you they give you their best because they know they’re always going to get yours.
“It's absolutely possible, there's no reason why not. It's all in our hands.” Ricky Ponting on Australia’s ability to clean sweep the Ashes, August 16, 2010. Never short on confidence in his team’s ability, self-confidence was always a strong Ponting trait. The next big ton was always just around the corner, the next series a golden opportunity to re-assert his dominance.
Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which good leaders are born. It allows leaders to make the tough decisions expected of them, lead with authority and be open to criticism. Someone may be very passionate and a great communicator, but without confidence they lack the hard edged decision making ability of a good leader.
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