Daily Archives: March 29, 2011

Andrew Hill

Ricky Ponting has resigned as captain of the Australian national cricket team, but he intends to stay on as a player. If he were chief executive of a business, however talented, he would never try to pick up the threads of his earlier career as, say, a top salesman. Why not?

Ricky Ponting (Gareth Copley/PA Wire)

Ponting, 36, was the most successful international cricket captain ever, but he was widely perceived to have failed recently. His team just lost to India in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Yet as a batsman, Ponting still has plenty left to offer. Indeed, the World Cup quarter-final saw him return to form, scoring a typically brave century. As he told the press in relinquishing the leadership:

 

Now that I won’t have all the extra responsibility of the captaincy, I think I can turn myself into a better player than I’ve shown in the last six months.

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Predictions of rapid economic growth trigger in me the same breathless fear and excitement as news that tickets for a show or sporting event are going on sale and will sell out instantly. How much more stressful these forecasts must be for chief executives, whose destiny, and that of their companies, depends on being near the front of the queue when visions of the future come true.