Tuesday, 16 October 2012


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Leadership training should be compulsory for youth

* Self-Confidence
* Team-work
* Dedication
* Lead by Example
* Developing team-mates or subordinates
* Never say die attitude
* Accepting the defeat in an ethical manner

Leadership training should be compulsory for youth to build self - confidence and earn victories in the international sphere as well as locally," the defense Secretary said at the Piping Ceremony of the SLEAS Class 1 Principals and MOE officers as Brevet Colonels at the Defense Ministry recently.

He said if their confidence, leadership qualities, team work abilities etc. were not built up properly, they would not be able to take the best probable decision at the crucial point of a competition which would be a letdown for the country as well as a setback at a special occasion in one's life.

The Defense Secretary said the Sri Lankan cricket team while being the best, failed on four consecutive crucial occasions, the last being at the 20-20 World Cup as they lacked self - confidence.

He said Tony Greig told him at a discussion prior to the match that the Sri Lankan team was talented enough to win the World Cup. Secretary Rajapaksa said an environment should be created for children to take decisions without being spoon fed. He said it was left to Principals, teachers and schools to play an important role in achieving this end.

The above were some excerpts from the Ceylon Daily News on October 9, 2012.

What a nice speech of Gothabahaya Rajapaksa? Four consecutive times after being the best team in the tournament, Sri Lankan cricket team failed to bring the glory to the country. Mahela now tells that they could not cope up the pressure built up during the game. See once again what the defense secretary stated in the paper.

" If their confidence, leadership qualities, team work abilities etc.; were not built up properly, they would not be able to take the best probable decision at the crucial point of a competition which would be a letdown for the country as well as a setback at a special occasion in one's life."

Our defeat at the hand of Windies on that particular Sunday occurred not due to our inabilities but exactly due to the abovefacts quoted by Rajapaksha. At the end of the match,the decision taken by the team leader itself talks about the lack of self-confidence he had during the match. He has decided to step-down as the captain of the team of T20 format.

Is it a correct decision to take, if he is having the correct leadership qualities? There is no question about his cricketing ability. Then my question is as to why he undertook the leadership of the team when Sangakkara and Dilshan stepped down previously quoting the same reasons.

In this time, I suppose no one asked him to step down. All cricket fans of this country like Mahela to continue as our cricket captain until suchtime he is able to groom his successor. Our question now iswhy we failed to lift the cup in front of more than 25,000 Sri Lankan cricket fans. Answer is nothing but the lack of good leadership qualities may be due to lack of improper training. Some of the leadership qualities that I mean are shown below.


Self- confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable and feeling scared out of your wits. Your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on how others perceive you. Perception is reality - the more self- confidence you have, the more likely it is you'll succeed.

"If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race of life.With confidence you have won even before you have started."

- Marcus Garvey

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator "Mr. Fonseka, I was so nervous! My heart was racing and I was sweating. I couldn't think straight."This is how a team leader of a soccer team began telling me a horror story about his experience in a closely finished soccer match which he had lost by a slight margin.

"I don't know what was wrong with me", he continued. "I knew we were the better team but at the end we lost. I just kept thinking about all the ways that I could mess things up. It was like my self-confidence just disappeared."

This person's story is not unique. In fact, many people are feeling overwhelmed by the need to achieve, the complexity of competition, and a fear of failure or rejection.

As a result their self-confidence is like the mystical unicorn - elusive and seldom, if ever, seen. You will probably never catch a unicorn, but here are the some steps that could help you capture your self-confidence.

Focus on what is right, not what is wrong

When someone has a strange look on his face what do people usually ask?

What is wrong with you? You face is not happy today. Similarly people do always talk about work, school life and other people they are usually talking about what is wrong. They do always expect whatever they do to end up with failures. They do always think that everything could go wrong.

This is not a lecture about positive mental attitude. It takes more than just positive thinking to build self-confidence. It takes effective thinking.

It is good to know your shortcomings and weaknesses, but it's ineffective to constantly focuson them. That type of thinking can nullify your strengths and kill your self-confidence.

Once you know what your weaknesses are and what problems could arise it is, time to decide how you are going to keep your weaknesses from coming into play and what to do about the potential problems.

Once you know, put all of that to the side and with laser-like-focus hone in on what's right - your strengths and what can go well.

Of course, this is easier said than done. If you come across a tiger while walking in a jungle, all of your attention will be focused on the tiger because it is a threat. It is time to run so your body enters into what is known as Fight or Flight Response Mode.

Now what is the action you would like to take? Run away or fight the tiger? Otherwise, try to give your way to tiger and avoid it. Depending on the situation, you are required to take a best decision. This is where you need training on leadership and team-work.

It works in similar fashion when it comes to failure, rejection, or maybe even stiff competition. Unconsciously your mind perceives disappointment as a threat to your mental and emotional well-being. So when something important is on the horizon and you are not sure how it's going to turn out you automatically begin to focus on the perceived threat- what's wrong or what could go wrong.

But failure, rejection, and disappointment are not tigers; you can fight them.

Whatever of the situation, to help you focus on what is right, on paper list your strengths and everything that could right. (If you are finding more things wrong than right about a situation then you probably need to move on to a new situation.)

Also, completing and constantly saying the following phrases-or something similar-to your-self will build confidence: I am sure these phrases might have come to Mahela's mind during the time of play.

* I have a good chance of succeeding because I have the best players in the world

* Everything will work out because we are strong.

* Today is going to be an extraordinary day because we are playing in front of home crowd.

* West Indies could only manage to score 30 odd runs in the first ten overs during which time their best player was back in the pavilion. So it cannot be a big problem to curtail the other ten overs.

These declarations will not magically make things perfect but they will help to bring back your self-confidence.

Once you begin to regularly use these and similar phrases you will create vivid images in your mind that will help you to succeed.

All what I noticed in the members of the whole team including the leader is theover-confidence and under-rating the opponents once Crist Gayle was out. Captain/leader of a team should control him-self by over-joying every time when a wicket falls. He should calm down and further improve on the plan he has already laid. Instead of doing this, we saw something unexpected from a person in the caliber of Mahela. Please do not misunderstand Mahela. I am trying to give you and the other members of the team with some management principles to face at the next event.

Visualize Your Victory

"I would close my eyes andI would start envisioning. And thisis a very powerful tool .I can definitely say thatI would never be standingin front of you all todayifI never envisioned."

Those are the words of Dominique Dawes, the first African-American gymnast to win anindividual Olympic medal and a member of the 1996 gold medal winning Olympic U.S. Women's Gymnastics team.

Envision yourself successfully achieving your desired outcome. The more detailed your visualization, the more powerful lit will be.

By doing this daily you will also have more confidencein unexpected situations.

It's easier to visualize your victory when you commit to proper prior preparation. Losing a game or making losses in an organization is not a big thing. But if you could take some effective actions to bring the success, why not we use them?

Thoroughly prepare and be authentic

Long before anyone else does, you knowif you have properly prepared for the task at hand.It's difficult to be confident when you are not prepared and pretending to besomething that you're not. Thoroughly prepare and keepit real. Be authentic.

As you prepare, focus on what is right, visualize your victory.

You talk about how things will be great and they tell you how everything is going to fall apart and how they would be worried if they were you. Do you know what you should tell people like that?Absolutely nothing.

Don't tell them about your dreams, aspirations, or goals.

These kind of people dwell in negative environments-which should be avoided at all costs.

Set bite-sized goals and celebrate success.

When a task, goal, or obstacle appears to be insurmountable your self-confidence can begin to wane.

The good news, however, is that small, successful experiences can produce more confidence.

The Million-Dollar Question: Do confident people still get nervous?

YES. Performance anxiety is a normal thing but the more self-confidence you have the sooner it goes away. Self-confidence is a priceless asset that will frequently tip the odds in your favour.

Produced by Lake House Copyright 2006 - 2013 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

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