Success is ‘all about the team’ says England cricket champion Claire Taylor

What does cricket and procurement have in common? The need for competing parties to collaborate, says international cricketer Claire Taylor.

Speaking about the lessons she learned as a 156-capped batswoman for England, and how they apply to her life in business, Taylor said she “wasn’t as successful” when she was thinking about herself.

“[For] four years, when I was semi-professional and I was thinking it was all about me, I wasn’t as successful. If I look back I was much more successful when it was actually all about the team,” Taylor told the LUPC & SUPC Conference.

In 2009 Taylor was part of the England team that won both the Women’s Cricket World Cup and the Women’s World Twenty20. However, throughout her tumultuous career there was a lot of “heartache” and “a lot of beating being done, mostly by Australia”, she said.

Just like in a business environment, Taylor said she saw areas of competiton between members of her own team.

“Cricket may not seem to be, for those of you who know much about it, a team sport. It’s a very individual sport. Obviously I’ve got my team-mates around me and we’re playing against another team and you think the competition is just there,” Taylor said.

She added: “You start to think about the aspects of cricket, of scoring runs, of taking wickets and you start to think about professional sport and how many contracts you’ve made or what level of sponsorship is available. And actually you start to think about how you’re competing with those people in the same team as you.”

Taylor is currently principal consultant at Sums Consultancy, which specialises in education.

“When collaborating, I think intuitively when we meet people and we talk to them we start to get an idea of how we share values,” said Taylor, concerning both business and sport.

“This was really key, really, really important in a cricket team that actually we had some shared values of how we wanted to play it, how we wanted to do things. I think that’s really important in business as well,” she said.

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