High up in a boardroom eyrie, in a nondescript office block in a nondescript part of town, Andrew Strauss could pass for the city type he thought he would become had his cricket career fallen short of expectations. The only clue that these expectations have been met is the three lions and the crown logo neatly sewn into his sharp, grey suit.
He is on what cricketers like to call ‘an earner.’ A consultancy firm has asked him to pass on observations on leadership and management to its executives and although he tells me that he is ‘reticent to lecture anybody on leadership’ that is exactly what he has been doing for the hour before we meet. His credentials for so doing are impeccable.
The notion that sport can learn from business and vice-versa has always struck me as a little bogus, though, a reaction against the kind of gravy-train that I witnessed in my playing days, where huge sums of money were wasted on types who clearly felt they had something to offer but who were, in essence, frauds. Sometimes former sportsmen, sometimes businessmen, they were, to a man, badly prepared and offered clichéd nonsense…….