On Saturday Scotland will play Italy in the Six Nations Rugby
tournament. In the previous game a couple of weeks ago they lost the
game against Wales – which they had been leading right up to the last
few minutes – because of a couple of bad decisions. There is a lot of
national pride invested in these rugby games and it has to be said that
the comments about “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” – a
phrase often used about Scottish sporting outcomes – were
understandable. So I was impressed by the reports of Scotland Captain
Chris Cusiter’s comments on the defeat and what they learned. On the
official website he says
”In the debrief we looked at the decisions that were made.
We have to learn from that, and become better players and better leaders
because of that.”
Now let’s be clear here – decisions made in a game of rugby do not
compare with decisions that some leaders have to make.
But I found it refreshing to hear Chris describe what he should have
And – as a couple of the players sustained what could have been
serious injuries – how this had put things into perspective.
It is rare for a leader in any area nowadays to hold up their hand
and say “I got that wrong” – yet to me that is a real sign of strength.
Leaders are human beings and – like it or not – they have capacity to
And another strength of a good leader is their concern for others in
I met Chris a few years ago when I won the chance to train with the
Scotland rugby team at that time ( that’s another story which – if you
have time – you can read here).
To be honest – I had been entered in the competition by my husband and
although I watched rugby on TV I did not know many of the players. At
that time Chris was injured and was at the sidelines. I “opted” not to
go into tackle practice and joined him to stand and watch . He
introduced himself as Chris – and I introduced myself back. It was clear
I had no idea who he was – and you know something – to his credit he
gave no indication that I should have.