Sunday, 30 October 2016

What do Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, King Edward VIII and King George VI have in common?

Cricket is one of the more popular sports in New Zealand. It is a summer sport and although the New Zealand team isn't as successful as the all-conquering All Black rugby team they still compete on the world stage against the heavyweights of the sport, India, Australia and England.

New Zealand are considered the dark horse at world tournaments because they can beat any team on any given day and they are given the utmost respect by all the opposition because the heavyweights know that they can be made to look silly.

New Zealand has just completed an unsuccessful tour of India in which they were whitewashed in the test matches and lost 3-2 in the one day internationals. The captain was Kane Williamson who has taken over from Brendon McCullum early in 2016.

During the tour Brendon McCullum's book was launched and one of the talking points of the book was his side of the captaincy story.

Brendon McCullum took over from Ross Taylor as captain  when a new coach was appointed. The coach decided that McCullum was more suited as captain.

With McCullum as captain New Zealand played some very attacking cricket. From the sidelines it seemed that McCullum was saying follow me fellas. I will lead and you guys follow and together we will take on the best sides.

Ross Taylor seems to be a bit more laid-back. According to this article it seemed that Ross Taylor wasn't the best communicator which in any sports team you need the captain to be vocal so that is why it seems that Ross Taylor was replaced by Brendon McCullum as captain in The New Zealand criekct team.

To me this seems like a classic case of extrovert/introvert.

I have said many times that in this day in age you need to be a little out there. For introverted people that may be a little difficult to hear but unfortunately that is the case.

In Susan Cain's book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that can't stop talking she talks about how Al Gore couldnt get the extroverted members of Congress to listen to his concerns on global warming as they weren't really interested in a couple of grainy photos of a crack or two in a glacier so he made a movie and then they sat up and listened.

I can imagine a few people who wouldn't be interested in the slightest with the photos but as soon as you produce that multimedia extravaganza then they are going to love it.

Back to Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand cricket team seemed to evolve into a mirror image of it's captain when Brendon McCullum took over. He seems to be an extroverted guy. I haven't read his book but I read an excerpt on Amazon and seems that McCullum is one of the lads. He played cricket for the social aspects of it. Hanging out with the guys, enjoying the after match just as much as the match itself.

New Zealand under McCullum became an attacking cricket side with his lead from the front captaincy. He seemed to be very vocal in the media. By vocal I mean that he was the face of the team and spoke well.

Ross Taylor seems to be a bit quieter and in the 21st century, unfortunately that doesn't really fit. You need to be out there.

McCullum team played attacking cricket and everyone bought into the philosophy and he was able to lead his team to the Cricket World Cup final against Australia in 2015.

McCullum was able to change the face of the team and that attitude has carried on after his retirement. This just goes to show you how one man can change a team. However what about a country which leads me to my next pair.

Have you seen the movie The King's Speech? It is about King George VI's working relationship with Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.

King George VI was portrayed in the movie as been a stammerer which is true. Logue helped him get over his fear of public speaking.

A subplot in the movie was the relationship between King George VI and his brother King Edward VIII.

In the movie, Colin Firth plays the introverted King George VI while Guy Pearce plays the more extroverted King Edward VIII.

For those of you who don't know, here is a brief history of that time. King George V died in January 1936 leaving King Edward VIII as King of the United Kingdom and it's colonies.

At the time he was involved with an American woman named Wallis Simpson who was twice divorced. As the head of The Church of England, divorce was very much frowned upon.

After 326 days on the throne, King Edward VIII abdicated. He chose his love for Wallis Simpson over his duty to his country.

King Edward VIII was very charismatic. He was handsome and very popular amongst the people of the UK. He came across as someone like Prince Harry does today. However his love for his woman was more than his love for the job and he stepped down.

I watched a couple of documentaries about this and as with any historical times you always get two sides to the story. One of the documentaries suggested that the government of the time wanted to get rid of him and his relationship with Wallis Simpson was just an excuse while another documentary suggested that the King's actions were tantamount to treason.

What can we believe? Well, that is up to you and what you read and decide for yourself. What we do know however is that Edward VIII was the outgoing of the brothers and George VI was more introverted.

King Edward VIII reigned for 326 days until his abdication while King George VI reigned for about 15 years until his death when his daughter Elizabeth took over and still reigns 64 years later.

King Edward VIII (at the time he was called the Duke of Windsor) died in 1972 in exile in France. Which means that if he had continued as king he would have reigned for 36 years. This begs the question, would the UK be any different today if he had reigned for those 36 years?

Many people say that he may have died earlier because of the stress of the war but lets just presume that he carried on to 1972 would Britain be any different? Would the people be any different? Would King Edward VIII have moulded the British people in his image the way that Brendon McCullum did with his cricket team? Can we compare a sporting team of 11 men with a country of 50 million people?

Lets assume that King Edward VIII had married Wallis Simpson and had continued on as king and lets also assume that the couple had no children which they didn't and lets assume that the current monarch had ascended the throne in 1972 instead of 1952, would the more extroverted King Edward VIII  have the power to change the national character?

What a difficult question and my answer would be a little bit. I think it would be a little different from what we know of British people and Britain now. (But lets face it, when we say British people we really mean English people. I don't mean to annoy the Welsh, the Scots or the Northern Irish because I'm just being realistic.)

King Edward VIII had little patience for the protocol of the royal family and this caused some politicians of the time to have concerns about his appropriateness for the job.

This is what I can see that may have happened:

1. The royal family wouldn't play as big role in British life as it does now. I have been to Britain a number of times and and it seems that the British Royal Family is a big money spinner for companies focusing towards the tourists. It would still be there but I'm sure that we wouldn't hear as much about it as we do now. I'm sure the tabloids and paparazzi would not want to hear that.

2. The British think that Americans can be "a bit forward." With an American "queen" would this be a concern in British society. Maybe that gap wouldn't be there and British people might not be as reserved and that island mentality would not play a big part in the fabric of society.

3. The British might be a little bit more direct. For example rather than being vague about their plans they might decline that invitation in a more direct way.

4. Could we all be speaking German? It is speculated that King Edward VIII was a Nazi sympathiser. Could he have unwittingly helped the enemy as it was at the time to defeat the Allies?

Of course we will never know and what good does it do speculating anymore than this.

What we do know however is that you have more chance of making an impact if you are a bit more "out there," a bit more extroverted.

I believe that Brendon McCullum took the New Zealand cricket team to a place where Ross Taylor may not have been able to take them to and King Edward VIII would of had a significant more impact on Britain than his brother did. Both of these people are in my opinion, extroverts and you need to have some kind of extroversion to make that impact.

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