Ball tampering, is it  really that bad???….

…well apparently it is. This can be especially true for those that perpetrate the act, so when Smith, Warner and Bancroft embarked on this course of action in the recent Australian vs South Africa cricket test, they would not have dreamed the reaction that they would receive, especially from their own fans. Mind you, they probably didn’t plan to get caught either.

Many commentators are questioning the severity of the punishment dished out in comparison to other cheating behaviours of sports people in the past, but cricket cheats do seem to cop lengthy punishments (remember Lou Vincent).  But this isn’t just about ball tampering; it is about the integrity of the team that most Australians hold in higher esteem than that of the Australian Prime Minister. Steve Smith especially at the height of his career, can do no wrong, or so we thought, had a mind explosion and not only forfeited a great deal of income in the foreseeable future, but severely damaged his reputation as a skilled craftsman of his trade.  Because he was well respected, relatively young in his career and extremely good at what he did, he was placed on a higher pedestal than other players involved in the cheating behaviour.

And that is the problem; Smiths reputation has been significantly damaged and so has the trust people have in his ability to lead a team and make the right decisions. Whether we like it or not, we all are judged by the decisions we make and the actions we carry out. Personal Branding is what it is all about at this level. The ability to capitalise on yourself as a brand rests entirely on how you present yourself to the wider public.

What is Personal Branding? – It is establishing and promoting what you stand for.  It is a combination of skills and experiences that make you unique. Effective personal branding will differentiate you from other professionals in your chosen field.

Personal Branding is about building an additional channel for growing your own success.

Whether as an individual or a business, your brand is built up over time and reflects your values and your vision as to where you see yourself in the wider community, whether it is sport or business. We all know how Corporate sponsorship is critical to providing that additional income for successful individuals, but as we have seen it is hard fought but easily lost. How quickly Corporates will ditch a celebrity if they don’t fit the corporate profile. Ask Tiger Woods if you have any doubts.

Will Steve Smith once again reach the heights previously gained in his career? Who knows. But one thing is for sure, he has a tough job ahead and only time will tell. At the very least he has started by accepting responsibility.