All successful teams need leaders who believe in their own abilities and back their own judgement. But there is more to leadership than supreme self-confidence. There are subtler arts. A leader must also know when to compromise and to be able to handle an awkward situation with discretion.
It can be a difficult balance, but it is an essential one. And it is a balance that the unquestionably brilliant but incorrigibly headstrong England cricket captain, Kevin Pietersen, would appear to have failed to strike.
We do not yet know the full circumstances surrounding the end of Pietersen's tenure as captain. But it seems that he allowed a personal disagreement between himself and the England coach Peter Moores to blow up in public, which destabilised the team and eventually resulted in the removal of both men from their posts. That suggests egotism, rather than leadership. And English cricket is surely better off without it.