Friday, December 28, 2007

'What you cannot do'

Haven't blogged since July....Thats a very long time...I guess the last 2 quarters were like that...Never felt the urge to do so....So many things happening...and most of them were'nt good ones...As Bill Lawry would have said 'Its all happening out here'...Some other day, I would have come back to my room and penned down my thoughts. But somehow it never happened.

Now that the storms have eased, the dust is settling and it would be a good time to reflect back on the events of the past 6 months. I hope to utilize this semester to write more....Dont want to make it into a resolution...But ya, I would definitely try....
Starting off, on a positive note. I happened to watch a video which was a talk by Harsha Bhogle and believe me its probably the best Ive ever heard. It goes on for an hour and a half, but its so engrossing. The way he relates cricket to management is simply awsome.

One of the key takeaways from his speech was that 'talent can only take you thus far. Its the grit and the determination that actually are the defining factors'. The ability to stay in there, take on the challenge, fight it out and eventually win. In a nut shell its the attitude that matters. He gave several examples where great talent has failed since they didnt have the right attitude. Sometimes when you are very talented, things come very easily till a certain point in time and then suddenly one fine day you find that its not working. It happens to everyone. He mentioned how hard working cricketers have managed to be successful by following the recepie of 'great attitude'.

I thought about it. It did make sense. And as I always do, I looked for some examples from the field of sports. I always use sports as an example and especially test cricket as I feel that it is the closest to management. You need concentration, patience, need to handle different conditions etc etc...(There are so many similarities..I can keep writing).I guess thats one good thing I have learnt to do over the last year or so. Any new concept/idea, I try and relate to examples from the field I am interested in..Somehow it works....(Il write about it in a later article)

About what Harsha said, I did'nt have to look too far. The first name that came to mind was Shivnaraine Chanderpaul. Not many of us remember that when Brian Lara scored his magnificient 375 against England, at the other end stood a young 17 year old left hander called Chanderpaul. A very unorthodox style of batting, people say he doesnt have style etc etc. But over the last decade he has been mighty effective. He has managed to play over a 100 test matches and score more than 7000 runs. As I write he has equalled the record of Everton Weeks and Andy Flower of scoring 7 consecutive half centuries in test matches.He has played for 1000 minutes in test cricket without conceeding his wicket...Not once, but on three occasions....There are records galore...

The underlying point is that, he is a batsman of limited ability. The key is he knows what he can do and more importantly what he cannot do. And that I think is the key. To know your limitations, build your game around it and then add in the ingredients (of grit,determination and attitude) as Harsha had so nicely mentioned and you have success !!

Adding on the point of what you cannot do, I cannot avoid mentioning the former Australian opener, Justin Langer. Over 7000 runs, 23 international hundreds, averaging more than 45 as an opener....Would never have been possible after the debut he had in 1992 and then subsequently being dropped for years...I guess he used that time to go back to domestic cricket, understand what he cannot do and when he got a chance in in 1999, he came back with a bang ! Who can forget the memorable partnership with Gilchrist to help Australia chase a 300+ score against Pakistan at Hobart.

Chanderpaul and Langer are just two examples...The world has many more !!!!