New Manager

Check if you are a Sachin or a Sourav

D. Murali | Updated on July 03, 2011

The Winning Way, Anita Bhogle and Harsha Bhogle

History judges leaders by the quality of the decisions they take, write Anita Bhogle and Harsha Bhogle in The Winning Way: Learnings from sport for managers (Westland). “The outcome may not always be beneficial but the boldness and intent behind the decision are what matter. Whether in war, business or sport, decision-making is an integral part of leadership. And those who dilly-dally or fail to take a call are remembered as weak and ineffective leaders.”

Weighed down or buoyed: On a related note, the authors observe that leaders may either get weighed down by leadership or be buoyed by it. Stating that some people enjoy being leaders — ‘you can see that in their body language' — while others are inherently private people, happy to contribute, but who find it a burden to take on any responsibility beyond that which they can carry out, the Bhogles advise leaders to check if their own performance dips due to the additional pressure, ‘as might have happened with Sachin Tendulkar,' or whether their personality blooms ‘as it did with Sourav Ganguly'.

An important counsel to leaders is that they have to be ‘hear-a-holics' with open ears and an open mind since the best ideas can sometimes come from where you least expect them.

Cautioning that a boardroom where you can hear a single voice is not a very vibrant place, the authors remind that ideas may come from one of the ‘reserves,' someone who has little to do, has no pressure at all, and who might spot something that has escaped more anxious eyes.

The buck rests with the leader: The book highlights a common mistake that new leaders make — asking people for views and trying to arrive at a decision by consensus.

Alas, it is not possible or even desirable for leaders to make everyone happy in the final outcome, the authors fret. “Leaders who try to do that rarely achieve success. It requires courage and conviction to take decisions and even more to stand by them.”

Published on July 03, 2011

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