What we can learn from the little master – Sachin!

By on November 16, 2013

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What we can learn from the little master – Sachin!

Genius is eternal patience…. Michelangelo

 
Seldom in the world of professionals comes a man who has carved out his destiny with such a fierce sense of purpose, tenacity and skill as has Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. In recent times only two other names, aka RN Tata and Steve Jobs (both who decided to walk away in their own ways) has evoked similar sense of professional mastery and the accompanying salutations.  
 

Sachin, the very name draws unparalleled awe, inspiration and admiration amongst millions of fans. Over the years the name has come to bear testimony to a string of sustained achievements that have been accompanied by an equally calm and steadfast modesty at all times (thru the ~ 24 years that he has played). The sum effect of all this as witnessed, is/ was but the manifestation of excellence in thought, action and deeds –  regardless whether the master had scored a big knock or not.

So now that the little master is going away (starting today), what is it that we can truly learn from this master professional whom the world mostly refers to as genius if not god;

  1. Foremost (and most importantly) there needs to be an abundance of mentality. A mentality that urges students and professionals alike to recognize that chances and opportunities to learn, improve and better will always be there. And that there are (equal if not) more lessons to be learnt from failure than success alone. Sachin epitomised the very abundance of mentality that enabled a positive, calm and optimistic outlook at all times…. to a point of adopting an attitude of making cricket larger than life (or anything else to that matter)
  2. That there is no substitute for trying. Try and one will be surprised of what all can be accomplished. While failure can be a learning experience and can help overcome obstacles, but firstly you have to try. Without trying one is not going anywhere and no form of feedback to learn and improve is ever available (till one tries). Sachin epitomised the very spirit of ‘why you should never fear failure, for after all the sky rarely falls on anyone’s head?’ And failure can be the best learning experience in the end…
  3. To define, accept and rely on your own expectations (always). The world can be viewed thru many lenses, consciously or sub consciously. And if you accept the expectations of others and more so the negative ones, then outcomes can never be influenced, let alone bringing any effective change. For to live accepting everyone’s impressions of what to do, or not to do is just trying to please everybody and doing everything to please anybody and everybody. Where there is danger of being pulled in n different directions at once, or change depending on the mood of the day/ season (as to what happened last time when you played/ tried/ and saw your life thru the eyes and expert opinion of countless experts). Rather it is best to expect things of yourselves, before you go and actually do them. Sachin epitomised this very outcome by simply playing the cricket game as best he could and releasing himself from the need for validation from others (and this included everything beyond just batting – from bowling fielding, team spirit, camaraderie, off field interactions and even his very retiring…)
  4. To visualize for yourself what you want and where you are going/ or want to go. Without visualization it is very hard to achieve what one wants, after all one is not out there (even at nets), just to sweat three, four hours to find out what it feels like to sweat. It is more from being there to achieve better what one is wanting, and to be sharpening that direction. Sachin epitomized this very discipline of seeing a clear direction for himself. And the subsequent hours of nets, practise, meetings, playing, winning and losing are all, to just stay focussed on that path. Milestones have to be defined so as to meet them better. And finally when you are actually out there performing, to be fully detached from the outcomes…
  5. That staying focussed at all times is simply a must. Post defining what you want and where you want to go, it helps to focus on what;s in front of you than let the inner anxiety and pressure take over. It does then just start to make things easier as you are focussing on whats in front of you than get weighed down by an auto mode and self created negativity. The trick is in acknowledging that obstacles will always be there, but not letting them take over you. In achievement seeking situations walls and obstacles will always be there, but it is how you climb them or work around them. In such situations focussing on the present somehow activates new solutions or sometimes the solutions just pop up. Sachin epitomised this very aspect by always turning the negative situations into positive ones…
  6. That staying positive, somehow keeps all the negative things at bay. Good times and bad times are never permanent and there is always something good to find in just about anything. When you ask yourself ‘what is positive/ or useful in all/ or any of your professional challenges?’  it’s very likely that one will start to find valuable lessons (even in setbacks and failures). It is mostly about turning that negative mood into a more positive and constructive one. Such a mood is most often more helpful and useful than sulking and/ or feeling sorry or down. Sachin epitomized the art of turning a negative situation into a positive one…
  7. That it’s all about playing the game and playing it well.   Having fun in the process makes it truly a game (than a match) . And when played well and in center stage is more than having fun – it becomes an enjoyment not just for the one who is playing it, but to all the others who are watching the game too. The player than has his eyes fully on the ball and the rest of the world has it’s eyes fully on the player.  Sachin epitomised the very feeling of “Let’s just play and have fun. Let’s just all enjoy the game”…
  8. And above all to be remembering that the game/ profession is always bigger than everything (and anyone).  Salutations and accolades will come to all in some form or other at some point of time. But not letting them go to the head requires not just strong shoulders to keep the head up firmly, but to put that best chin forward with humility at all times. In this Sachin epitomised all the very facets of humility –  being soft in speech, friendly to a point, reserved with caution, and  above all remaining a student at all times, just made him never lose his head, ever. In the end he let his bat do all the talking over the 24 years, while he himself steered away from commenting, conflicts, arguments, duplicity, etc. He just made sure the game was always bigger than him, for he (possibly) knew very well that the game will in turn make him bigger, better, stronger and fitter (both as a professional and as a human being).

In the end, it is/ was his devotion to the game, the passion to keep learning and above all to pursue excellence (at all times) that has made him that ‘master professional’ to be. A master professional that many professionals from various walks would care to emulate, if not get inspired by. That type of devotion has demanded relentless time and attention of his at all times –  Demanding the master to remain an eternal student and to ensure the game was above anything and everything at all times (including family, country, awards, criticism, etc). And to make him that rare genius and the role model to be!

                                                Genius is indeed eternal patience…

srt1

                                                                                


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About Subba Rao NV

Subbarao is an entrepreneur, management professional and a hands-on business leader with +20 years exp in consumer goods, tele-communications, wireless applications/ solutions and retail sectors, where he has handled large teams and multi unit businesses. Earlier he held VP- Sales & Marketing, COO/ CEO/ Apex positions at TATA Docomo, Bharti Airtel, Tanla Solutions and Conagra Foods (India). Having started at P&G as a management trainee, he has worked and led over 25 brands. Over the years he has lived and worked in different geographies including US, Japan and Vietnam, while holding p&l and growth responsibilities for market & value share leadership. In 2012 Co-founded Reboot Systems (India), a refurbished computers business - set up the brand, business and retail/ franchisee store model. After successfully exiting same (03/2015), is working to launch and establish his next start up - www.myfirstbigjob.com ( a platform based integrated 'jobs-skills one stop portal - presently in development stage'), to find a way out of skill-gap issues and to address the problems of skill-divide. Subbarao is also a member of Hyderabad Angels and a charter member of TIE and in his spare time runs a blog called best matters. [ www.cocreate.subbaraonv.com/ email: subba@subbaraonv.com ]

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