You are on page 1of 6

Rahul Dravids consistent performance - coupled with his impeccable professional and

personal conduct offers great lessons that can be applied across a variety of careers.
1. Recognise your strengths and weaknesses
Rahuls first stint in one-day cricket was tougher than the young debutant would have
expected. He was soon labeled a Test-specialist. But Rahul was unperturbed. I recognised
I needed to get better at my one-day game if I wanted to have a long and successful career. I
knew that, by far, I was not a finished product early on. So, I needed to keep getting better.
Businesses can do well to follow this approach. If things are not working out, it would be
worthwhile to review the operations objectively, scrap ideas that dont work and instead
build on the companys core areas of excellence.

2. Train hard/ work on your craft
If Dravids story was to be summarized in two words, it would probably read: persistence
pays. A relentless hard worker, the former Indian captain diligently worked on his
limitations without taking success for granted. He holds the record for highest number of
catches in Tests. Its not luck. In chilly winters, he would ensure he took around 80-100
practice catches daily. I have never seen him missing those catching sessions, off-spinner
Harbhajan Singh remembers.
Earning an MBA degree could get you an entry into the best companies. Talent, hard work
and some luck could get you to the top. But constantly updating your knowledge through
professional training or certification courses could ensure you hold the competitive edge.

3.Reinvent
Mere knowledge is insufficient. It takes will power to try out new things by shedding ones
inhibitions. One of the greatest problems that companies face from staff and management is
resistance to change. This requires an open mind, enormous team spirit and a commitment
to adapt. Dravid batted in every slot for No.1 to No.7, kept wickets and bowled the
occasional off-spin. It surely was not easy. Even in the away Test series in England last year;
Dravid reinvented the way he approached batting as he played a more aggressive brand of
cricket to stand tall amid the teams ruins even as he was flexible when asked to open the
batting, as he has done innumerable times in the past.
And those who adapt reap the yields. Bajaj Auto was synonymous with scooters for many
decades before it dared to enter the motorcycle market. Today, it is the country's second
largest motorcycle manufacturer.

4. Believe in yourself
Some succeed because they are destined to, but Rahul Dravid succeeded because he was
DETERMINED to, tweeted former India opener Navjot Singh Sidhu. At a time when the
genius of Tendulkar, aggression of Ganguly, elegance of Laxman were grabbing headlines,
the defiance of Dravid earned him the sobriquet The Wall. Dravids self-belief came from his
solid technique and willingness to focus on the positive side of things.
Optimism and self-belief is what pushed NR Narayan Murthy to quit his job, borrow from his
wifes savings and pump in the money into a company called Infosys. Infosys today, is an
inspiration and an immensely-admired institution. Isnt Dravid too?

5. Keep track of the competition/ learn from peers
It takes courage to stand up and speak. But it also needs courage to sit down and listen. As
The Guardians Rob Smyth observed, Dravid was never too proud to seek advice. In 2002,
Dravid had no reservations in seeking batting tips from Michael Vaughan after the England
batsman had blasted off India's spinners.
Company CEOs could benefit from keeping track of the competitors thinking patterns,
discuss trends, share concerns and offer collective solutions. Profits are only a small part of
business. Overall growth can only be ensured if the entire industry moves forward in a
conducive business environment.

1. After a glorious career spanning 16 years, Rahul Dravid retired from Test cricket on Friday,
March 9, 2012. Like everything else that he did on field, the prolific batsmans complete exit
from international cricket was well-thought of, dignified and devoid of excessive
sentimentalism.
Dravids consistent performance - coupled with his impeccable professional and personal
conduct offers great lessons that can be applied across a variety of careers. Heres what
company CEOs can learn from Rahul Dravid:
less
2. 1. Recognise your strengths and weaknesses
Rahuls first stint in one-day cricket was tougher than the young debutant would have
expected. He was soon labeled a Test-specialist. But Rahul was unperturbed. I recognised
I needed to get better at my one-day game if I wanted to have a long and successful career. I
knew that, by far, I was not a finished product early on. So, I needed to keep getting better.
Businesses can do well to follow this approach. If things are not working out, it would be
worthwhile to review the operations objectively, scrap ideas that dont work and instead
build on the companys core areas of excellence.
less
3. 2. Train hard/ work on your craft
If Dravids story was to be summarized in two words, it would probably read: persistence
pays. A relentless hard worker, the former Indian captain diligently worked on his
limitations without taking success for granted. He holds the record for highest number of
catches in Tests. Its not luck. In chilly winters, he would ensure he took around 80-100
practice catches daily. I have never seen him missing those catching sessions, off-spinner
Harbhajan Singh remembers.
Earning an MBA degree could get you an entry into the best companies. Talent, hard work
and some luck could get you to the top. But constantly updating your knowledge through
professional training or certification courses could ensure you hold the competitive edge.
less
4. 3.Reinvent
Mere knowledge is insufficient. It takes will power to try out new things by shedding ones
inhibitions. One of the greatest problems that companies face from staff and management is
resistance to change. This requires an open mind, enormous team spirit and a commitment
to adapt. Dravid batted in every slot for No.1 to No.7, kept wickets and bowled the
occasional off-spin. It surely was not easy. Even in the away Test series in England last year;
Dravid reinvented the way he approached batting as he played a more aggressive brand of
cricket to stand tall amid the teams ruins even as he was flexible when asked to open the
batting, as he has done innumerable times in the past.
And those who adapt reap the yields. Bajaj Auto was synonymous with scooters for many
decades before it dared to enter the motorcycle market. Today, it is the country's second
largest motorcycle manufacturer.
less
5. 4. Believe in yourself
Some succeed because they are destined to, but Rahul Dravid succeeded because he was
DETERMINED to, tweeted former India opener Navjot Singh Sidhu. At a time when the
genius of Tendulkar, aggression of Ganguly, elegance of Laxman were grabbing headlines,
the defiance of Dravid earned him the sobriquet The Wall. Dravids self-belief came from his
solid technique and willingness to focus on the positive side of things.
Optimism and self-belief is what pushed NR Narayan Murthy to quit his job, borrow from his
wifes savings and pump in the money into a company called Infosys. Infosys today, is an
inspiration and an immensely-admired institution. Isnt Dravid too?
less
6. 5. Keep track of the competition/ learn from peers
It takes courage to stand up and speak. But it also needs courage to sit down and listen. As
The Guardians Rob Smyth observed, Dravid was never too proud to seek advice. In 2002,
Dravid had no reservations in seeking batting tips from Michael Vaughan after the England
batsman had blasted off India's spinners.
Company CEOs could benefit from keeping track of the competitors thinking patterns,
discuss trends, share concerns and offer collective solutions. Profits are only a small part of
business. Overall growth can only be ensured if the entire industry moves forward in a
conducive business environment.
less
7. 6. Guard your credibility
It takes centuries to build a reputation. It takes minutes to destroy one. Just after Dravid
became an overnight sensation after his legendary debut series in England, a cola
advertisement had a humourous take on Dravids Mr Serious image. Abhi naya haiphir
style maarega! (Hes new to stardom; hell soon turn flamboyant!), the female character
predicted about Dravid.
But time proved her wrong. Till he retired 16 years later, Dravid guarded his upright moral
values as fiercely as his off-stump. Rare, for an international sportstar.
CEOs carry an enormous corporate and social responsibility. Speech gaffes, corrupt deals,
accounting frauds, political lobbying, environmental negligence can tarnish the credibility of
companies. Top bosses should lead by example and ensure that the company remains
untainted in the eyes of investors as well as customers.

7. Look at the bigger picture
Dravid rarely played an innings. He painstakingly built it through toil and sweat. He was
willing to bide his time, leave alone the good deliveries and patiently wait to punish the bad
one. At times, he was willing to aggressively defend. He always had the larger interests of
the team in mind. Once playing, he was neither afraid of the hardship, nor tempted by
personal glory.
Some business decisions may bring in immediate criticism. But a good CEO bears it with stoic
courage and focuses on the long-term returns, rather than the short-term costs. Good CEOs
measure things not only in terms of profits, but of value.
The FMCG business may not be raking in immense profit to ITC, but the cigarette giant has
now successfully forayed into this sector under the leadership of YC Deveshwar. According to
Business Standard, the chairman is eyeing a Rs 10,000 crore business, even if FMCGs current
contribution to profit is negative.

8. Never be complacent/ rest on past laurels
Despite the number of runs and centuries that Rahul Dravid scored in international cricket,
his pre-match preparation had a routine that visualizing himself scoring runs on the pitch to
be used for the forthcoming match. Great sportsmen dont play for money or glory. They
play for a feeling that is something beyond. Or something very basic the reason that they
picked up the sport in the very first place a spiritual joy of excellence.
Great CEOs are driven by the urge to develop something faster, higher, better or stronger. It
is perhaps this reason that Apple keeps launching a new device every few months,
outperforming even its best product capabilities.

9. Deliver despite the odds
Many would remember Indias victory over Australia in 2001 for Harbhajans hat trick and
Laxmans monumental double-century. Lesser number of people will remember Dravids 180
not out in the same match. And many less will remember that Dravid was unwell during the
knock and was on antibiotics. The master batsman was also prone to dehydration
throughout is career. He countered his physical limitations by pacing his innings through
proper planning.
Product prices are heavily dependent upon costs of storage and logistics. Critical planning
and back-up product delivery mechanisms ensure that goods are moved along supply chains
even in times of natural disasters or other crises. A good CEO also needs to be resourceful.

10. Know when to retire
Despite his fitness and hunger for runs, Dravid retired at the age of 39, leaving everyone
shocked and wondering about the future of Indian cricket.
A review of Indian business houses (as in Indian politics) will reveal that many business
patriarchs refuse to retire till almost the end of their lives. This leaves little room for the
successor to groom himself (or herself) for the absolute top job, and also restricts the
movement of fresher ideas in and out of the boardrooms.
While critics are gunning for Tendulkar to bid goodbye following his poor run with the bat,
and speculations run rife about Laxmans place in the team, Dravid has managed to achieve
what many others havent.
Dravid may be out, but he ensured that he did not retire hurt.