Leadership lessons from Rahul Dravid

I was 12 when I first watched Dravid play, was bored with his game in the beginning but started loving him later on. I believe he was born in a wrong era, had he been born in an era sans Tendulkar, the love and adulation he would have received from the Indian fans would have doubled or mark my words even tripled.

In the illustrious career that spanned for over 16 years we got see many facets of the “Great Wall”. The perseverance, the adaptability, the selflessness, the attitude of putting the team first …. all of them hold valuable lessons for all of us in our respective career paths. Here are some leadership lessons we can learn from the true legend of Indian Cricket.

For Entry-Level Executives:

Rahul Dravid is more technique than talent. He is a disciplinarian who came first to any practice session and left last, and didn’t miss coaching. Dravid idolized Sunil Gavaskar, another master technician. Dravid in his earliest days imbibed from his coach and his idol that patience, staying at the wicket and a work-horse like approach was the sure-shot way to sustain initial success.

The lessons for entry-level corporate executives are clear: it takes a lot of learning and honing the ‘fundamentals’ of the domain, for an expert to emerge. Dravid also stands for fitness and multi-skilling. They make you more valuable to your employer. A junior manager should think, Dravid kept wickets for India; he needn’t have developed that skill.

For Middle-management:

Early successes spurred Dravid to greater dedication. He went to master newer abilities, the square cut of a turning ball, the glance off the pads of an in swinging delivery and the pull shot along the ground. His success made him more grounded. He adapted to ODIs. But still maintained an unassuming profile. He never minded playing second-fiddle in any long partnership.

The takeaways to corporate managers in the middle to senior levels are plenty. Build on pilot success, each milestone only spells a higher bar for the next, no celebration, in fact no declaration of successes even. And above all partnerships, peer-group respect and selflessness. Dravid put his team first always, but he still ended up as the second-highest run-getter of all times.

For Leadership Executives:

Dravid failed as a captain. The lowest point was the India’s ignominious early exit from the 2007 World Cup. He was sacked as a captain, but he still wrote a letter to BCCI saying he didn’t want to continue. He was removed as a captain by his IPL team owner Vijay Mallya.

Dravid continued to perform as a player. He showed grit and determination not to let his team, its owners and the reputation down. He wasn’t made to be an all-guns-blazing leader his successor M.S.Dhoni turned out be. The lesson for corporate leaders? No matter how well prepared and competent you are, circumstances may give you a rough time. It is the ability to rebound and flourish again that determines the ultimate winner.

Reference:- Economic Times