Monday, April 12, 2010

Bowled Over

“Oh, that’s a beautiful delivery. That’s the flipper, and he is gone right through Andy Flower”. It was 2003 Cricket World cup when one of the greatest players of spin bowling was bamboozled by this ‘china man’ bowler. A typical tough Aussie, known to take on battle on the field was up for it this time, on a completely different play area. Brad Hogg, the cricketer and an alumni of Curtin University, Perth spun his enriching web on strategy, leadership and attitudinal facets an individual should possess, and the secret of touching heights in one’s life.

“Pup (Clarke) has been through troubled times of late” remarked Hogg, answering to my question on succession planning. He pointed to the importance of building second string leadership and backed Clarke as an able leader in the making. Half the battle is won in minds and very little involves the actual skills and technical shortcomings. This was the strategy that Mc Grath used to destabilize Sachin with his in-swingers. Killer-Instinct was an integral part of the game plan Aussies had. This often enabled them to play with a lot more intensity, pressurizing the opponents with a ‘never die’ spirit.

Waiting under the wings of Warne ensured Clarke learnt the lessons of ‘deserving’ to play only through performance and appropriate results. It brought out the importance of being ‘mentored’ thereby understanding intricacies in the art of bowling (of business). “ I would n’t mind taking Sachin or Lara giving away 200 odd runs, instead of running through the lower order” opined Hogg, hinting at the fact that efforts needs to be channelized in targeting and winning the best in business, and not just the stand alone records in the form of numbers.

While Waugh used to deal with players upfront, Ponting in comparison was relatively quiet. This shows how leaders use different styles and strategies to tackle situations and team members. Mental disintegration (Sledging) was yet again such a vital tool, to get to the nerve of the opposition, as long as it never crossed the line. Sportsman spirit, camaraderie is fine, beyond these was ‘Uncle Sam’ (referee) watching to axe the ones with suspensions, who get a little too carried away. Need for controlled aggression was put forth in typical cricket’s ‘Mouthful’ language!

Apart from the synergies that management and cricket shared, there was a competitive round of questions asked. Hogg presented self autographed bats to students. Hogging the limelight, the magician from West Australia spoke on Injury- “When one enjoys what he does, he neither feels the pain nor complains”. Drawing analogy to organizations, when someone works with passion, he looks at the larger picture of success than the trivial issues.

Thanks Hoggy, you have left your “rough” marks to make the most out of. We will exploit it and spin our way to glory in the times ahead!

Contributed by Balaji MS, HR Varsity, CBS Batch-4 (2009-10)

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