3 lessons that team leaders can learn from IPL
Every team requires a leader who leads from the front, understands the requirement of its team and knows how to use the team's potential
Changing teams, performance pressure, high stakes, there is a lot in IPL that is similar to corporate world. Here is what team leaders can learn from IPL
The focus lights are on. Cameras are rolling. Millions of eyes are glued to televisions. Amidst all this frenzy are cricket teams and team leaders, playing their best game. IPL 6, the sixth season of Indian Premier League, started on April 4 with a glitzy opening. The almost two month long fanfare, which is celebrated like an annual cricket-fest by the cricket-crazy crowd around the world, put to display some spectacular performance by different teams. IPL is not only about cricket. It is equally about co-ordination, performance, results, teams and team leaders. A close look at IPL reveals some of the best management lessons that team managers can take advantage from:
1. Company ethics and culture are the main driving force:
IPL teams bear striking resemblance to new-age corporate teams in one way: Both teams do not play with same players for too long. At a time when young employees change jobs frequently, and a company might be working with a new set of employees every few years, it is imperative for companies to establish a strong culture. This makes it easy for new employees to blend into the company culture and to have clarity about company expectations. However, it also increases accountability on hiring managers. For a team to perform, it is essential to pick the right individuals and help them become a part of the team. The rise of 19 year old Manish Pandey, as the first Indian to score a century in IPL is a clear example of how young and junior team members may sometimes turn out to be a team’s biggest strength.
2. Fringe players may change the game:
One mistake that team leaders often make is to underestimate some members without giving them the opportunity to perform. Usually, this happens with team members who are not very outgoing and like to work quietly. Every team has a mix of such people. It is on a team leader to identify hidden talent and give them opportunity to perform. Every team member requires relevant training and grooming to fit in, and the right opportunity to be able to perform .Over the years IPL has witnessed some extraordinary performances by new-comers. Sreenath Aravind, the highest wicket taker for RCB in IPL 4, players like Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan andMurali Vijay (all of them have made a mark on the national side as well) are also a result of opportunity. While many employees may be average performers, it is not right to be judgemental about them without giving them proper opportunities. It is always better to provide them relevant trainings to help them improve their work. Which training will work for whom is on a manager to figure out.
3. Every team needs a leader who leads from the front:
The right leadership is required everywhere. When Gautam Gambhir took over from Saurav Ganguly, the team Kolkata Knight Riders was fumbling. It changed its strategy and brought in players based on their performances.Result: The team ended up amongst top few teams in IPL 2011 and won IPL 2012.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni faces the challenge of consistent performance as his team the Chennai Super Kings is by far the most successful IPL team. Irrespective of the nature of job, when it comes to team performance, a lot depends on the team leader. Every team requires a leader who leads from the front, has a proven track record, understands the requirement of its team and knows how to use the team’s potential. What is interesting is that the same rules of leadership do not apply everywhere. However, a leader who doesn’t know the strengths and weaknesses of his team will find it hard to lead it to success.