Sachin Tendulkar's Fifty Hundreds – 6 lessons for an entrepreneur
The man, the GOD, the run-scoring machine and more have been the words used to describe the man Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. It is a brilliant achievement indeed and is today an inspiring example for a lot of us young Indians and for that matter, youngsters all over the world!
For entrepreneurs I believe there is so much to learn from this. It is not just about having talent but having the ability to nurture it to achieve greatness. No matter how big a batsman is, he needs partners at the other end. Sachin has nurtured many a player under his wing in a very subtle fashion to create such big innings. He has had to be a mentor, a student, a team player, a tough opponent, a patient and yet an aggressive person, among other things to get to where he is today. He is a classic example of the things one needs to do beyond possessing basic talent.
Here is a list of some basics I believe we can learn from this:
1. No matter how big you become, you still have to do the basics: Even Sachin Tendulkar needs to run across the pitch or have the ball cross the boundary to get his runs. He did that on day one and needs to do it as long as he plans to stay in the game. As an entrepreneur, life isn’t any different for you, too.
2. A mistake can cost you dearly, no matter what: Even Sachin Tendulkar, as great as he is, has fallen victim to wrong shot selection, a good ball from the bowler and a catch held onto by the opposing player. His greatness cannot make him immune to the threats of the business.
3. Stay on top of the situation: We have seen the lean patches of his illustrious career when he wasn’t at his best. Similarly, your balance sheet over the years will reflect on your company’s performance.
4. Stay grounded: This is the most remarkable ability of Sachin. I have never met a person who has complained of Sachin not being a gentleman and living within his means in the game or beyond, nor would you have heard of any controversy attached to his name. He is married to Dr. Anjali and has a rich family life that is the envy of many a celeb, despite getting very little privacy in life thanks to being the ‘god’ of batting and cricket alike.
5. Survive adversity: I’m sure everyone remembers the time Sachin lost his dad and came back to score a hundred at the world cup. It showed the commitment he brings to the table. It has stood him in great stead even in the times he was down and out. As an entrepreneur, things aren’t different when it comes to prioritizing. Your team and your staff will only be, at best, as committed as you are. You are the benchmark. It lies on you to raise the bar time and again.
6. Don’t worry about records: Every day is a new day. No one can guarantee that Sachin will be able to score a hundred in his next innings, too, or even what will happen after the next ball. One bad shot can end it all for that innings if the man fails to do what it takes to survive on the pitch, no matter how many hundreds he has to his name. When the furniture on the pitch is disturbed, the man will walk to the pavilion. No other go! I hope you do not face such situations as an entrepreneur too often. If and when you do, it’ll pay to analyze your mistakes and come back stronger the next time.
The final over
In a world so full of opinions, you can’t keep everyone happy at all times. Having watched Sachin from his early days in cricket, I have seen both the good press and the bad press. Sachin has stood tall through it all. As an entrepreneur, you will face challenges day after day and minute after minute. Sachin has showed that it is doable, through 21 years of battling it ball by ball. Running up and down the pitch literally, wearing the complete batting kit and wielding a heavy bat have been the odds for this otherwise small-built man. Practice, commitment, the hunger to succeed, a fearless and yet respectful attitude have been the hallmarks that have taken the man to great heights. Talent is of course essential, but it is just one of the ingredients. If you disagree, take a look at the record books of cricket and try finding a man called Vinod Kambli. He started playing cricket at the same time as Sachin and was then hailed as the more “talented one” of the two batsmen.
On a final note, here’s wishing Sachin many more hundreds, and I wish you all the best for many a landmark that you'll achieve in your quest to glory as an entrepreneur, if and when you choose to go that way.