Our Stories, Our Experience, Our Thoughts Will Change SOMEONE's Life

Self improvement is key to success



Of late a lot of people have been recommending podcasts to me. Much as I’ve wanted to listen to a few, my schedules have been crazy & I haven’t had the chance.

Last week I traveled to Singapore & back, and the longish flight finally gave me the chance to knock one episode off, from a growing list of recommendations.

And boy, I LOVED IT!

"Lessons From The World’s Best" hosted by Paddy Upton where he speaks with some of the world’s best athletes about the story behind their stories.

The one I caught was with Gary Kirsten - the man who coached the Indian team to a glorious & unforgettable #WorldCup win in 2011. For those who don't know, he also happens to be one of the greatest batsman to have played for South Africa!

Gary speaks about his career, first as an athlete, then as coach, the highs & lows, lessons learnt, his experiences, how he charted out plans, the mindset and most importantly for me, how he leveraged what he admits, were average skills.

BUT here's the thing - while it was a chat around cricket, the key takeaways for me were the insights that actually apply just as well to life, leadership, team building & entrepreneurship.

For context, when Gary took on the role of Coach in 2008 the Indian team consisted of established legends like Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Bhajji, Yuvi, Zak & emerging champs like MSD, Gambhir, Virat etc.

Imagine what it may have been like to walk into a setup, knowing that he HAD TO earn the trust and respect of a team, which until a few years prior, he was actually competing against.

With absolutely ZERO prior coaching experience, its like a fresh management graduate with no work experience landing a job as Facebook’s new CEO! Kind of what it may have been like for Gary. Yet, he found a way to deliver - with aplomb!

Gary speaks about how he wasn't considered talented enough at junior levels & was always compared with his brother, Peter who was a more gifted batsman. And how he used that, to drive himself to excel, eventually proving to people that he did belong.

This resonated with me, reminding me of how I internalised much of the criticism I faced with my first few films. That drove me into creating a niche, a space for myself. And to this day, I continue making attempts at improving with each opportunity.

Gary speaks about the fear of failure. And how it never really goes away, even for elite athletes. You only learn to manage it better. Most people link self worth & identity to success or failure & he provides incredible insights on how we can best deal with this.

There’s a segment where they acknowledge how coaches can let their egos & their definitions of success, define how they deal with team failures. And I could relate to how this may hold true for a team leader in a professional setup as well.

This conversation is pure gold & I highly recommend it, even for those who’re not cricket fans! 

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