Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, known as the most fierce Indian captain and a force to be reckoned with in the world of cricket, shared his leadership mantras and management principles from his time on the field to eventually leading team India, and the parallels one can draw to the corporate world.
The BCCI President was in conversation with Deepak Lamba, CEO, Worldwide Media, President, Times Strategic Solutions Limited, at an exclusive gathering organized by The Economic Times India Leadership Council for its members, who are prominent CEOs and Managing Directors from across India Inc.
Deepak quizzed Sourav on his life experiences and anecdotes on leadership, from his exposure as a 17-year-old competing in his first international event in Perth, Australia, and being starstruck by playing with some of cricket’s greats to eventually becoming captain.
“A lot of my leadership learnings have come from my own experiences. As a result, I rarely rely on books,” Sourav responded.
“As a youngster, being a witness at close quarters to the sort of power centres within the team, please share with us your experiences that are both positive or negative, and a few anecdotes that left a mark on your mindset that led you to your captaincy,” he asked.
Sourav replied, “I have seen the actual transformation of cricket over time. There were people with different mindsets, and I realized very early on that there was no shortage of talent within the team,” Sourav said, “but talent without exposure is nothing. I had some great players under me who could have gone on to become captain at any time, and I was fortunate enough to meet those great players, so I saw it not only as an honour but also as an opportunity to change things, to make it an even platform for everyone to express themselves. When you select an individual, you first select them based on their abilities, and second, select them to succeed. And for me, their career was as important as mine because I know what it took to get here, to represent India,” Sourav replied.