Management Lessons from Sports

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was widely derided to as ‘Dad’s Army’. They were widely criticized for assembling a team of older players for a format favoring youngsters. All the critics had egg on their faces, after CSK’s stellar performance, culminating in winning the tournament. Age was not the edge. Effective management of talent was at play.

While IPL is relatively young, English & European Foot Ball leagues have been around for over a hundred years. Mike Forde, a Talent Consultant & Simon Kuper of Financial Times studied top football teams, across decades and drew practical lessons, supported by profound insights.

Lesson 1 Big talent and big ego are fellow travelers. Accept it.

Top talent has a profound awareness of their unique ability. They know their employers need them.

While no individual is more important than the team, a team aspiring to win needs to be big enough to accommodate good players.

Lesson 2 Dont aspire to dominate the talent

The leader/manager should be more like a film director than an army general. Cajole performance from talent rather than command.

Lesson 3 Ask Talent for advice in operational choices

Empower Talent. People perform better when they own what they do. Nobody likes to be told what to do, least of all talent.

Lesson 4 The managers job isnt to motivate talent.

Good talent motivates itself. The manager’s job is to ensure he does not demotivate in any way. Motivate by providing challenges and stretch goals. That is what talent looks for from their leaders.

Lesson 5 Talent needs to trust the expertise

The organization needs the ability to work together. That call for trust in and respect for one another’s expertise. Get them to work together with trust and respect for one another talents.

Think out of the box. Find new ways to get your Hi Potentials to perform to their fullest.

– by Ravi Santhanam for Zeus

For more:

Next: Sustaining Hi-Performance

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    • Ravi Santhanam

      Ravi Santhanam

      August 24, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      Good to learn that you find the proposed approach useful. Do let us know when you implement a similar approach as appropriate for your organization. Will be great learning for all of us!

  • Ravi Santhanam

    Ravi Santhanam

    August 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks Mahesh! Wonderful to know that the proportion of time on training, improves as you go up the ladder. Could you please describe this pattern a little more. Useful to all of us!


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