One of my favourite pastimes is to read about leadership. A few weeks back I read an article on Future Group’s Kishore Biyani’s exceptional ways of creating future leaders. Let me share the gist. The group has launched a programme called ‘Ban Jao Biyani’ or ‘Be A Biyani’. Hand-picked employees of the group will be sent on a five-day boot camp to learn the basics of entrepreneurship. Before heading out, the young leaders were made ‘heads’ of their brands at a small but formal ceremony. Add to that, they had Biyani and company president Devendra Chawla to mentor them as they went about re-strategising and re-vitalising their brand.
I loved the idea. Putting young men and women in charge is a great move. Besides other things, Biyani told them that it was fine if they failed. There is no shame in failure but it is disgraceful not to try. There are two ways of learning to swim – one by showing the courage and throwing the learner into deep waters/actual situation and the other going by the manual step-by-step. To my mind, both work but I prefer the former. There are few stronger aspects of a human being than his natural instincts, and that is an important component of being a good leader. I will give you an example.
Before our first game against Delhi, we were in two minds whether to include Andre Russell in the eleven as he would have played a game in an opposite time zone in less than 24 hours. We had the option of going in with Morne Morkel, but exactly a week back Russell was at the Eden Gardens winning the T20 World Cup. This is where my best friend ‘Miss Instinct’ told me that it wouldn’t take long to stoke Russell’s adrenalin. Here he was opening the bowling and clinching a big moment by getting out Quinton de Kock off a well thought-out bouncer.
Besides instinct, it is important to give ownership to individuals. Giving Russell the first over was KKR’s way of telling him that he owned the arena. Another example is the way we are grooming Surya Kumar Yadav, my young teammate. We were looking for a vice-captain and it struck me that this young man from Mumbai has the spunk that can be harnessed. It was heartening to note that KKR’s leadership group liked the idea and Surya was appointed my deputy.
I slept like a log after the win on Sunday and so did all those butterflies within me before I went out to bat. What a feeling it was hitting those boundaries off Zaheer Khan. I must say my batting is very much a work-in-progress but it is a great feeling fighting it out in the middle and winning.
It was a satisfying Day One of IPL 2016. God, I want to be a sportsman in my next life as well. God, I want to bowl like Brad Hogg in my next life as well, and the next and next and next as well! Leaders are a greedy lot too, by the way.
Dinesh Chopra Media
The writer is KKR captain. Views expressed are personal.