Leadership lessons from Pro Kabaddi first season winner – Part 2

In part 1 we looked at team composition; strategy and execution of Jaipur Pink Panthers. We also saw how we can juxtapose these team concepttenets to business life.

Let’s now look at the other 3 important tenets in this final section.

4. Resilience :Motivational message.

Its’ not that Pink Panthers had straight line victories. In fact they lost the first match of the tournament that they played against U Mumba. Jaipur played in all 14 matches. They won 10, lost 3 and 1 was draw. Of the 3 lost matches, 1 was lost to U Mumba. The draw again was with U Mumba. So the previous two experiences were not much in favour of Pink Panthers. “We couldn’t have won it if we hadn’t removed the fear factor from our minds. We had worked hard to reach the final and it was more of beating the team that we had failed to. The aggression and hunger clearly showed and there is no question that the better side won” said Jasvir Singh. Burning desire kept them consistent at winning and the bounce back ability helped them overcome their defeats.

  1. Clear communication lines :3D little human characters X6 discussing at a round table. Business People series.

Forthrightness and clear communication of players within them, with the coach and the captain is an important point to consider. They did not get into un-necessary egos. The team was encouraged to focus on strengthening their individual positions and skills. While doing this the captain and the coach ensured that the team member does not start strengthening skills in silos. They focussed on the collective performance and orchestrated efforts.

In the business context keeping the communication lines open for the manager or the leader is essential. Fear free expression of the team members will help address the issue(s) at nascent stage before it becomes a growing hot balloon. These are some of the methods some managers follow to keep the communication lines open.

  1. The open office design allows the team members easy accessibility to her manager.
  2. Follow a regular meeting schedules of skip level team members.
  3. Management by walking around (MBWA) if the team is in same location or through web chats.
  4. Informal get together
  5. Reviews and ideation sessions
  1. Branding and presenting :

Like other teams, Pink Panthers also had their team dress designed. This was sponsored by their apparel partner T K Sports. What was strikingly different is the way in which the team was launched by Abhishek Bachchan in a press conference. He made the media shy players extremely comfortable and presented them with their best side to us.Brand Text With Symbols

In the office context, we see the team logos, team names, team dress code etc. Anything that stands teams apart. Branding helps the team to identify themselves with the composite unit. The brand is easily noticeable. Showcasing the strength can give a good exposure to them in front of their stake holders. I have seen some managers follow it quite consistently.

This is what Abhishek Bachchan says about sports and kabaddi.

  1. Team work, loyalty and leadership is what you learn from Sports.
  2. Kabaddi requires players to be a gymnast, rugby player, wrestler and a chess player.

I guess businesses and teams need a lot of it to remain vibrant and successful.

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