Lessons in team work from IPL 10

Lessons in team work from IPL 10




The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 has rewarded its fans with some spectacular cricketing moments. While Mumbai have gone on to be the deserving champions, the top four teams that qualified for the playoffs this year have each demonstrated thorough professionalism combining teamwork with training, discipline, resilience, street smarts and some shrewd strategizing.

The success of the the four teams that made it to the playoffs—Mumbai Indians, Rising Pune Supergiants, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders—holds important leadership lessons for the corporate world. The following tips hold good both on the cricket field as well as the corporate arena.

Team work require team balance
Team: Mumbai Indians

A bowling attack with the firepower to trouble any opposition, a formidable batting line-up, and a pack of capable all-rounders made the Mumbai Indians one of the better balanced teams in the IPL. The result was evident: Mumbai stormed into the playoffs at the top of the points table, and despite their disappointing loss to Pune in the qualifiers, went on to beat their nemesis when it mattered most and stake their claim to the trophy.

Team lesson: Team balance is vital to building a great team, but is also among the most neglected. One reason is because managers are prone to hire people that are exactly like them. Breaking from the mold and hiring people with dissimilar attributes brings diversity with all its attendant advantages like a range of strengths and a wealth of ideas and perspectives. The result is quality decision-making and better overall performance.

Trust is an important factor in team effectiveness
Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

The team management swears by the benefits backing the team—and the strategy has paid off well. “I believed in giving a lot of security to the players. In today’s world where there is so much insecurity in every job and not only cricket, we are a franchise who does not chop and change too much,” captain Gautam Gambhir says. It’s a big part of the reason why the two-time champions found themselves in the reckoning for a third title this year.

Team lesson: With hire-and-fire policies the norm, the benefits of backing the team are often ignored in today’s corporate environment. Yet it is only reasonable that each employee is given a real chance at the job rather than chop and change at the slightest hint of failure. But don’t overdo it—sometimes, it isn’t just worth your time to cling on to idlers and shirkers.

Delegate the right tasks to the right people
Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling attack is among the best in the tournament, but skipper David Warner’s handling of his bowlers has provided the X factor that has converted potential into results. The skipper hasn’t been afraid to change his attack depending on the nature of the opposition. Thus, he opened with slow left armer Bipul Sharma against Brendon McCullum and Jason Roy who are comfortable against fast bowling, while also opting for Siraj over Nehra in the later stages of the tournament since the former generates more pace.

Team lesson: A set approach to problem-solving is often a drain on time and resources, while a customized solution is freqently the best and most efficient way to deliver results. In other words, remember to ‘pick horses for courses’—be it in terms of deploying team members, or choosing a strategy, or other aspects of management.

Clear and concise communication is key to team work
Team: Rising Pune Supergiants

Their loss in the finals notwithstanding, the Rising Pune Supergiants’ IPL campaign has been nothing short of a dream run this year—and some of that credit must go to captain Steve Smith and coach Stephen Fleming. Reports suggest that both the men prefer minimal communication, keeping their messages short and sharp. “The coach and the captain don’t talk too much. They talk about only specific things which are to be discussed. We don’t have too many meetings as well as it takes too much of time. It’s clear message—short and sharp,” squad member Manoj Tiwary has revealed. The method has clearly paid off, with Rising Pune Supergiants finishing runners-up after languishing at seventh position last season.

Team lesson: While communicating properly is rightly emphasized, the disadvantage of over- communication is less talked about. But the latter comes with its own set of pitfalls: much of the message is lost in the noise, and over-communicating strains the attention of the listener. The solution? Reverting to the basics tenets of good communication and keeping the message crisp and clear.

Whether it’s the cricket pitch or the workplace, the basics of team work and team management remain the same. So go ahead and put these tips into action. Done right, they should help you edge closer to your own professional victories.

Leadership skills play a vital role in career development. To become a better leader, find expert advice here.

This article was first published on MonsterIndia.com.


Working mom cheat sheet: 9 tips to balance work and kids during the summer vacation

Working mom cheat sheet: 9 tips to balance work and kids during the summer vacation



Summer vacation isn’t a holiday for working mothers. The office workload remains the same and there’s plenty, plenty more to do on the home front. The kids are home, which means laid-back mornings, special snack requests, lots of friends over, a messy home and whines like “but what should I do”.

How does a working mom navigate these tricky waters and ensure that she stays on top of work even as her children enjoy their summer vacation? Try these nine simple tips this year to make this time fun – for the entire family!

Build a parent team
Joining hands with other working mothers – be they friends, relatives or colleagues – can help women manage summer vacation just like they manage work: as a team. Reach out to other moms for play dates, group activities, car pools or picnics. Who else could keep an eye on your two for an hour while you are on a con call except a neighbour in the same boat?

Plan some solo time with them
It isn’t easy to switch between work and mommy mode, so make things easier by scheduling some time exclusively for the kids each day. It could be to go swimming, playing board games or a long-drawn-out bedtime routine – a happy child is more likely to be independent than an unhappy and clingy one.

Figure out options together
Children of all ages have a mind of their own so rope them in to figure out what they can do during this unstructured time. Take the “can do’s” and narrow them down into “will do’s” this summer. Be it books, movies, games, crafting, cooking or other pursuits, break the activities down into what they can do on their own and what can be joint activities (with you or their friends).

Make your home a hangout
Let’s face it: You can concentrate on your work single-mindedly when you know your children are safe and happy. Work towards making your home the hangout that all their friends love. Books, board games, art and craft supplies, outdoor activities and a stocked pantry – they’re sure to bring a smile to every child’s face.

Schedule a trip to Camp Nana
Chances are that the busyness of school life doesn’t really let your child interact with his or her grandparents. Set that wrong right by planning for some intergenerational fun this summer. You can either send the child(ren) to visit the grandparents or invite the seniors home for some quality time.

Give your child(ren) a job
If you’re finding it tough to engage children with toys, you aren’t alone. Make them feel important by giving them age-appropriate jobs. Apart from teaching your child more about what you do, a good work ethic and management skills, this increases your productivity. Don’t forget to pay the kids to keep them going!
Set up a WAHM swap
If you work from home, things get tougher. Make the days easier on yourself with a weekly kid-swap schedule with a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom. How it works? You watch her children along with your own for a couple of days every week while she does her things; she replies in kind on two other days.

Get daddy in on the act
Working moms have a lot on their plate, and it’s their right to ask daddy to take a bite. A big one! Figure out how the spouse can get involved in childcare during these busy months. Maybe he takes over for an hour every day – trip to the park, takes them swimming or does the bedtime ritual. If you work best at different hours, snag nighttime for yourself and let him have the a.m. hours. Suggest a daddy-and-kiddo road trip – it’s sure to improve their bonding and give you some time off!

Anoint children the weekend planner
Let your children be a bigger part of your life by letting them own some weekends. Let them decide what they want to do, when and how. Following their lead – from planning for breakfast to figuring out which park to go or friend to meet – will give them a sense of accomplishment and let them learn that they’re responsible for their decisions. Also, it ensures less planning for you.

Having the kids at home all day isn’t a lark, but remember that the summer vacation is a special time for them – one that they look forward to all year. So take a little time out to plan for these hot months.

This article was first published on MonsterIndia.com.


Beauty and the Beast – 5 career lessons you can learn

Beauty and the Beast – 5 career lessons you can learn


Tale as old as time…

The hit movie that is sweeping the world at the moment is Disney’s remake of Beauty and the Beast. The classic tale has strong themes of love, appearances, community, identity and exile, which teach us a lot about how we view other people and how we live our lives. But what about our careers?

Yep, even in a tale about a young French girl and a seemingly ‘hideous’ beast, we can find teachings to help us navigate our work lives.

To stop your career from crumbling if the last petal falls, follow these lessons from the hit Disney movie.

  1. Never stop learning
    Belle, the gorgeous but “odd” girl from a small French village, is obsessed with books. In a province where women are expected to simply get married and live their lives out doting on a family, Belle is determined to read, learn and digest information. And once she’s in the freaky mansion and trapped by the Beast, she passes on her knowledge to him. Belle teaches the Beast about kindness, compassion, seeing the best in people, and also how to eat soup with a spoon. Learning is a 360-degree thing!
  2. Take a chance every now and then
    The magic of Disney tells us that the best things can happen when we least expect it to. For Belle, she would have never expected to fall in love with the Beast who kept her a prisoner, but she took a chance on him, and look how it turned out. Sure, it may be a bit Stockholm Syndrome-esque, but we prefer to analyse it as taking a leap of faith.

In your career, it may not always be clear what your true path is, but if you open your mind to the situation you find yourself in, great things can happen. So #GoOutAndBe!

  1. Look beyond the exterior
    Also can be interpreted as “don’t judge a book by its cover”. The Beast, of course, is a beast – but is he, really? Prejudice is something we all have to actively fight in the workplace – whether it’s to do with something like believing a rumour about your boss, or something broader like dealing with unconscious bias and sexism. Don’t let appearances rule your decisions.

Sure, a company you’re interviewing with might not have a big name for themselves, but until you find out more information how will you know whether it’s the right fit for you? It could end up being the job of your dreams.

  1. Always have a sidekick
    Everyone needs a sidekick, or a buddy.


At the office, it’s important you have people who are always on your side, acting as pillars of support, mentors, and friends. Considering how much time we spend at the office, it’s important to build a sort of ‘family’ there, so always try your hardest to get to know people and form solid, authentic relationships.

  1. Don’t let fear hold you back!
    Don’t be afraid of being different, having different ideas, or not conforming to expectations. Belle wasn’t the kind of girl her village expected her to be; her father, Maurice, was considered “weird” because he was slightly eccentric, and the Beast was considered to be a horrible, grizzling monster simply because of the way he looked (and the fact he lived in a creepy castle.) But Gaston – the sexist, rude and fairly hideous human being who tries his hardest to woo Belle – is seen as an absolutely charmer by the rest of the village, because he’s good looking. And look how things turned out for him…

Point is, you should never feel bad because you might be different. In the workplace, different is good. A strong office culture needs a variety of people with unique ideas and way of tackling problems – so embrace your differences!

This article was first published on MonsterIndia.com.


Networking is not my cup of Tea

Networking is not my cup of Tea


Networking! Networking Networking!  Its an overused terminology which I don’t want to hear.. enough lessons on Networking..here comes another post.. another lecture..hoof!

If you are emotionally burdened by the idea of networking, you perhaps are blessed to be an introvert. .. Which is perfectly perfect J

If you think, there is no time to network, may be you are ill informed about smart ways of networking.

But nonetheless, you need to network.. u need to meet people, you need to spread that message…the best lesson I have learned in life is to find solutions rather than get into the vicious cycle of ‘ I cant do this..not my cup of tea’ – Fullstop

So what to do….

  • Dig Deep – What is it about networking that tires your senses? Is it the fear of initiating a conversation or the worry of creating that first impression ? Is it the conversation or the people or the setting and ambience ? Track your emotions and feelings..you will definitely find the answer. You can find a solution only if you know of the problem….Address this before your next networking event.


  • Follow your Passion – It becomes easy to meet people who share the same passion. When you are at your natural best, its easy to break ice. Thoughts and expressions find their own way and you enjoy the process. It could be anything..related or unrelated to your work..running, singimg, cycling, movies, music..just anything.


  • Filter Well – Attending too many networking events can drain your energy. Prioritize and filter the events you would really want to attend. Too much sugar does not enhance the taste, similarly too much networking eats into your limited time and energy. Time is most precious for a working professional, hence be ruthless in taking decision. Learn to say ‘No’ to the party being hosted by your best friend, if you don’t feel like doing so. Networking on Social media is a smart way to connect with people. You do it at your time, at your pace and the best part is that you don’t necessarily have to meet the person!!


  • Be an Empathetic listener – Start with being an empathetic listener. So, if you talk less and listen more perhaps, you are a better networker. People like to be heard, people like to connect with individuals who can extend a listening ear…the connection is genuine and deep. Once you feel connected with the other, it would be easier and more natural for you to open up.


  • Positive Reinforcement – Success is always the proof in the pudding. Monitor and follow up with the new connections. Track your success for which you can give credit to networking. Figure out what went well, why was it successful. Positive reinforcement is the best way to start enjoying networking.


  • Enjoy – The most important aspect of networking is go there to enjoy, share ideas, have meaningful conversations and not with a fixed agenda of selling your product or service. Once you start enjoying, you would be more confident more yourself and hence better chances of a meaningful connection.


Now you are ready for Stressfree networking… Remember to invite me over..I love to network J



Think you deserve better at work? 6 strategic moves to help you get ahead

Think you deserve better at work? 6 strategic moves to help you get ahead

Do you feel like you’re not getting the opportunities to demonstrate what you’re capable of at work? Or, you don’t have the freedom to pursue the assignments that most fascinate you? That you’re working hard at your job, but not getting due credit from your boss and colleagues?

Many of us believe that we deserve a lot more from our workplace than we’re getting today. In a recent survey by Monster India, majority of respondents – 78.52% feel they ought to be in a better position at work. A mere 10.96% are happy where they are. And while few things in life are more powerful than a positive push, simply harbouring the belief that you can do better isn’t enough. To get ahead at work, you need to #GoOutAndBe. Use these easy yet effective tips to get ahead at work:

  1. Be pleasant
    It’s simple logic – people give opportunities to people they like. So ask yourself, do others enjoy being around you? Take a good hard look at your personality. Do you come across as confident and honest? Are you appreciative and attentive towards others? Embrace these traits, and you’ll find you will be treated better, seen as more successful and confident, and your ascent at work may be quicker.
  2. Speak up
    How many times have you sat in a meeting with an interesting idea in your head, only to hear another colleague speak up, be applauded and land the project? Going forward, establish your presence by contributing to discussions. Don’t pause and don’t second-guess yourself.

Joel Garfinkle, executive coach and author of Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level, recommends jumping in within the first 10 minutes of the meeting. “The sooner you contribute, the less time you have to generate self-doubt. When you delay saying anything, it gets harder to break into the discussion,” he says in this Fortune article.

  1. Take credit for your work
    Ever shared an idea with a co-worker, only to hear him pitch it during a meeting? Or stood aside while a team member – or boss – accepts all the praise for a project you spent hours working on as well?

While we all want to believe that our work speaks for itself, it’s important to take credit where credit is due. In a Harvard Business Review article, Karen Dillon, author of the HBR Guide to Office Politics, says, “In the real world, it matters who gets credit. That all goes into the bank account of how much value you bring to the organisation and plays into promotion decisions, raises, and assignments.”

So the next time someone tries to undercut you, don’t let it slide. Talk to the person about why they felt justified taking all the credit for the project or idea. Simultaneously, use any opportunity to demonstrate your involvement with the project, like joining in on an email discussion about it to prove your knowledge. Consider asking a third person to speak about your involvement in a meeting when the project comes up in conversation.

  1. Volunteer

Find yourself stuck in a corner doing a small project that nobody has heard of? You’ll have a hard time getting noticed, much less getting ahead.

When the opportunity arises, put your hand up for the difficult and high profile projects. You need to be seen as someone who can get things done (well!) if you want to be selected for promotions, bonuses and other accolades.

  1. Showcase your expertise
    Build your personal brand online – through a blog or social media – by showcasing your expertise on some work-related subject. You could write about problems you have come across in your line of work and offer your solutions or, in case that’s against your company policy, share your perspective on the challenges companies and employers are dealing with within your niche, and share suggestions for ways to do things differently.

The exposure will improve your value to your current employer, which in turn can help you get ahead when opportunities arise.

  1. Network
    What’s the point of working hard if nobody knows about you? Being a “self-marketer” at work is important. The more people who know you, your strengths and abilities, and your ambitions, the more likely your name will be come up when opportunities arise. A good relationship with a manager or someone senior in your department can do the trick for you. Studies show that a mentor higher up in the company influences four out of five internal promotions. Remember networking is key.

Also, look outside the scope of your regular job to increase your visibility. For instance, offer to speak at industry or career-related events. This will help you build your personal brand as well as provide more visibility to your company.

Remember, gaining a promotion requires more than simply doing the job well. You need to #GoOutAndBe.

This article was first published on MonsterIndia.com.