Loose to win

Did any one of you see Leander Paes play the final Davis Cup(Tennis) match between India and Pakistan. Amazing match not for the quality of tennis but for lot more things. A detailed match report is here. What amazed me about the match was how Leander managed the tough circumstances and used his experience tp defeat the opponent.

The match was happening in Mumbai which is very hot and humid. The Davis Cup tie between India and Pakistan was tied at 2-2. This was the decider match and the stakes were high. Leander as captain of the Indian team decided to face the challenge head on. He knew that his body will find it tough to manage in this harsh conditions but he trusted his experience and skills. He worked hard to make sure that he wins the first two sets. That is when his body gave up. The temperatures were high and so was humidity. The 33 years of age did not help him much against a much younger opponent. And as the third set started the scene was unbelievable for most of Leander fans. He was just not giving his 100%. Looked like as if he has decided that he will just go on and loose this tie instead of retiring or putting up a good fight. He was trying to play slow touch game which did work few times but most of the times he gave easy points to his opponent.

But he had other ideas in mind. He was trying to slow down the game. Mumbai becomes cooler towards evening and the shadow of stands on the court also makes it cooler. He just wanted to engage his opponent for sometime and not compete and he did it remarkably. His opponent did win the next two sets but spent much more energy than Leander to win them. Besides that he also got the much needed 15 minute rest after the third set. He lost the third and fourth set but preserved all his energies for the fifth. He gave all he conserved in the fifth set. Leander at 100% of his energy level was too much for his opponent and he had a historic win against the arch rivals. After winning he celebrated by crying in tri colour on his shoulders. The sense of pride, passion and commitment was written all over his face.

Amazing sight and I can hardly resist the temptation of preaching on what the corporate world needs to learn from this….

  1. Choose your battles – lot of people just want to win. Always and with a good margin. I think this happens more for very smart people as thought of defeat is a repulsive idea for them. The important thing for us is to win the war not all the battles. I wonder how many companies just focus on quarterly targets and individuals focus on next performance review and don’t think beyond that.
  2. Wear thy passion – Don’t hide it or be ashamed if you are passionate about something. Human beings are not perfect logical machines and lot of energy is derived out of passions not just logic and mathematics. Business also needs a passion to make a difference and contribute to society.
  3. Make decision based on past, present and future and also keep them in mind when you are executing them. Try to categorize all the activities you do as a company or individual in past, present and future activities and try to strike a good balance between them. Remember all of them are important but a good balance will help you go long distance.

Remember the movie Bazigar in which Shah Rukh Khan says – “Jo har ke bhi jeet jaye use bazigar kahte hain” ( The one who looses to win is called Bazigar)

  • anonymous

    Totally agree to the story and the conclusion drawn from it. Question: Since when you started watching men’s tennis ? 😉