Learn and Lead

About continual learning and leadership

Chakde India Coaching in Corporate India

I am sure Chakde India will soon inspire many management articles, much like Lagaan did. I found it very inspiring, specially at a time that I am going through some management and leadership challenges myself. So what where the leadership mantras of Chakde coaching?

Well the clichéd one was there – have hairy audacious goals. Of course it is important to have goals that are really challenging. But I think what was different here was that the goal was a cause in itself. And more importantly, there is absolute belief in the cause. The cause could be a particular goal or an organization itself. And it helps to have the belief in own capability to accomplish the cause.

Integrating the team isn’t easy and it starts by breaking the norms. Alignment with the goal/cause from the very outset is critical to set the pace. “Mukhe sirf eik mulk ka naam sunai deta hai – India”. Breaking norms, personal egos and past individual performances and aligning the team with a new goal, a new cause is critical. There are no compromises in alignment. Either you are with it fully or you are out. I feel a leader personally inducting new team members plays a critical role in alignment with the cause and setting expectations.

One of the most interesting messages in the movie was about why the team is playing. “First and foremost, you are playing for the country, then playing for the team, and lastly if you have any strength left, playing for yourself.” We often see teams fail because of individual or departmental tug of wars. And what are we willing to sacrifice for alignment and teamwork to meet the goal/cause? It takes a lot of courage to believe that team work is critical, more than specific skill. It takes a lot of courage to put your best players sit on the bench until they put their own egos aside and work as a team. I have often seen many managers, including me sometimes, fall into the trap of believing that skill is more important than team work. We give in to blackmail of egos of few skilled people and believe that the goal will be met by only a few individuals. The biggest challenge in today’s corporate India will be overcoming the fear that the best players will simply quit and join another company if you keep them on bench. It might be worth overcoming that fear.

Another critical aspect of Chakde coaching is expecting the best from each one and not making any excuses about it. Very clearly to achieve the goal, second best just won’t do. Pushing the team to perform beyond their capabilities is key to achieving the goals.

Having the goal, a cause and the bravado and attitude to achieve it is the first step. These will take you only so far, like getting the sponsorship by playing the men’s team in the movie. The goal and attitude has to be combined with other critical aspects – training and strategy.

Having the right skill is imperative. And a lot of training and practice involved in building the right skill. This is a continuous process. While past individual performances may have won many laurels, it is important to continually keep sharpening the saw. It is not enough the rest on your past laurels. Training and practice is an ongoing process and a very rigorous one at that. It helps if you start with an open mind to learn new skills. Past performances color our views and close our minds into believing that we know it all. New challenges require new skills and harder practice sessions.

Without strategy the game won’t be won. It is important to know the nuances of the game you are playing and the competition you are facing. Succeeding in achieving the goal requires taking quick decisions and even changing your decisions based on the situation. And while the competition may have better technology or even a seemingly unbeaten strategy, it is important to figure out what your strengths are and play them and the right time. Whether it is beating the man-to-man marking or playing aggressively, using the right strategy and the right time is critical.

So if you haven’t watched the movie yet, go ahead. Watch it on big screen for greater impact. And hey, management fundas aside, just enjoy the moments of winning…

Sometimes winning is everything


Anamika Biswas said...

It is correctly marked in the article that individuals forgo their team goal for their personal interests and egos. I would like to add my understanding and experience that this spirit of being one as a team basically flows from top to bottom in hierarchy. If the team leader is committed, unbiased and has only one aim; team has no choice but to follow it.
There may be instances where team leader has to snap, encourage, or use appropriate strategies to synchronies team.
So all the best team leaders, you hold the teams and the aim..........HIT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pradyumna said...

I totally agree with Manish. He has encapsulated ideas and values that are really critical for success in the corporate world too.
- Have the right skills (the basic) and train for the high end skills
- Have goals – goals that are steep and believe in it too
- Be agile – change your strategy on the basis of changing ground realities
- Have the right attitude (Chuk De – the most blatantly positive attitude)!
- Ensure team work – synergize – the best will come from the collective (the team) and the best will happen!
Am sure there will be extensive discussion on the management strategies adapted in “Chuk De…” and it will great participating in it!

The success in today’s corporate world is based on dynamic (JIT as e-Learning fraternity would call it) and intuitive (“gut” as Jack Welch says) leadership. Wherever leadership fails – the organization fails too. The hockey team was not any different. The team members were the same, and the leadership changed everything… amazing insight to what appropriate, non intrusive, effective leadership can do! And of course, nothing succeeds like success!!!

Yes – I too recommend that each of us should watch the movie for its sheer ability to achieve a seemingly impossible goal.
Thanks Manish!

Naveen said...

Interesting views Manish. I have been following your blog for sometime. I find similar sentiment running across some of your messages; "How to make teams successful", "What makes an Individual succeed". I would like to submit my two cents. Yes the success mantra doesn't change at any time any place, be it an organisation or hockey game. Strategy, hardwork, team spirit, common goal etc have been correctly identified. There's one other important ingredient. The common denominator in all team situations is the individual and it is very important that the individual's motivation to be present in the situation be clearly understood. The movie showed lofty ideals of patriotism, team work and self-lessness. However, such ideals can only work if the situation impinges on the basic human needs such as of being "Free". Gandhiji succeeded because he managed to align people by making them aware of this need and the fact that it can be achieved. In the movie, people came with different motivations and as was seen, the personal motivations were so misaligned that it started impeding the achievement of the goal. For example, the rivalry between the two forwards in the movie was there till the last and it was lucky for Indian team in the movie that other teams did not capitalise on this. However, the coach (team leader) did not understand till the last the reason for the rivalry. One might say that he trusted his team members and considered them mature enough to put behind them their own personal egos and prejudices. However, it can be a dangerous ploy especially if you see it getting into the way of the team goal.
I am trying to cite this example because any team situation it is extremely important for the team leader to know his individual team members to the extent of influencing the individuals personal prejudices. And it does not require much to achieve this. It just requires the old world mantras like honesty, truthfulness, respect for the individual etc.
At the same time, onus is on the individual as well to understand his/her own motivations. I do not know about others but I have been grappling with this question for long as to "What makes me tick?"

Naveen Mittal

Manish Mohan said...

I accidently discovered many more articles written on this subject. Sharing some that I found interesting.

Chak De India leads the way (http://blogs.sun.com/bio/entry/chak_de_india)

Chak De blues (http://anilthakraneyonsunday.blogspot.com/2007/08/chak-de-blues.html)

Straight from the Gut: 'Chak De India' and 'Corporate India'

Chak De India (http://www.wipro-campusarena.com/site/chak-de-india/)

Learning with "Chak De India" (http://frankconfessions.blogspot.com/2007/11/learning-with-chak-de-india_08.html)

News Items
Chak De India now a successful Management Mantra – BIMTECH (A discussion inspired by the film) (http://www.sanepr.com/Chak-De-India-now-a-successful-Management-Mantra-BIMTECH-A-discussion-inspired-by-the-film_27182.cfm)

Chak De! India enters management school curriculum (http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=3f2c939b-ee8f-410d-ada9-84075dfe2029&MatchID1=4603&TeamID1=6&TeamID2=7&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1157&MatchID2=4574&TeamID3=8&TeamID4=2&MatchType2=1&SeriesID2=1147&PrimaryID=4603&Headline=EMChak+De!...)

India answers a new call (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IK17Df03.html)

Helen Evans said...

Yes, I agree with you that every corporate people can learn more corporate manner from the movie of Chakde India. And they should follow Sharukh khan as a Corporate Coach. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

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