If Virat Kohli was your boss

For the uninitiated, Cricket is also a sport, not just an insect!

When Captain Virat Kohli searched a for light at the end of a tunnel, it turned out, that of an oncoming train! Team India lost to Team Australia. Losses hit you hard, more so if there are a billion people watching you.

Let me grill it a bit more.

The Australian Cricket team defeated the Indian Cricket team by a whopping margin of 333 runs, which can also be classified as decimation, abject humiliation, and other similar references. They lost in their own backyard, to a team which until recently, was losing matches quite frequently, while Team India were on a winning streak, unbeaten 19 consecutive Test matches. They lost when they were expected to put up a fight, they collapsed not just once but twice within a space of two days, having the strongest batting line up in the world, now arguably. So you can imagine the magnitude of hurt, it’s massive at the moment.

So how does Captain Kohli move on from here?  What does a leader do?

For starters, don’t do the above. Grilling the team with the same facts over and over again does not make them smarter or work harder. If you find yourself constantly whipping your team, maybe you’ve to improve your hiring skills, or redesign your entire hiring process!

Leaders are often faced with tough situations: think of a QBR after missing forecast, or missing numbers, commits, deadlines and the likes, gets one into some serious trouble. There is so much at stake, that you are always led to believe it is a do or die situation. Then there is a lack of patience from those above you, around you, and sometimes even from those who are not connected with you. All of this adds to a pressure-cooker situation.

Think of Captain Kohli answering the same question to press reporters, friends, relatives, BCCI selectors, social media, trolls, and the works. One can not imagine the intense pressure he might be under at this point in time. The team in dugout must be mentally tired and faced with a massive reality check. Insecurities will seep through erstwhile small crevices and open up big for some.

The team back in the cubicles is already trembling at the prospect of what lies in store for them.Boss will get a firing today and we will bear the brunt of it – might be a mindset with some, while others might think, what else do I do? I did my best, there is nothing else I could’ve done to change the deliverable.

So under the circumstances, what should a leader do?

Weak managers threaten to fire people, or warn them of losing out on the promotion or something similar, make a note in their black diary (sic) and use it during appraisals. They operate on a threat force. Sick in the mind managers, abandon their team and absolve themselves above everyone else. Put the blame on the team, situation, hurdles and make it a point to underscore the fact that he or she did everything right, but the people let him/her down. And diabolical managers, just smile!

When Captain Kohli goes back to the drawing board on Monday morning, he will have two choices: screw the living daylights out of the team or empower the team to self-realize their areas of improvement and drive accountability by self-determination.

Likewise, after a dismal quarter performance, the leader can go and use threat force and force words out of the team or power the team to lose the fear of failure and ignite the hunger to be successful again.And this does not mean heroics.It means sticking to the basics, tightly.The team has to stick together, like R2D2 with C3PO or Po and Master Shifu, these tough times weave the fabric of your team culture and form the basis of a champion team.

Like they say in Cricket,  form is temporary, class is permanent.