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Wondering how to manage millennials? Learn from MSD!

Source | LinkedIn : By Apurva Sircar

In cricket, each passing year is like 3 years of corporate life. A cricketer on an average would have 10-12 years of international career and that is equivalent to 35-40 years of corporate life. Needless to say, a cricketer has to change and mature far quicker than a corporate citizen.

There is this intense chat about millennials and everybody seems to be grappling with the same question – how do we manage millennials? Simon Sinek, the management thinker, has described the generation very accurately in his talk. The problem is that people interpreted the talk as “What is wrong with the generation” than what Sinek intended to do, which is “How should you manage/nurture them”.

Two nights ago, I saw a boy grow into a man and take up a position that no other Indian has. He led from the front, scored a record 17th century in a run chase (15th in a successful chase), breaking the record of the very man who he idolises and who is the reason why cricket happened to him. Virat Kohli was more than pleased to play second fiddle to the form that Kedar Jadhav was in but Jadhav was no match for Kohli’s brilliance. The captain played a responsible innings ensuring that he left the team in a situation where victory was within their grasp. And that straight bat drive off the back foot to a short pitched delivery was a shot that will remain fresh in people’s memories for years!

Cut to a few years back, and I want to stress on “a few years”. Kohli came into the side as another youngster among the many who were making it into the young Indian team. Remember the famous T20 World Cup win of 2007? Rohit Sharma at 20 years, Robin Uthappa at 21 years and Piyush Chawla at 18 years were all a part of the team. All young guns, being looked at as the future of Indian cricket. Cut to 2016 and none of them are permanent members of the Indian team across all formats! Kohli was older than Chawla and younger than Sharma then. He played his first T20 international, almost 3 years after the T20 World Cup. This is just to put in perspective that Kohli did not get an early start like many of his counterparts.

When he came into the team, he had to play alongside the legends of Indian cricket, Sachin, Laxman, Dravid, among others. His position in the batting order was uncertain. In tests, Sachin was a permanent no. 4 and Dravid no. 3. That meant that Kohli got a no. 5 position at best, a fact that he knew well. Even in the one dayers, he had the likes of Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina in the middle order to make his batting position uncertain. He had to fight to earn his place. Quick trivia – Did you know that Kohli played his first test match for India after the 2011 World Cup? It seems as if he was a part of all format teams since the time he started playing.

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