Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, known as one of the most fierce Indian captains and a force to be reckoned with in the world of cricket, shared his leadership mantras and management principles from his time on the field, to eventually leading team India. The current BCCI president said he never tried to compete with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin or Rahul Dravid.
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“There is a difference between being a captain and a leader, in a titular position as a captain, how did you make the seniors, and the youngsters believe in your leadership. Captaincy, to me, is leading a team on the ground, and leadership, to me, is building a team. So, whether I worked with Sachin, Azhar, or Dravid, I didn’t compete with them; instead, I collaborated with them as leaders and shared responsibility, “Ganguly said in a conversation with Deepak Lamba, CEO, Worldwide Media, President, Times Strategic Solutions Limited at an exclusive gathering organized by The Economic Times India Leadership Council.
Ganguly, who is still regarded as one of the best captains of India, said he had played with great players who could have gone to captain the country at any point in time.
“I have seen the actual transformation of cricket over time. There were people with different mindsets, and I realized very early on that there was no shortage of talent within the team.
“But talent without exposure is nothing. I had some great players under me who could have gone on to become captain at any time, and I was fortunate enough to meet those great players, so I saw it not only as an honor but also as an opportunity to change things, to make it an even platform for everyone to express themselves. When you selected an individual, you firstly selected them based on their abilities, and second, you selected them to succeed. And for me, their career was as important as mine because I know what it took to get here, to represent India, ”Ganguly added.
On being asked about what’s common in being captain and managing BCCI, Sourav replied, “I believe that the common thing is managing individuals. This country has exceptional talent, ranging from young players to young corporate employee. I genuinely believed that if I wanted to be the captain of a successful team, I had to respect my colleagues so that they could become good players, and that it’s never the other way around; you can’t keep everything to yourself and expect good things to happen; it won’t happen, ”he added.