Corporate Lessons

A game of Basketball or Corporate Lessons!!

Posted on December 27, 2007. Filed under: Corporate Lessons, Guest Authors |

The below article is written by Adwait Hebbar, a multi-faceted person. He has varied interests ranging from spirituality, philosophy, social issues and humour. He is a seasoned banker with more than 20 years of experience in wide spectrum of activities in banking. He is currently working in a senior position with a MNC Bank at Chennai. His passion is Basketball and in this article he has compared how the game of Basketball closely resembles real-life corporate world. The article is the first in the series of articles where Basketball was compared to real life situations. It was published in an in-house magazine and reproduced here with the author’s permission. I am sure you will enjoy it and appreciate this!!

A game of Basketball or Corporate Lessons!!
Never hold the ball too long! You are going to loose it!!
On Sunday mornings if I am in Chennai and if it is not raining I can be seen at the Basketball court at Shishya, my daughter’s school. I look forward to the game every Sunday. The game does not remain just the game for me but an outward expression of my inner self! The hidden aggression, the joy of competing, elation on winning, disappointment on loosing, the agility that one has to exhibit on and off the field to be able to stay in the game. It helped me to realize who am I? What I do? Why do I behave in a manner that I do? The game has taught me many lessons and some can be easily applied to our work place. It gave me answer to many a time question that I ask “why did I not get it?” “Why me” “what else can I do?” These are the questions that arise especially when there are expectations and we think one way and our colleagues / peers / bosses think differently. I will share in my columns in GLOMA my experiences.
I am not sure how many are familiar with the game. To put it plainly, the game is about dribbling the ball to the opponent half and shooting the ball in their basket. But this is easier said than done. There is no free lunch! The game does not allow a player to hold the ball more than five seconds! One has to be thus always on the move! The opponent will try blocking or preventing you from dribbling and passing the ball to your teammate and eventually shooting the basket! The nearer you get to the opponent’s basket the tougher it is to dribble and even more difficult to pass to your teammates. There are many obstacles. Opponent may come and block your way or be rough or commit a foul or take away the ball and prevent you from moving ahead. It is very rare event one dribbles all the way and makes the basket all by oneself. Does this sound familiar in our work place as well? How often when we start to do something new that we face obstacles? And how often we still persist to do it alone?
Let us draw a parallel within our environment we work. How often we see a problem and believe that we will be able to solve it ourselves. We take up a project and try doing it ourselves and some other times we look at colleague struggling with an issue and we let it pass as it may not concern us or he hasn’t asked for help! In both the situations, would we ever solve the problem at hand? In basketball parlance, will we ever shoot the basket?
We hold on to our problem and think that sharing the issue with a colleague would either be construed as one’s incapability or someone else may take away the credit. But in the game of basketball, one who behaves self centered and/or indifferently would soon realize that he is on the loosing side. The ball will always be in the opponent’s hand. Our team would never be able to shoot a basket. The very moment that one is confronted with the block, the player has to pass the ball to his team-mates and the team-mates also help by getting into a position where the ball can be easily passed on to. Thus as in the game so do in our work place, when confronted with problem, blocks or not knowing what to do next, pass it on (share) to a colleague who can best handle it and move into a position where you are free to take the ball again as what is true for you will be true for your colleague and he would also face the same resistance, block and would need your help to complete the task.
Thus the Rule No. 1 : If you hold the ball too long, you will loose it !!
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