With the maximum number of Test runs (15,921) by a cricketer, most ODI runs (18,426), most ODI centuries (49), most Test centuries (51), and a ton of other records, Sachin Tendulkar is unarguably the greatest batsman of the modern era.
Embodying many of the qualities that are required to survive and flourish at the highest levels of a discipline, a glimpse into Sachin’s sporting life holds many important lessons for working professionals. Here are a few key takeaways from the Master Blaster’s career to motivate and inspire you at the workplace.
- It all starts with #LoveWhatYoDo
Sachin’s passion for the game is well known to his legions of fans. In the past, the Master Blaster has compared playing cricket to visiting a temple. Sachin’s passion for the cricket is also borne out by former India cricketer and fellow Mumbaikar Chandrakant Pandit who observed him from an early age. “All he wanted to do was to play cricket. Till his last day in cricket, he retained the passion, and the hunger of that little boy who was impatient for his turn at the nets,” Pandit said in an interview following Sachin’s retirement in 2013.
Career lesson: If you want to excel in your career, you’ve first got to be passionate about the job you do. Having your passion as a career intensifies focus, fosters creativity and innovation, and inspires you to pursue excellence just like the Master Blaster. On the other hand, doing a job just for the sake of it could negatively impact performance, impede career growth, and take a toll on your physical and mental well-being.
- Discipline and preparation
Arguably the most gifted batsman of his generation, Sachin never took his talent for granted. Training and preparation became the hallmarks of his career during his prolonged stint in the national side. While on tours, Sachin was known to lead a highly disciplined life, restricting himself to his room, eating early, and trying to get enough sleep ahead of the game. His match preparation was meticulous, taking into account variables such as pitch, venue, quality of opposition, and his own form and confidence levels.
Career lesson: While talent is important, honing it constantly through training and discipline is the key to achieving lasting and long-term success. Meticulous preparation is vital for professional success irrespective the level of natural talent. There is a lot of truth in the saying that goes, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
- Ability to evolve
It’s not enough to prepare; it’s also important to evolve. Sachin epitomized this after returning from surgery for tennis elbow in 2005. With his fans wondering if his game would ever be the same again, the Master Blaster turned to his willow to provide his response. Soon he was back among the runs, a more dangerous batsman than before. Sachin had adapted his game, and while his early power was missing, he more than made up for it with his strike rate and shot selection.
Career lesson: It’s necessary to keep reinventing yourself for long-term career success. Circumstances will change, compelling you to learn new skills and competencies and work in novel environments. If you want to reach the pinnacle of career success, keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and evolve. Consistently high performers always find a way to adapt to changing situations and make the best of the new conditions.
- Ability to handle pressure
If you thought you had excessive workload, spare a thought for Sachin Tendulkar on whose young shoulders the hopes of billion people inevitably rested. Australian opener Matthew Hayden mentioned that “it is beyond chaos” when Sachin comes in to bat—“it is a frantic appeal by a nation to one man.” Sometimes, the pressure tended to take an ugly turn. In the James Erskine’s docudrama, Sachin: A Billion Dreams, the Master Blaster recalls there were times when his children were harassed in school after a bad day on the cricket pitch. Sachin did not let such incidents unruffle him and took it all in his stride.
Career lesson: While work pressure and stress is a reality that is never going to go away, there are ways to deal with it effectively. Maintaining a cool head under all circumstances is the key to handling job stress. Taking up a job you love too helps in making stress bearable—and sometimes even enjoyable! A healthy diet, adequate exercise, and proper sleep are some of the other tips to follow to manage stress and handle pressure.
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