Former West Indies cricket captain Sir Vivian Richards recently participated in a leadership summit at Goafest 2017, where he spoke about a range of subjects, right from his daring batting style to the current crop of players in the game. He also shared his views on what makes a great leader.
Here are five takeaways from the speech by Viv Richards’, as he is popularly known, who redefined the rebel in cricket and brought the art of fearlessness into the game. His rules of leadership are: Winning I think winning is all about daring. It is also about how you approach your life. I grew up in the Caribbean, where it is all about having fun. That is exactly the way I have approached my life and the game. I am seriously passionate about my country and what I do, and I think that has been the key to my success.
Challenges I came from a small island, unlike other players in the team who belonged to economically-blessed regions of the Caribbean like Trinidad & Tobago. At times, I did feel a kind of inferiority complex, but thanks to Clive Llyod, our captain at the time, who made the team a strong unit and always made us feel that we all had a great opportunity ahead. There were times when my leadership was tested, especially by guys who came from bigger islands, but I never gave up on my will. I have had my own share of regrets too, but I have never given up on my dreams.
Integrity & Leadership I believe there should be zero tolerance for no integrity, especially in cases of match fixing in cricket. Also, if you want to achieve monetary success, the first thing you have to do is enjoy the work you do, have a deep passion for it and love what you do. As far as the success of a team is concerned, you have to believe in the same goal and you will be able to achieve it.
Fearlessness I think Virat Kohli is a close reflection of me in my captaincy days. He also leads from the front and defends his players like a true captain. Moreover, there is a certain energy about Kohli that shows his fearlessness, which is something I think I too brought to the game. Chris Gayle is another player who I admire among the current crop; like him, I too was a rebel during my time.
Dealing With Criticism My dad has been my biggest inspiration. He was very strong despite the criticism he received and that taught me the value of never giving up on your dreams, no matter how adverse the situation is.
This article was published in BW Businessworld issue dated 'April 15, 2017' with cover story titled 'Bharat To Power India’s Growth'