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  • Atit Gandhi

Leadership Lessons that Top 4 Indian Athletes teach us

Representing India at the international level through playing a sport requires dedication, modesty, determination, and a go-getter attitude; all prerequisites of a great leader. India is home to world-class sports figures who are celebrities in their own right. With the ongoing Olympics and excitement over the upcoming cricket tournaments, it is fascinating to co-relate the training and preparation that goes into transforming athletes into role models for different sections of society. While there are leaders in each sport, here are the top 4 elite personalities who I believe give the greatest leadership lessons to the corporate world.

Mirabai Chanu – An oblivious name until last week, this unassuming and smiling athlete stole the hearts of 1.3 billion Indians with her masterstroke in weight-lifting, bringing the first Olympic medal of 2021 for us. 26-year-old Mirabai’s story has now hit the headlines of all major newspapers talking about her story and struggle to reach the top. From travelling 20-odd km daily between her home in the village of Nongpok Kakching to Imphal for her class training at the tender age of 12 Mirabai has shown that great leaders burn the midnight oil, push themselves against the tide and work relentlessly to reach where they have. No shortcuts, no breaks.

Virat Kohli – Victory and aggression are the two words synonyms with the stylish and current skipper of Indian cricket skipper - Virat Kohli. He wears passion on his sleeve and leads with a certain energy that is contagious. Virat Kohli is highly respected for his level of fitness, an area in which he has shown immense discipline and high levels of sacrifice too. A leader is an unending source of confidence that holds true for Virat Kohli. He is famed for taking bold decisions and an unorthodox approach to salvage an unlikely win. His liveliness and self-confidence are infectious. It can change the energy of any organization.

Dhyanchand – Bringing glory to the nation winning Olympic gold medals three consecutive times in 1928, 1932 and 1936, Dhyanchand is a legendary hockey player that the world still remembers. He took up the sport at the age of 16, rather late for an elite sportsperson and won hearts soon with his superior game skills and shining leadership style. Dhyanchand was admired for his team spirit where he was known to pass the ball whenever he saw a teammate in a better position to score ensuring the team won, and not just him. Such a skill is rare in today’s times, yet great leaders who exhibit equal opportunities for their team to shine and share success are the ones who enjoy unparalleled loyalty and true corporate support.

Mary Kom – Mary Kom says, “Giving up doesn’t exist in my dictionary of life,” which depicts the real fighter in her who never loses sight of what lies in the future. That is the mental preparation and attitude that makes great leaders. The ability to accept challenges, embrace difficulty and keep needs grit, determination and self-belief. India’s boxing superstar gives us immense inspiration to keep overcoming the difficulties of the pandemic and moving forward positively.

We at the Montage Group look up to our sports stars and celebrities who teach us invaluable lessons of practice, discipline and courage that help us evolve as better decision-makers in critical situations and privileged influencers for our team members all working towards a common goal.

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