As you might probably be knowing, Harsha Bhogle is a very popular Indian cricket commentator. He also hosts some sport based shows. It seems, he was an alumni of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and went back there to give a speech on How to Achieve Excellence. While I highly recommend that you listen to the whole speech (70 minutes totally – in two parts) linked to – in the previous line, I have compiled the important messages from that speech in this post so that people without much time can read it. I have given only some of the messages that he has outlined, but the speech contains a lot of examples to support the messages, and makes more sense.
“People don’t come to IIMA for starting salaries. They come here to build careers. Excellence is chasing the performance goals and letting the results to take care of itself. You perfect the process of performance and don’t allow the pressure of the result to choke your performance”
“Matches are won or lost not because the other team plays better, but because a team does not play as well as it can. Ends are the driver of ambition, but the ends should not affect the means. Adherence to ethics allows you to put ends where it deserves to be, and concentrate on the path”
“We think that excellence exists in the results, but I am convinced that excellence exists in the performance as well, and even more so in the preparation”
“When we lose, we seek excuses but excellence never seeks excuses”
“The moment you allow yourself – the moment becoming wrong falls in to your possibility map, you do go wrong”
“I have come from advertising, a school which says every word you write must count”
“For purely selfish reasons, if not anything else, you should always surround yourselves with people who are better than you, because then you can learn (from them) and grow”
“One of the things that worked for me was, I was willing to be a non-striker. I discovered that if I could play non-striker in the commentary box where I say my job is to make Sunil Gavaskar look better, make Geoffrey Boycott look better…… And in trying to make them look better, I was looking better myself”
“If you have ego and anger on your side, you don’t need an opponent”
“A major, major part of excellence has nothing to do with talent. In course of time, once you go beyond a certain level, ability or talent is the most useless virtue to possess. Its what you do with that talent that matters. Beyond a point, its passion, attitude and work ethics that count far far far more than talent”
“Mistakes can be your best friend – the more mistakes you make, the more you know what not to do and excellence is as much about knowing what not to do as it is about knowing what to do”
“Luck is a combination of preparation and recognition (of opportunities). The harder you practice, the luckier you get”
“To me, excellence is also about having the confidence to share knowledge (with others). Excellence cannot be insecure – you ought to be willing to teach your craft to people”
“Khudko kar bhuland itna ki, har takhdeer ke pehele khuda bhande se pooche – patha teri raza kya hai (Urdu Poem) meaning – Its a great state of mind to aspire to be to raise yourself to such a level that when God wants to grant you fortune, he will ask you what you want”
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