The winning way by Harsha Bhogle and Anita Bhogle brings two perceptually different fields of sports and business together and discusses what helps an individual or a team to excel over others. Having done their MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and married thereafter, the two authors have blended sports and management in an intriguing narration. With sports commentator and writer Harsha Bhogle and advertising and communication consultant Anita Bhogle, there could not have been a better mix of people to do justice to this topic. Though somewhere related to sports, the book is very different from Harsha Bhogle’s last book “Out of the Box”, which was a passionate narration of cricket in India. The Winning way though takes examples from cricket and other sports it is inclined towards achieving excellence and not just in sports. Having been a sports enthusiast and played badminton since childhood, I could not stop myself from buying this book to see how I could relate my current learning in MBA to my all-time favourite pass time, sports.
The book starts by mentioning unparalleled similarity between sports and management in terms of competitiveness, dynamism, uncertainty, strategy, execution and most importantly leadership and teamwork. And over the course of the next 108 pages it substantiates these similarities with abundant examples from all kinds of sports ranging from Cricket to Basketball. It beautifully brings out the concept of winning where it states that though winning is important but it is the journey which is more meaningful. Drawing attention towards the importance of adapting to change, the author gives an apt example from business and cricket. Where Hindustan Unilever Limited continuously modified Lifebouy to meet the changing customer needs, our Indian cricket players and coaches have continuously adapted to the new format of T20 cricket and evolved as world leaders in less than three years by winning the 2007 T20 World Cup. As Jack Welch has rightly been quoted in the book, “If the rate of change on outside exceeds the rate of change on inside, the end in near”. The book touches on many such simplistically beautiful comparisons between sports and management with each chapter dedicated to one central idea.
Highlights of the book
The best part about the book is that it never indulges too much into either sports or management. With every thought the author has given examples from both sports and corporate world to continuously emphasize the similarities between the two. Another surprisingly pleasant quality about the book is that it covers examples from a wide range of sports and not just cricket. Harsha Bhogle having been associated with cricket for so long, it was good to see his insights on other sports as well, without which the book would have become monotonous. The book is replete with touching thoughts which might not have struck you till date but are sure to stay with you hereafter.
The book is small and interesting and can be read in one go. For someone who is seeking to be a manager and has interest in sports, this book is a must read. Finally, I would like to end it with my favourite quote from the book which says, “Goals should be slightly out of reach but not out of sight”. If you notice, this holds true for each one of us and not just managers or sports people. Thus the best part about this book is that it has something in store for everyone. Even if you are not a manager or a sports person, there is something you will cherish and take back after reading it.