Over the last 2 years, at iimjobs.com, hirist.com and All Things Talent, we’ve had the pleasure of holding 30+ events, across the country hosting some of the best & brightest leaders in the HR fraternity. While it’s been a wonderful experience meeting, connecting, and learning from our key HR stakeholders; every now and then we try to shake things up by bringing personalities that transcend boundaries and are national treasures.
In October we played hosts to the legendary Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid in Bangalore at an exclusive gathering that saw close to 200 HR leaders turn up to gain insights from the great man. The success of the event and feedback urged us to do something similar again and boy, did we have a good time delivering!
On the 19th of March, Tuesday we had the pleasure of hosting, interacting, and connecting with the man behind India’s cricketing revolution, the first captain to win the World Cup for India – Mr. Kapil Dev – and what followed was a memorable and inspirational evening for 200+ key decision makers.
Mr. Dev set the context with one word and it’s meaning to each of us – Passion. In his own witty and honest manner, he shared that passion has always been about the expression of true love for his better half for him. He continued to ask some simple questions with regards to passion – can you do your job, whether it’s playing cricket, leading a team or being an HR professional with the highest level of passion? If the answer is yes, you will be successful.
Getting off stage and moving into the crowd, he started taking questions from all the leaders sitting across the hall. Discussing sensitive aspects such as Politics or Stress in the workplace, he boldly stated that only those who are not at the top of their game at work are susceptible to such issues. If you do your job well, work throughout the year, stay positive and perform – you become crucial and immune to politics and stress. He jokingly stated that “Stress? How can I be stressed if I have fun and love what I do?!”.
He focused on having a strong will with a small scientific fact – if a 70% burned person has the will to live, he will live. However, if a person with 30% burns on his body doesn’t want to live, he won’t. “Don’t let the hope leave you, even in the toughest of situations” rallied the legend.
When asked about the result-oriented approach in corporate and how does one balance building teams with the cutthroat business world, his point of view was simple and clear.
“Don’t look for results right away, look for a team. Sometimes the results may not be in your hand but building a team is. When you have a committed team, the results will follow soon.”
“On the field, you are the captain, but as soon as you move off the field, let everybody be your captain and learn from them.”
On the same lines, he said, a good leader is one who takes care of the emotional and mental well-being of his employees, instead of chasing numbers – someone whose focus is on building a team. He said if an employee is not feeling great or is having trouble at home, instead of having him work harder to achieve goals, you should ask him to go home and sort out that problem. This will make him/her happier and more productive.
Answering a question on the aspect of work-life balance, he shared his belief that whatever happens in your professional life should not shadow your personal life. He shared an anecdote about a match where he made a century. However, he did not inform his wife about the same and said he only scored a 49. It was only the next day that his wife came to know about his century from the newspapers. He then explained to her that whether he scored a zero or a 49 or a century, his relationship with her remains the same. Humility always starts at home.
When someone asked him how cricket today is different from back when he played, he said: “I don’t understand what happens in cricket today”. He said history is there only for one reason – to learn from the mistakes and move on. No need to remember it. This was an important insight for everyone continuing to adapt to their roles across different eras.
The much talked about element of diversity was discussed here as well to which Mr. Dev had a very basic tip – keep an open mind. He shared that leading a team of players from across the country was never easy, but as a captain, you must remain the same for each and every person irrespective of their background.
Closing the discussion with some personal stories about his parenthood journey, he left the mic with some advice for all the parents in the room – “Never force them to choose an activity, field of study, or career. Let them do what they love and they will excel.”
The mesmerizing session, audience Q&A was topped off with photographs and autographed mementos from the legend for each and every one of the attendees.
After a small facilitation ceremony, a closing Thank you and a token of appreciation was presented, everyone moved for dinner and drinks to celebrate the memorable evening together.
And here are the highlights from the event…] And here are some more moments for you to take a peek…