The Corporate Game

The Corporate Game

I have never been a sportsperson. Neither did I have the physical fitness to attain it ever. But I am always hugely inspired by them. Having spent countless nights just watching Olympics and the likes and I have just been in awe most of the time! Be it PV Sindhu with her many firsts, the Indian hockey team, men and women at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, or Mirabai Chanu and Bindyarani Devi with their Gold and Silver at the Commonwealth Games 2022, India finally has more and enough sportspeople across games and genders to inspire and lead! So what can we learn from them?

1)  Choose a game or profession that you are good at:

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् | स्वभावनियतं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् || 18.47||

As Krishna says in the 18th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, it is better to do one’s own dharma, even though imperfectly, than to do another’s dharma, even though perfectly. 

It’s easier to choose a game though, most would agree. One can naturally sense what career calls out to them. Let us be true to that inner calling and work towards strengthening it.

2)  Understand your strengths and weaknesses and then practice, learn and practice:

It is super critical to know our areas of strength and development and then work in accordance. While practice is most important in sports, there is an added element of continuous learning and reskilling in the corporate context to remain relevant. This is probably because the lifespan of a corporate career is three to four times that of a sports career.

3) Keep beating your own records and besting yourself:

The competition is external as well as internal and my belief is that the internal one is more crucial; it is the most important battle to win. Again in a longer tenure, the external competition becomes irrelevant in a corporate career as there may not be many people to compete against once you are closer to the top.

4) Get a coach or mentor:

There is no question on having a coach to take one through their sporting journey, it is a pretty hazy concept in the corporate world. Some would assume a boss to play that role but that may not always be the case. The right mentor or guide can help to navigate one’s career in the right direction. It is necessary to find a mentor to act as a sounding board during moments of confusion and dilemma.

Some would debate that such level of effort and excellence is not required in the corporate world, but there is a reason ‘being at the top of your game’ is a seriously considered metaphor at work too.

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Chinmaya Udghosh