Cricket exemplifies life at its best. Be it the thrill, the stress, the yearn or the need to rise like a proverbial phoenix from the ashes of the recent defeat- Cricket is a life lesson. Cricket teaches you there is always a second inning. Winning a particular match is a point in the graph, but is merely part of a larger curve. Cricketers and Product Managers are cut from the same cloth. There are healthy takeaways from cricket for product management professionals to excel in their day-to-day life and career altogether. Wonder how? Keep reading.
Calmness Under Pressure
Be it the captain, wicketkeeper, fielder or bowler- once on the field, who isn’t under pressure! Usually, there’s a razor-thin line between handling the pressure and not. Take it from Virat Kohli, is he not capable of a reaction when instigated? But how he decompresses is laudable. His acquired priority is to stay focused and perform by running singles and doubles between the wickets to keep the match live feeds moving, not leaving a hair-thin room for missing a boundary when the time is right.
Key Takeaway for Product Managers from Cricket
Everything doesn’t work like clockwork. There are challenges, hurdles and obstacles. There are moments of extreme pressure. The key to handling pressure is to set smaller, more achievable targets, while keeping an eye on the big goal. That screams for attention for Product Managers from cricket world.
Pining to Perform
Each player is pining to perform once they walk out of the dressing room. That desire is what qualifies you to be part of the team for a start, and is only quenched when the scoreboard moves North no matter what your role in the team is. Performance is a powerful thing. And so is passion to perform. Be it India’s bench strength or England’s batting superpower, teams are led by their passion to perform.
Key takeaway for Product Management
Self-motivation at work is about looking beyond the bare minimum of what’s required. You create MVPs, but you are an SLC. You perform to delight. Pining to perform takes you forward towards creating an illustrious legacy. It is and will always be ‘brain over brawn’ to fire off bits of brilliance.
Amongst all the elements in cricket, fielding is the most crucial part but often ranked lower in the priority list. The act of catching the ball hit by the batsman of the opponent team, collecting and returning it with an aim to end the inning creates a fine cricketing spectacle. There are tender moments in the game, moments of frailty and vulnerability, especially in limited-overs formats, such as T20. Your greatest competence can sometimes soon be replaced by your shortcomings if the context changes. The relevance of consistent fielding by hungry underdogs remains constant. That, if you want to come out all guns blazing in the chase.
Key Fielding Takeaway for Product Managers from Cricket
Irrespective of your product plan and roadmap, your defensive strategy to retain valuable customers break or make a product manager. Your risk taking capacity and capability, prudent, methodical and analytical approach contributes at each stage. A key takeaway for Product Managers from cricket is to learn to field. Not letting the competitor override your customer by perfect positioning, unwavering alertness, composure, technique and timing is what it takes to add unpredictable twists and turns to the whole new ball game.
Team Captain & Leadership
From Hansie Cronje, M.S. Dhoni and Steve Waugh, to Virat Kohli, captains since time immemorial have displayed humongous leadership qualities. Be it encouraging the team to perform or maximizing the resources and bringing the best out of players- Team captains know it all. Whether it takes change in the batting order or field placement, they do what it takes and foster a trusted ambiance to nurture the team.
Product Managers are Leaders. Product Leader. Team Leader. Captain of the Ship. Captain of the team. That said, PMs lead cross-functional teams to string together disparate efforts across departments, and stringing the entire team towards a singular goal of the product. To maintain an unblemished record, as a product manager you ensure the team fulfils the goals and complete the product journey before you hang your boots.
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