TECH TALK: Leadership Lessons from Lagaan (Part 5)

Make the Best of Limited Resources. Watch how Bhuvan makes the bat and ball, and later how the pads are made. Look at the scene where Bhuvan and his team are practicing at night – the entire village is gathered around their team with mashaals to create the light. The villagers of Champaner have limited resources, but they make the best use of them. One cannot always wait for the perfect tools or for the availability of infinite resources. As entrepreneurs, we must innovate – focus on getting the work done. When one has fewer resources, the brain and body work that much harder and much more imaginatively.

Face the Challenges. When you are batting and facing a fast bowler, if you run away it is all over. You have to stand there and face the bowling to have a chance of winning. The balls being thrown are like the challenges we have to face every day: the answer is not trying to escape from them, but to stand there and let the bat (our actions) do the talking.

Take the Unexpected in Your Stride. The runout of Devaa, the “Mankading” (bowler running out the non-striker before delivering the ball) of the kid (and thus, Ismail), Russel’s kicking the ball for a boundary towards the end to keep Bhuvan away from the strike – unfortunate things will always happen. One cannot dwell or worry too much about the setbacks. One has to take them with the good and move on.

It’s about Team Spirit. However good and passionate Bhuvan was, he could not have won the match on his own. Cricket needs eleven players. It is a team game. So is business. Individual brilliance means a lot, but as Bhuvan showed, an average group filled with team spirit and playing with passion can overcome a group of talented, experienced but under-motivated individuals. Members must put the Team before Self. Take the time when Bhuvan is batting with Bhura, and he (Bhuvan) slips while going for a run. Bhura pushes Bhuvan away to the other half of the pitch, and sacrifices his own wicket because he knows that the captain is the one who can lead the way.

It’s about People. Lagaan is about how ordinary people can do extraordinary deeds. We all have it within us. Look at the Reader’s Digest “Drama In Real Life” stories. When the occasion comes, people – each one of us – can do amazing things.

The Legacy of Lagaan

Movies come and go. Ever so often, one movie comes and leaves a mark, an indelible impression – because it succeeds in bringing out something from within us. Something which has been hidden and perhaps long forgotten. Something whose existence which we didn’t even know about. As we go about our lives, we need to be reminded that each of us matters, that each of us has it within us to make a difference. Living in today’s India makes optimists out of all us (“tomorrow can only be better”). But it is we who have to create tomorrow’s India. Our ideas, our vision, our skills have to come together to build this New India. Lagaan’s Bhuvan stokes us somewhere to become part of that team.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.