P & L Lessons from Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal.jpgIndian superstar shuttler Saina Nehwal inspires so many of us through her consistent hard work and unflinching persistence.

With world number one position, an Olympics Bronze Medal, and titles like Indonesia Open and Australia Open under her belt, Saina has been one of the world top seeds in the last few years.

Still, she has lost six consecutive matches to a player, lower in achievement and ranking to her. Twenty one year old Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan defeated twenty six year old Saina for the Sixth time in three years.

Many leaders and parents fall prey to the same mistake as they fail to recognise its presence or fail to correct it.

Super achiever parents expect their children to be super achievers. They treat all their children to perform, competing with the best in their domain area. These children keep working incessantly to make their parents happy but such parents often overdo it as grandparents too when their skyrocketing expectations can play havoc with their grandchildren.

Parents refuse to agree that their burdensome expectations have always been traumatic. I meet so many parents who excel at justifying their actions without taking the psyche of their children into consideration. Parents need to revamp their parentability with each child and grandchild just as Saina need to change her strategy against Tai and refrain from making same old mistakes.

Phaneesh Murthy, a brilliant leader, was known for his business acumen and growth oriented vision. He was caught twice in sexual harassment cases at the height of his careers at Infosys (2003) and iGate (2012).

It is important for us to understand the recklessness involved in not paying attention to a mistake. We need to admit the mistake, apologise for the same, assure that it won’t happen again and then categorically abstain from repeating it.

Make a new mistake please!


P & L Lessons from Virat Kohli

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I accept that I am not a big cricket fan. But I watched the second inning of India v/s Australia match held on 27th March, 2016 during T-20 World Cup.

After watching Yuvraj, Virat and MSD play, everyone was in awe of this superb player Virat.

A patient individual, a supportive team player, an attentive listener, a dependable team member, a fitness enthusiast and an effective communicator.


1. Virat was patience personified on the crease. He persevered on each ball and collected ones and twos diligently with all the calmness of the world. Though he knew that they needed more runs, he patiently worked his way up. He looked completely unfazed by pressure. As any senior leader or a parent would do, he didn’t let the pressure mount up on him or atleast didn’t show it.

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2.When Yuvraj got injured, any player would have gone anxious. Not Virat. In his speech after the match, Virat emphasized on Yuvi’s contribution and highlighted that Yuvraj made valuable runs and then decided to go. Every organisation wants results at any cost but great leaders will value their team members even if they under perform sometimes. Parents should also be as supportive and accommodating of their children as Kohli was. We mercilessly make the other person feel unwanted / less useful if he is not performing at his best. Virat didn’t do so even during crucial moments. Leaders and Parents in us, please take note.

3.Virat himself acknowledged during his speech that Dhoni calmed him down otherwise he would have become overzealous. Virat listened to Dhoni’s advice with mindfulness and controlled himself. It is not easy to listen to anyone when you are a celebrated player yourself. It is far more difficult to accept that your senior helped you calm down and contributed to your performance. If team members and children could become mindful listeners, organisations and families would be in happier space.

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4. Virat looked dependable and proved his mettle as a dependable member of the team. His demeanor was full of responsibility but in a subtle manner. His passion and dedication was visible when his knees touched the ground after victory and he thanked god but he didn’t wear his contribution on his sleeve, even for a second.

We start shouting about our contribution to our organisation and our family from every cliff but Virat looked completely consumed by his desire to make every ball count.

5. The exemplary running between the wickets by Virat and Dhoni manifests the importance of physical fitness which can be achieved only by sweating it out each day. Virat conveyed the importance of discipline and exercise very simply, when he said “That is what one goes daily to gym for”.

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6. I appreciated Virat not only for his cricket skills but also for his excellent communication skills. He conveyed the team-spirit and the consistent effort of all the players without being arrogant. He spoke with honesty and clarity – two important traits conspicuous by their absence from most verbal exchanges. He started by thanking the crowd. He was overwhelmed, yet spoke like a master storyteller – evoking emotions in the heart of every listener.


What Parenting is not


As we all believe in hands on learning and on the job way of experiencing, we have our own share of ups and down as Parents. The bumps hit us more when we think that we have innate skills of raising children and we can’t go wrong.

If we understand what Parenting is not, it helps us save ourselves from some obvious mistakes that we as Parents make.

  1. Parenting is not a milestone, it is a journey: “The day she/he joins a pre-school, I can go back to work”, “The day he becomes 18, he’/she can be on his/her own” are some statements that we use to fool ourselves.

Children remain our topmost priority after entering our lives and remain unfazedly so for the rest of our lives.

We can never think of this relationship as one we can take our attention off from. It has a beginning but no end. It is an unending journey where journey in totality matters more than milestones.

My daughter is appearing for Xth grade exams this year. The night before one of her exams, she was a tad nervous. “Will you be upset if I don’t do well tomorrow” she asked.

“Not at all,” I said, “I can’t be upset with my daughter for her performance. I will be upset to see her upset.”

“That is what makes our relationship stronger,” she said.

Her performance is not a milestone that influences me, our journey together is an influencer.

2. It is not about instructions, Parenting is a Prayer: “Why didn’t you listen when I told you to keep a smile while singing?”

“You made silly mistakes because you did not check the answers at the end of exam”

“How can you forget to put an alarm?” are remarks – helpless, angry or matter of fact – which we are familiar with.

We want our children to sail smoothly and as a result, we try to make it easy for them. We foolishly think that our step by step guidance will equip them to face future challenges while the opposite is true.

We need to give them open ecosystem to explore, to think, to fail and to try again while we observe them with a consistent silent prayer on our lips.

This 24X7 prayer from the periphery has more power than any other zero defect instruction booklet of the world.

3. It is not an expectation, Parenting is a Surprise: “I have sacrificed all my comforts in order to provide for her sports training”, “My child has fulfilled my childhood dream” are very common success defining opening speeches.


Children can be molded into means of attaining pre defined achievement or success but setting them free to explore the possibilities of a unique life is far more enriching and enlightening. Micromanaging results into many wins but kids might lose their own stories in our repeated monologues.


It will always be refreshing and apt if we encourage our children to spin a surprise life for themselves while we pray from the periphery, being a consistent part of their journey.



Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

What is common between a Football team Coach, a CEO and a Parent?

Football PlayingA football team coach could be a successful player himself or he might have started coaching when his professional career didn’t scale great heights.  A successful player turned coach would have more difficulty shedding his ego than the one who is only a successful coach. A sports team coach needs to shed his ego completely in order to manage mammoth egos of players.

A CEO of today can’t retain talent if he throws his weight around. As hierarchical echelons are biting the dust in new shared spaces offices, team members expect their superiors to be guides, not bosses. Experience in terms of years has lost the importance it used to carry. More openness to be a constant learner and keeping haughtiness at bay would make a CEO successful today.

My mother-father could demand obedience and get yes as an answer from me without any question. My ego feels so embarrassed when my daughter tells me to stop fretting over exams. She asks me ‘why’ for so many things in a week that I wouldn’t have asked in my whole childhood. As a mother, I am as old as she is.

We need to shed our inflated egos as coaches, leaders or parents.

A coach is coach because of the team; a parent is a parent because of the children. We got a chance to learn before them as we were born before them which is hardly an achievement.

The more humble and giving we become as a coach, a CEO or a parent, the more are our chances of accomplishing great results.

All the three need to observe each of the player, team member or child closely before starting to deal with them. A continuous close observation, a few concrete instructions and unconditional support at all times are hallmarks of an effective Coach, CEO and a Parent.

Share your experience here or on Facebook if you feel that your parenting experience adds to your leadership / coaching role.



Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!