The couple spoke e about the qualities that make a winner and how to cope with success and failure just before the book launch.
What are the qualities that make a winner?
Harsha: There can be many but one is to be able to become as good a player as you can be. There are lot of people who are extraordinary talent but they don’t make it. The one thing that you learn is it’s not about talent. It’s about your work ethic.
Anita: Beyond a point when your competition gets high then everybody has talent. So just talent doesn’t carry you that far. You have to match your talent with a strong work ethic.
Harsha: Every winner, every champion has an outstanding attitude to work ethic and a great desire to excel.
In any game there is a winner and a loser. What advice do you have for those who lose a game?
Harsha: If you have given your 100 per cent and lost to someone who is better (than you are) then you go to the winner and shake hands sportingly. But ask yourself whether you delivered, whether you have been the best you can be and done that sincerely.
In a game of sport or in corporate life how important is it to win? How important should victory be?
Anita: When the stakes are high the pressure is high but like we said earlier if you have given your 100 per cent sincerely then you know it in your heart. If you have done that then you can sleep peacefully. And the owners (in corporate life) or the franchises (in IPL) should be happy with that.
I don’t think one can win all the time. But it is important that you learn from your failures.
How does one cope with failure in life?
Harsha: Unless you fail you will never win again. One of the things we have learned is that if you are scared of failing you will never win. It’s like if you say a batsman is scared of getting out, he will never score a run. If you are scared of conceding a goal you will never score a goal yourself.
And the best players have lost. Shane Warne has lost, Tendulkar has lost; everyone has lost.
Anita: Failure keeps you on your toes and failure makes you think. When you win you are smug about it and don’t think about it. If you lose you start analysing how could I have done it better.
Harsha: Mistakes are a champion’s best friend. Nobody is asking you to seek mistakes but if you are willing to learn from mistakes and say I am not going to make them again then you are a champion.
Anita: Lots of times failure has nothing to do with you; it could be the circumstances.
‘Great leaders will always trust their players on their effort and not on the results’
Your message to India’s youth on how to cope with success and failure because winning can be a double-edged sword…
Anita: I will ask them to play a sport from a young age so that you learn to take both (victory and failure) in your stride. I think victory doesn’t make you smart and failure should not make you feel that you cannot bounce back.
Harsha: Also, what we have learnt from sports is that you have to give your 100 per cent every single time you take the field. Every time you go on the field give your 100 per cent, come back, give your 100 per cent again when you go out the next day.
You have a history exam, give your 100 per cent; you have a biology exam, give your 100 per cent. It’s not a crime to lose; it’s a crime to give less than 100 per cent and I think that is what sport teaches you.
Anita: I think you (India’s youth) should play a team sport. I think team sport teaches you a lot of things. I mean an individual sport (say, golf) also teaches you a lot of things but team sport is different because you are not playing only for yourself.
Harsha: It’s a great line actually. I think every Indian should play a team sport when you realise what it is to play for each other. One day you score a goal, one day you pass (the ball to your partner who is in a better position to score a goal than you are). But you cannot score a goal every day; some day you have to pass.
Anita: Our theory is that because our population is so high we become very selfish and then it creates problems in becoming a team player.