1.3 billion people yesterday tuned into watch India triumph against arch rivals Pakistan in the semi finals of the 2011 Cricket World Cup. That’s right, 20% of the world population watched as India’s ‘Little Master’, Sachin Tendulkar, drove India to the final this Saturday.
Tendulkar is India’s equivalent of David Beckham, Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. Which means he has an amazing track record in his sport, a huge fan base and a lucrative line of sponsorships with the likes of Adidas, Pepsico and Canon to name a few.
But although Tendulkar was the top scorer in yesterday’s game and picked up the man of the match award, it wasn’t exactly a classic performance from him or India.
In fact, at one point the TV commentator accused Tendulkar and India of “Winning Ugly” in reference to Brad Gilbert’s book.
But that’s precisely what winners do – they win ugly when they have to.
Whilst sports stars and teams like Beckham, Jordan, the Boston Red Socks and the Barcelona soccer team are known for their flair and finesse – they also know how to “win ugly” when they need to. In fact winning when you’re having an ‘off day’ is the key to being a winner in sport.
And the same applies to you in the work place and in your career.
There will always be days when your computer packs in and you need to deliver the client pitch without your presentation slides or notes.
There will be days when you ladder your tights on the way to that big interview.
Days when you need to apply for the perfect job but just can’t get yourself in the right mood to fill in the application or prepare the CV /resume.
But that’s okay.
What’s most important is getting past the hurdle and getting through to the next stage of your journey. And that often means you’ve got to just plough through and be ‘imperfect’ so that you can “win ugly” if you have to.
The record books won’t show that Tendulkar’s performance wasn’t polished. They won’t show that he was in fact extremely lucky and should have been caught by the Pakistani fielders on four different occasions.
All they’ll show is that he scored 85 runs and India won. Whether they won ugly or won with flair doesn’t matter. They won.
And if Tendulkar and India “win ugly” in Saturday’s final against Sri Lanka, will they care? Will they worry about it whilst picking up the winning trophy?
And neither should you the next time you need to “win ugly.”