It Didn’t Work

Despite the consistent run, India have not been able to win an ICC tournament under the current Captain Virat Kohli and here is what the captain had to say about it:

“You could say winning an ICC tournament is like an obsession, he said, “But, in hindsight, you can look at a lot of things. We obviously have the desire to win big tournaments and big series and we want to give our best effort possible. But, if you focus on things which are only based on success and numbers and results, you don’t enjoy the process. We play well as a team because we enjoy the process.”

Indian cricket team is ranked number 1 or 2 in most formats of the game but has not won an ICC tournament in some time now.

Marcelo Rios was the first Latin American player to be ranked No. 1 in the ATP standings. He is also the only ATP player to never win a Grand Slam despite being ranked No. 1.

In spite of winning 18 ATP tour titles, he made it to the finals of a Grand Slam even on only one occasion, and that was in 1998, where he lost to Petr Korda.

He was in the No. 1 spot for over six weeks and never made it to the finals of a major again.

Journey or Destination

Does becoming no. 1 in the world but not being able to win the tournament considered the ultimate pinnacle in the sport make you less of a player/team.

You have to be really good to reach the number 1 spot.

You would have done a lot of things right; however you don’t have in the cabinet the ultimate proof of your success.

The Indian Cricket captain talked about process and doing it right.

Enjoying the game and doing well.

What can go wrong?

Now this might not be the case, all the time but this is way to think about the role of process and then some extraneous factors (which I have chosen to call “luck”).

Not Everything is under your Control

All this tells you is that you only control working out a good process and following it with discipline.

That’s all that you control-everything else is uncontrollable.

For example, in Cricket what kind of pitch you are playing on plays a critical role in the outcome.

You don’t decide the quality of pitch or whether it will work in your favor, however you can pray for good luck so that you win the toss and get to decide how to use the pitch in your favor.

Same goes for Investing

Here is a story from Mark Twain in his own words (emphasis is mine):

“General Hawley sent for me to come to the Courant office. There was a young fellow there [who] was with Graham Bell and was agent for a new invention called the telephone. He believed there was great fortune in store for it and wanted me to take some stock. I declined. 

[The price kept coming down until the man] said I could have a whole hatful for five hundred dollars. But I was the burnt child and I resisted all these temptations, resisted them easily, went off with my check intact, and next day lent five thousand of it on an unendorsed note to my friend who was going to go bankrupt three days later.

“The young man couldn’t sell me any stock, but he sold a few hatfuls of it to an old dry-goods clerk in Hartford for five thousand dollars. That was that clerk’s whole fortune. He had been half a lifetime saving it. It is strange how foolish people can be and what ruinous risks they can take….

“We sailed for Europe on the 10th of April, 1878. We were gone fourteen months and when we got back one of the first things, we saw was that clerk driving around in a sumptuous barouche with liveried servants all over it — and his telephone stock was emptying greenbacks into his premises at such a rate that he had to handle them with a shovel.

It is strange the way the ignorant and inexperienced so often and so undeservedly succeed when the informed and the experienced fail.”

The key lesson here is:

  • Neither Twain nor the clerk had a process;
  • They didn’t try to understand what the telephone could end up doing;
  • One declined and the other accepted;
  • One got “lucky”, other “rued” when he realised the lost fortune

Yes-the inexperienced will get lucky and yes despite the process and understanding the experienced, even experts, will sometime fail.

This is acceptable and part of the game.

What is not acceptable is, “not having done the due process before taking the decision”

That’s where the real failure is.

Invariably over a longer time-frame the one with the right process and behaviour will win the game much more than the person who just got lucky.

Luck is a lottery and its very rare for one lottery winner to win multiple times.

So do the process and stay the course

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