Blame and shame or credit ? …Mirrors and windows

sachin_tendulkar-normalI am a cricket buff, so I was re watching Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell speech on YouTube, and yes I did feel teary at a point.  What struck me is how his speech was filled with ‘window’ moments.

I first came across the concept of ‘windows and mirrors’ in Jim Collins HBR article on Level 5 leadership.  Collins describes level 5 leaders as humble and they always look out of the window to give credit, sometimes-undue credit to factors outside themselves, their teams, their customers.  Level 5 leaders also look into the mirror when accepting responsibility when things don’t go well, never blaming external factors or luck in this instance.

On the other hand there are leaders who reverse this and to quote Collin look out of the window for factors to blame and preen in the mirror to credit themselves when things go well.

Sachin in his farwell speech was definitely looking out of the window to credit everyone’s hand in his success.  From his father who inspired him to chase his dreams, to his doctors who kept him fit and his legions of fans all around the world.  In the 20 minute speech, he talks about and thanks so many people in his life, always crediting them for their support.  It is both moving and humbling to watch.  What sort of leader are you, or do you want to be?


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  • Brad

    Hi Yamini,
    What a great article on Level 5 leadership. Who would have though that

  • Bianka Ganser

    Very though provoking article Yamini. I have certainly seen examples of both types of leaders throughout my career. In my experience, most people are pretty good at sharing the credit but very few truly embrace self-reflection and taking full responsibility for when things don’t quite go to plan.

    • Yamini Naidu

      Bianka that is a great insight We are usually better at sharing credit, but nobody wants to shoulder failure.

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