Sunday, 23 August 2015

Box Office Manager - Lagaan

In this edition of ‘Box Office Manager’, we will be taking a look at ‘Lagaan’ - a Hindi film starring Amir Khan. The term ‘management’ is often used synonymously with this movie. This is because the whole movie is one big management lesson. The premise is simple yet very effective. The backdrop of the story is British India. Oppression is everywhere and Indians are forced to pay heavy taxes. In a small village where there is a heavy British presence, a Commander makes a deal with the villagers that if they win a Cricket match against him and his team, they would not be required to pay any taxes for the rest of their lives. If they fail, however, they have to pay 3 times the taxes. To add insult to injury, these villagers don’t have any idea what Cricket is. How they “manage” to win this ordeal and free themselves from taxation is the crux of this story.
Take a look at this scene 

Bhuvan(Amir Khan) wants to canvas the game to the villagers by proclaiming that it is very easy. Notice how he gathers the team, who are clearly uninterested at first, through motivation and also how he kindles their interest by appreciation (the little kid for his superb ‘bowling’ skills).
In this case, Bhuvan assumes the role of a leader. As evident from the clip, a leader is responsible to motivate his team-members. He should set an example for his team-members by showing them how it should be done and how it can be done better. Think of it…the villagers have no inkling of what Cricket is, but as a true leader, Bhuvan introduces the game to them, trains them and gives them the hope and the confidence that it can be done.  

This scene is about team-building and motivation

Here, the unique talent of Kachra the cripple is identified when he throws the ball, by Bhuvan. He is a natural spin-bowler and he himself does not know it. Bhuvan notices this and invites him to the team. He makes the team-member, Kachra in this case, realize his true potential. But the other team members are not happy of playing alongside an “untouchable”. Bhuvan asserts to his team that skin color or the caste is not a concern and that only the ability to perform matters. He changes the mindset of his team through his effective speaking skills. 

The movie tells us that a good leader is one who identifies talent and measures the ability of his team-members. In an organization or a team, there may be an employee who is not liked by his colleagues. It is the duty and the responsibility of the leader to ascertain why he is not liked and then get the issue resolved so that the team does not lose sight of its goal. Another important element that a leader is required to posses is good speaking skills. He should try to get the team in shape through his communicative skills in order to achieve the final goal. He should convince them to lay petty issues aside and work together for the ultimate benefit, which in the scene above, Bhuvan does.

This is the final scene of the film. All their efforts have led them to this moment, which is a life-or-death situation. The ending might be Deus-Ex Machina, but is definitely worth a watch…

In the end, it all depends upon the leader. The leader is a spark that ignites the flame. He should also ensure that the flame keeps burning. The way the leader thinks, is the way the team functions. That brings us to the styles of leadership which will definitely be discussed in the future editions of Box Office Manager. See you then.  

Happy Management! 

- Sreekiran 

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