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Shift from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser: The Game of Growth Unveiled

Updated: Mar 13

“Embrace the journey from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser, for it is in the stretch, not the stance, where growth plays its grandest game.”
Silhouettes of three cricketers against a vibrant backdrop of an ascending performance graph, representing the transformation from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser, as featured in 'Shift from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser: The Game of Growth Unveiled' article on The image captures the essence of growth and success in professional and personal realms, with one cricketer dynamically hitting a ball towards the horizon, symbolizing potential and achievement.

Table Of Contents

Introduction: Hitting a Six in Work and Life.

The Perfect Pitch: Team Dynamics and Individual Innings.

Echoes from the Pavilion: Revisiting "EI at the Workplace".

Playing the Roles: From Bar Lower to Bar Raiser.

Section 1: Understanding the Three Personality Traits.

Section 2: Self-Reflection and Recognition.

Section 3: The Growth Mindset.

Section 4: Case Study: A Journey from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser.

Section 5: Industrial Professionals Illustrating the Need for a "Growth Mindset": Real Examples.

Conclusion: The Closing Overs.


Introduction: Hitting a Six in Work and Life

The Perfect Pitch: Team Dynamics and Individual Innings

Picture this: The cricket ground is buzzing, the crowd is roaring, and every player has a vital role — much like our workplaces. The harmony between a cricketer’s individual brilliance and the team's overall strategy is what wins matches. Just like in cricket, where the synergy between the captain’s tactics and each player’s performance is key, workplaces thrive on similar dynamics. Every team member’s contribution is crucial, akin to every run scored in the game, leading to collective success.

Echoes from the Pavilion: Revisiting "EI at the Workplace"

Recall our innings on Emotional Intelligence (EI) at the workplace? That discussion was not just another match in the series but a foundational play preparing us for today's game plan. Icons like MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli exemplify how EI can elevate a team's performance, blending strategy with empathy. For those who haven’t had a chance, check out our article on “Boosting Success Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace” on It's like the masterclass that sets the stage for today’s strategy session.

Title image for 'Boosting Success Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace' featuring a bold, torn paper effect revealing the text 'Leading with Emotional Intelligence' as a mid-article CTA on

Playing the Roles: From Bar Lower to Bar Raiser

Section image for 'Shift from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser: The Game of Growth Unveiled,' showing a cricketer's progression from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser, exemplifying growth and success in the article on, titled 'Playing the Roles: From Bar Lower to Bar Raiser'.

In the grand stadium of life and work, we often find ourselves playing one of three crucial roles — much like the positions on a cricket field.

  • Bar Raisers are the captains of the team, much like MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli, setting examples, leading from the front, and inspiring everyone to push beyond their limits.

  • Maintainers are the consistent performers, the backbone of the team, ensuring the game plan is followed through with dedication and reliability.

  • Bar Lowers are the ones struggling to find their form, but with the right guidance and encouragement, they too can shine and contribute significantly.

It’s about recognizing where we stand, and like a determined cricketer, aiming for those big shots to move from a Bar Lower to becoming the team's Bar Raiser. With a bit of grit, a lot of practice, and the right mindset, we’re all capable of leading our teams to victory. Let’s lace up our boots, grab our bats, and step onto the pitch, ready to transform our game both on and off the field.

Section 1: Understanding the Three Personality Traits

1.1: The Bar Raiser

Section image for 'Shift from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser: The Game of Growth Unveiled,' featuring MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli as examples of 'The Bar Raiser' in Indian cricket, symbolizing peak performance and leadership on

Just like MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, who are the cricketing equivalents of lead dancers taking center stage with their charisma and leadership, Bar Raisers in our lives and workplaces have a similar impact. They're the ones who:

  • Lead by Example: Always pushing themselves and those around them to achieve more, setting new benchmarks just like Kohli's aggressive batting or Dhoni's calm and strategic decision-making.

  • Inspire and Motivate: Their presence and work ethic boost the team's morale and encourage everyone to step up their game.

  • Embrace Challenges: View setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, embodying the resilience and adaptability seen in the greatest cricket comebacks.

1.2: The Maintainer

Section image from 'Shift from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser: The Game of Growth Unveiled' featuring Michael Bevan, symbolizing 'The Maintainer', on, highlighting consistent performance as a bridge to growth.

Think of Michael Gwyl Bevan, the Australian cricket maestro known for his "tiki-taka" version of playing, scoring 1s and 2s while keeping the scoreboard ticking. Bevan, one of the greatest middle-order batsmen of all time, exemplifies the Maintainer in the workplace. Maintainers are crucial for:

  • Keeping the Momentum: Like Bevan's knack for building an innings with minimal risks, Maintainers ensure the team's progress by reliably meeting expectations and maintaining stability.

  • Supporting the Stars: Just as Bevan played a supporting role allowing others to shine, Maintainers in a team context provide the steady hand that allows Bar Raisers to innovate and lead.

  • Valuing Consistency Over Flashes of Brilliance: They might not grab the headlines, but their contribution is invaluable to the team's long-term success.

1.3: The Bar Lower

Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketing legend, didn't have the best start to his ODI career, with early performances that many wouldn't associate with a Bar Raiser. Similarly, Rohit Sharma's initial years were underwhelming, tagged as a potential yet unfulfilled talent. However, both transformed their careers dramatically:

  • Potential for Growth: Like Tendulkar and Sharma, individuals identified as Bar Lowers possess immense potential. Their journey is a testament to the fact that early setbacks do not define one's career.

  • Importance of Support: Dhoni's belief in Sharma, despite criticism, underscores the need for support and faith in unlocking a Bar Lower's potential. Leadership and mentorship can turn Bar Lowers into top performers.

  • Embracing the Journey: Tendulkar and Sharma's careers remind us that progress is nonlinear. Patience, perseverance, and continuous effort can transform Bar Lowers into legendary figures in their fields.

Reflecting on Emotional Intelligence and Transformation

The journey from a Bar Lower to a Bar Raiser is fraught with challenges, requiring not just skill but emotional intelligence. Recognizing the importance of empathy, resilience, and the ability to motivate oneself and others is key to this transformation. Just as cricket has evolved with all-rounders like Ravindra Jadeja changing the game, professionals can evolve to become more versatile, adaptable, and impactful in their roles.

In cricket, as in life, finding your niche and excelling in it is crucial. Whether you're opening the batting or bowling, the aim is to bring your unique skills to the forefront. The stories of cricketers who have faced early setbacks and emerged victorious inspire us to aim higher, illustrating that with the right mindset and support, anyone can become a Bar Raiser in their own field.

Section 2: Self-Reflection and Recognition

Infographic from 'Shift from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser: The Game of Growth Unveiled' on, illustrating the 'Self-Reflection and Recognition' process for professional growth, with a roadmap of strategies for personal development.

Cricket, in all its glory, isn't just about the thrill of the game; it's also a mirror reflecting our efforts, resilience, and growth. Similar to how a cricketer reflects on their form and strategies, understanding our roles in personal and professional settings requires a deep dive into self-awareness. Here's how to hold that mirror up and see whether we're Bar Raisers, Maintainers, or Bar Lowers in various aspects of our lives, and importantly, how to channel our inner Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni to consistently hit those growth sixes.

Holding the Mirror Up: The What and How of Self-Reflection

  • Self-Assessment Journeys: Just as a cricketer reviews their performance post-match, regularly take stock of your actions and mindset. Are you knocking it out of the park (Bar Raiser), keeping the score ticking (Maintainer), or struggling to get off the mark (Bar Lower)?

  • Feedback: The Dressing Room Talk: There's nothing like a bit of dressing room chatter to set things straight. Seek honest feedback from your personal and professional squad. It might just be the pep talk you need to up your game.

  • Track Your Play: Use a diary or an app to log your daily activities, much like a player might analyze their net sessions. Spotting patterns can help you understand where your engagement shines and where it dims.

From Duck to Century: Avoiding the Bar Lower Trap

  • Unearthing the Why Behind the Duck: Sometimes, we score ducks because we're not playing on the right pitch. Identifying why you're not scoring can help you change tactics, be it through clearer goals or finding the aspects of your work that genuinely excite you.

  • Setting the Field: Break your tasks into smaller, more manageable innings. Scoring a few quick singles can boost your confidence and set you on the path to a century.

  • Finding Your Cheer Squad: What drives you? Is it the roar of the crowd, the personal satisfaction of a well-played innings, or the pursuit of mastery? Tap into that motivation to fuel your innings.

Elevating Your Game: Becoming a Star Player

  • Practice Makes Perfect: Just as cricketers spend hours in the nets, invest time in honing your skills and expanding your knowledge. This dedication can turn routine tasks into passionate projects.

  • Step Up to the Crease: Challenge yourself. Whether it's taking on a difficult project at work or stepping out of your comfort zone in personal development, these challenges can transform you from a steady player to a match-winner.

  • Embrace the Game: Adopt a growth mindset. Every cricket match offers a chance to learn, just as every challenge in life is an opportunity for growth. This mindset can help you make the leap from playing it safe to playing to win.

  • Strategize Your Innings: Not every ball deserves a shot. Similarly, not every task is worth your 100%. Prioritize where you want to make your mark and consider how best to allocate your time and energy.

  • The Team Huddle: Surround yourself with people who push you to do better, just like a great cricket team lifts each other up. This supportive network is invaluable on your journey from Maintainer to Bar Raiser.

By adopting a cricketer's approach to self-reflection and growth, we can identify our current role in the grand game of life and strategize our path to becoming consistent performers, or better yet, game-changers. It's about knowing when to defend, when to attack, and when to let the ball go. With the right mindset, a bit of practice, and a supportive team, transitioning from a Bar Lower to a Bar Raiser is not just possible; it's inevitable. Let's pad up and play our best innings yet!

Section 3: The Growth Mindset

Rahul Dravid in action, illustrating 'The Growth Mindset' section from 'Shift from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser: The Game of Growth Unveiled' article on, showcasing his embodiment of continuous improvement in cricket.

3.1: Introduction to Growth Mindset

Understanding the Pitch: Growth vs. Fixed Mindset

The journey of a cricketer is much like facing a series of deliveries on the pitch, each requiring a unique response. This is the heart of Carol Dweck's concept of the Growth Mindset, which encourages seeing every ball — or challenge — as an opportunity to score and improve.

  • Growth Mindset: Imagine a player who, regardless of the match situation, believes in their ability to adapt and grow. They're the ones hitting the nets after a day's play, refining their skills, whether it's mastering the spin or tackling the pace.

  • Fixed Mindset and the Case of Rahul Dravid: Initially, Rahul Dravid, "The Wall" of Indian cricket, was known for his steady, reliable batting style, often accumulating runs through patience and technique rather than speed. Yet, the demands of the game called for a different approach. Dravid didn't confine himself to a fixed role; he evolved, showcasing his versatility across formats. This transition from being seen primarily as a "slow scorer" to someone who could also dominate the field and score quickly when needed, as evidenced in his 22-ball 50 against New Zealand in 2003@ Hyderabad, illustrates a shift towards a growth mindset.

The real lesson here is not just in Dravid's ability to score runs but in his willingness to adapt and evolve his game, embodying the essence of a growth mindset.

3.2: Developing a Growth Mindset

Crafting Your Innings: From Bar Lower to Bar Raiser

Developing a Growth Mindset, akin to transitioning from a novice player to a cricketing legend, involves embracing certain principles:

  • Embrace Challenges: View every tough bowler or difficult pitch as an opportunity to enhance your skills. It's about stepping up, much like facing a challenging over with determination.

  • Persist Through the Overs: Reflect on Dravid's resilience at The Oval in 2007, a testament to persisting in the face of challenges. Each delivery faced is a step toward growth. (R. Dravid Scored 12 runs in 140 mins)

  • Effort is Your Best Coach: Recognizing that mastery comes from practice and effort is crucial. It's the long hours after everyone else has left, perfecting that one shot or delivery.

  • Learn from Every Dismissal: Each time you're out, it's an opportunity to analyze and learn. Dravid's career, filled with moments of learning and adaptation, showcases the importance of feedback and improvement.

  • Be Inspired by the Legends: Let the successes of cricket legends inspire you. Dravid's evolution from a steady batsman to a versatile cricketer serves as a powerful example of growth and adaptability.

  • Celebrate the Singles: Acknowledge every run, knowing that consistent efforts contribute to the bigger picture. Dravid's career, built on a foundation of singles and doubles, highlights the value of persistence and patience.

  • Redefine “Talent”: Talent is not just innate ability but the result of continuous effort and adaptation. Dravid's journey exemplifies how skills can be honed and developed over time.

  • Adopt the ‘Yet’ Mentality: Haven't mastered a skill "yet"? This outlook maintains a forward-looking perspective, encouraging continuous effort and learning.

  • Focus on Your Game, Not the Applause: Concentrate on personal development rather than external validation. Dravid's focus on his game, irrespective of the pace of scoring, underlines the importance of self-improvement over immediate acclaim.

  • Reflect Like a Pro: Regular introspection, akin to reviewing game footage, helps identify areas for improvement and strategies that work. It's about building on each performance to craft a successful career.

Rahul Dravid's cricketing journey, marked by significant adaptation and learning, encapsulates the essence of a Growth Mindset. It's a vivid reminder that, whether in cricket or life, our abilities and talents are not fixed but can be developed through dedication, effort, and a willingness to learn and adapt.

Section 4: Case Study: A Journey from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser

Case Study section image for 'Shift from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser: The Game of Growth Unveiled,' depicting protagonist Arjun Singh's victorious stance in a cricket stadium, symbolizing his growth journey on

Introduction to the Protagonist

In the competitive world of professional cricket, Arjun Singh stood out not for his extraordinary skills, but for his struggle to meet the high standards set by his team and himself. A young, talented cricketer from a small town in India, Arjun's journey from a Bar Lower to a Bar Raiser epitomizes the power of adopting a Growth Mindset. Initially, his performances were inconsistent, marred by self-doubt and fear of failure, making him a Bar Lower in the eyes of his coaches and teammates.

Question 1: "Can you recall a time when you felt like a 'Bar Lower' in your personal or professional life? What was the situation, and how did it affect your self-perception?"

Challenges and Realization

Arjun's journey was fraught with challenges. Despite his potential, his inability to perform under pressure led to a series of disappointing matches. Criticism from fans and skepticism from the team management only added to his woes. The turning point came when he was left out of the team for an important series. This exclusion served as a wake-up call, making him realize the need for a fundamental change in his approach towards cricket and life.

Question 2: "Think of a moment when you realized a need for change in your life. What sparked this realization, and what were the initial steps you took towards making that change?"

The Transition Phase

Determined to turn his fortunes around, Arjun embraced the concept of a Growth Mindset, which he learned about from a sports psychologist introduced to him by his mentor. He started focusing on learning from each game, whether he succeeded or failed. This phase of becoming a Maintainer involved rigorous mental and physical training, where he worked on his skills relentlessly while maintaining a positive outlook towards improvement.

The transition wasn't easy. There were setbacks, but Arjun's newfound resilience kept him going. He began to see obstacles as opportunities to grow rather than insurmountable barriers. This shift in perspective allowed him to overcome his fear of failure. Gradually, his performance improved, and his confidence soared.

Question 3: "Share a story of a time when adopting a new mindset, like the Growth Mindset, helped you overcome a personal challenge. What was the mindset shift, and how did it impact your approach to the obstacle?"

The Triumph

Arjun's transformation into a Bar Raiser was evident in a crucial match where his team was in a dire situation. With his team struggling at 120/5, Arjun stepped up to the occasion, scoring a match-winning century against a formidable bowling attack. His performance not only won the game but also raised the morale of his team. Arjun had become a symbol of perseverance and excellence, setting new benchmarks for himself and his teammates.

His approach to training changed; he became a role model for young cricketers, sharing his experience and encouraging them to adopt a Growth Mindset. Arjun's story became an inspiration within his team, promoting a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Question 4: "Describe an achievement that marked your transition from being a 'Maintainer' to a 'Bar Raiser.' What did this achievement mean to you, and how did it affect those around you?"

Lessons Learned and Insights

Arjun's journey from a Bar Lower to a Bar Raiser teaches us the importance of self-belief, resilience, and the continuous pursuit of growth. His transformation highlights that setbacks and failures are not the end but opportunities to learn and improve. Adopting a Growth Mindset can change how we perceive challenges, leading us to become better versions of ourselves.

For readers seeking to elevate their personal and professional lives, Arjun's story serves as a powerful testament to the fact that change begins with a shift in mindset. It underscores the importance of self-reflection, relentless improvement, and the courage to face and overcome one's fears.

Question 5: "What are the most valuable lessons you've learned from your journey of personal or professional growth? How have these insights shaped your current mindset or approach to new challenges?"


Arjun Singh's journey is a beacon of hope and a guide for anyone looking to make a significant change in their life. His transformation from a Bar Lower to a Bar Raiser, underpinned by the adoption of a Growth Mindset, exemplifies how personal and professional growth is attainable through perseverance, learning from failures, and a constant effort to exceed one's limits.

Section 5: Industrial Professionals Illustrating the Need for a "Growth Mindset": Real Examples

Section image from 'Shift from Bar Lower to Bar Raiser: The Game of Growth Unveiled' on featuring Jack Ma, Satya Nadella, Reed Hastings, Mary Barra, and Indra Nooyi, highlighting 'Industrial Professionals Illustrating the Need for a Growth Mindset' with real examples.

The professional arena, much like the cricket field, is a testament to the power of perseverance, adaptability, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. The concept of a "growth mindset," as delineated by psychologist Carol Dweck, plays a pivotal role in shaping the careers of individuals and the destinies of corporations. It's the difference between being stumped by challenges and hitting them for a six. Let's delve into the stories of industry leaders and companies that have embraced this principle, transforming obstacles into stepping stones for success.

Satya Nadella at Microsoft's Crease

Since taking the helm as CEO in 2014, Satya Nadella has been pivotal in steering Microsoft's culture from a fiercely competitive arena to a collaborative ecosystem. Echoing Dweck's ethos, Nadella nurtured an environment where learning triumphs over the know-it-all attitude. This shift has been instrumental in Microsoft's resurgence, with a keen focus on cloud computing and AI technologies. Nadella's leadership, deeply rooted in the growth mindset, underscores the transformative power of fostering learning and innovation.

Jack Ma: Alibaba's Captain

Jack Ma's journey to founding Alibaba is a narrative of resilience. From being turned away by KFC to facing rejection from Harvard 10 times, Ma's story is a compelling showcase of the growth mindset. Each setback was a lesson, a chance to come back stronger, ultimately leading to the creation of Alibaba, a behemoth in the e-commerce space. Ma's trajectory reflects an unwavering belief in the potential for growth and improvement, making him a beacon for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Reed Hastings and Netflix's Game-Changing Play

Netflix's evolution from a DVD rental service to a global streaming powerhouse mirrors Reed Hastings' embodiment of the growth mindset. Hastings' vision led Netflix to pioneer streaming and original content production, navigating through risks and uncertainties. This bold leap not only redefined entertainment consumption but also cemented Netflix's position as an industry leader, illustrating how a growth mindset can propel innovation and adaptation.

Mary Barra Steering General Motors Towards the Future

As the first female CEO of a major global automaker, Mary Barra's leadership at General Motors is marked by a forward-thinking approach to innovation and sustainability. Under her guidance, GM has embraced electric vehicles and autonomous technology, navigating the shift from traditional manufacturing towards a sustainable future. Barra’s commitment to learning and evolving amidst industry transformation showcases the essence of a growth mindset in action.

Indra Nooyi's Refreshing Strategy at PepsiCo

Indra Nooyi reimagined PepsiCo's trajectory by aligning with changing consumer preferences towards health and wellness. Through strategic acquisitions and an expanded product lineup focusing on healthier options, Nooyi steered PepsiCo into new territories. Her ability to adapt and grow the company's portfolio exemplifies the growth mindset, highlighting the importance of responsiveness and innovation in today's dynamic market.

The Winning Innings of a Growth Mindset

These luminaries, through their stories of resilience, innovation, and adaptability, illuminate the path for professionals and companies alike. Just as a cricketer hones their skills and strategies to face any delivery, these leaders have demonstrated that embracing challenges, persevering through difficulties, and committing to continuous learning are crucial for success. Their journeys underscore the significance of a growth mindset in navigating the complex and ever-changing industrial landscape, proving that with the right outlook, every challenge is an opportunity to innovate and grow.

Conclusion: The Closing Overs

As we draw the innings of our exploration to a close, it's essential to look back at the ground we've covered and the runs we've scored in understanding the profound impact of a Growth Mindset. This journey, from the crease to the pavilion, has been about more than just cricket or professional development; it's been about cultivating a mindset that champions growth, resilience, and continuous improvement. Let's recap the key points we've navigated through:

  • Understanding Personality Traits: We dissected the roles of Bar Raisers, Maintainers, and Bar Lowers, seeing how each plays a part in our personal and professional growth. Like players in a cricket team, our roles might change, but our commitment to improvement should remain constant.

  • Self-Reflection and Recognition: Acknowledging where we stand and striving for better is the essence of growth. Like a cricketer analyzing their game, self-reflection is our tool for identifying areas of strength and opportunities for development.

  • The Growth Mindset: Inspired by the likes of Carol Dweck, Satya Nadella, and Jack Ma, we delved into how believing in our ability to grow shapes our approach to challenges and setbacks. This mindset is the coach cheering us on, guiding us to push beyond our perceived limits.

  • Real-World Champions of Growth: Through the lens of industry leaders like Reed Hastings, Mary Barra, and Indra Nooyi, we've seen how adopting a growth mindset leads to innovation, resilience, and remarkable success in the rapidly changing professional world.

Embarking on Your Growth Journey

As we conclude this innings, it's not just about the runs scored but the lessons learned and how we apply them moving forward. This article is a call to action, urging you to:

  • Embrace a Growth Mindset: See every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow. Whether you're facing a fast bowler or navigating professional setbacks, believe in your ability to improve and adapt.

  • Aim to Be a Bar Raiser: In every aspect of your life, strive to raise the bar. Be the person who not only seeks personal excellence but also inspires and elevates those around them.

  • Reflect and Act: Take a moment to assess where you are and where you want to be. Identify areas where you can shift from being a Bar Lower or Maintainer to becoming a Bar Raiser.

The Winning Shot

The journey of growth is ongoing, filled with innings of successes and learning moments. Like cricket, life offers us various pitches to play on, each requiring a unique approach. By adopting a growth mindset, embracing challenges, and continuously striving for improvement, you're not just playing the game; you're changing it.

Let this article serve as your playbook, a guide to transforming challenges into opportunities and aspirations into achievements. Remember, every day is an opportunity to practice, learn, and grow. So, pad up, take a stance, and be ready to face whatever comes your way with confidence and a commitment to growth. Here's to being the Bar Raiser in your game of life!




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