New Delhi: Named “Captain Extraordinary,” Mahendra Singh Dhoni is undoubtedly India's most successful cricket captain, leading India to three world titles and having broken numerous records.
You don't have to know anything about cricket as a sport to sense that there is something special about how he leads the team. One may get intrigued about how he somehow manages his head while a billion supporters are losing theirs. Dhoni's style is not just belligerent, it is more judicious. This is evident when he entrusted the final over of the 2007 Twenty20 match to a greenhorn, Joginder Sharma, and that move paid off. Only someone with his immense self-confidence and disdain for cricketing logic would have done this.
A recent study by global management consultancy Hay Group has described the leadership of MS Dhoni as "visionary and participatory".
"It doesn't matter whether people say we are the best team or not or whether we have won or lost the previous match. In every match, one has to start from the scratch. It is important that we carry the momentum in the game," Dhoni recently said.
What is quite evident from Dhoni's leadership style is that he believes in strategic choice i.e. one which makes a difference. Dhoni has consistently shown this belief due to his track record of actively getting engaged in making choices in both team selection and on-the-field decisions. He's certainly not among those who would watch things going other way.
A key attribute to Dhoni's leadership style is having positive expectations from the performance of the juniors, superiors, and even themselves. He displayed this by expecting a major performance from himself in the world cup final, displaying non-linear thinking by promoting himself up the batting order, and delivered in style.
Overall, he has maintained a balance between his “visionary” side (risk taking, non-linear thinking, long term orientation) with the “managerial” side (linear thinking, short-term orientation). This also speaks volumes aobut his success and his balanced side.
Yet amidst of all the victories and successes in his career, Mahendra presents himself as a very humble and grateful kind of person. Indeed, Mahendra's life and career serve as an inspiration that any dream or goal is achievable if you really set your sights on it.
Let's learn 5 leadership lessons from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
You are never to be judged by your background
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was born in Ranchi, Jharkhand to humble Rajput parents. He received his education at JVM Shyamli where he excelled in badminton and football and was eventually representing the school at club and district levels. He hadn't played cricket before this, but he soon showed passion while playing with a club as a wicketkeeper. It was his unique style that led him to get selected for the Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under 16-Championship in 1997-98. His first job was as a train ticket examiner at Kharagpur railway station in West Bengal. Despite his background, he was never shy of expressing himself in any given situation. In the corporate scenario, people often try to stereotype you because of your background.