Any team sport is incomplete without a captain. They are the ones who keep the team together through the worst and best of times! Similarly, in the case of any organisation, the challenge for a leader is to keep the team together, aligned to the goals & motivated.
Sports has given this world many legendary examples of unparalleled leadership! From the likes of Diego Maradona, Mike Trout, Sidney Crosby, Tom Brady to MS Dhoni!
What makes MS Dhoni stand out from the list of successful captains across sports and generations of brilliant players, is not just one single quality, but rather a host of innate leadership skills that he has displayed all through his career. Being an avid cricket fan, I would love to share some of his qualities that stand out for me –
One of the qualities that we like to see in any leader is a calm attitude. As a leader you will come across tough situations you need to keep yourself cool, absorb that pressure and make rational decisions. MSD has showcased this calm attitude many times. He has surprised the whole world by taking some exceptionally rational decisions which not many could have. Not only that, but these decisions worked in his favour and lead the team to victory!
As a leader, one needs to stay grounded. You should be able to handle success with the same grace as failure. A leader just can’t go gaga with some early wins. As a leader, you need to maintain the balance between the two. MSD got some early wins and fame but this never changed his approach and attitude towards the game. In the post program presentations he would very well appreciate all the wins and take the learnings from losses.
“A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.”
You can’t win or be the best in the business if you don’t study your competition well. As a good leader, you need to take a look around what’s happening, who is your competitor then only you can strategise and use your resources well. MSD has proved to be brilliant at this, good at this, just before every match he will take time to know the bowlers and batsmen of the opposite teams, then strategise. It will always help you in getting the upper hand in the game.
Captain Dhoni makes it a habit of hitting the gym regularly. He is never the one to miss practices, rather he would regularly be seen in the nets continuously working to improve his performances. This is a common habit among the best leaders. They will not show complacency; they will follow the routines, surpass their own personal records and raise the bench mark higher. Similarly, MSD has always led from the front. Taking up new challenges and working to achieve new heights with a relentless attitude towards the pursuit of excellence.