As a CEO on whom ride the hopes of a demanding billion people, the captain of Team India is like a batsman facing a flurry of nasty Yorkers. It's a leadership test that can make the most acclaimed CEO cringe. But not MSD.
The captain of the Indian cricket team delivered a dream result to his shareholders, the joys of which surpassed the benefits of any dividend or bonus.
In the tough final against a strong Sri Lankan team, the grit and guts displayed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni at Mumbai's Wankhede stadium has corporate captains of India singing glories of his leadership qualities
For juniors, Dhoni followed the principle of support with stick.
Ram Kumar calls it positive manipulation.
"When Dhoni comes out and tells the media that Zaheer Khan is a great bowler and he will deliver, he is being positively demanding.
The confidence expressed in public puts positive pressure.
Some leaders do this by invoking fear," he says.
Team building is just a part of the job.
How about dealing with the competitors and handling volatile situations?
Santrupt Misra, Group Director, HR, at Aditya Birla Group, gives Dhoni top marks in innovating and experimenting in real time.
"Dhoni continuously tries to innovate and experiment (e.g. when everybody said he should go with Ashwin, he played Nehra).
This means he knows both the game as well as the people very well, which, of course, is another great leadership trait.
He is not overly ecstatic when he succeeds nor is he utterly down and out when he loses. In a volatile environment, this is a great trait to have."
Getting the best out of your team doesn't mean you don't face tough situations yourself. Says Suvojoy Sengupta, MD India, Booz & Co: "Dhoni isn't afraid to put himself in the firing line, even at the risk of personal failure—as he proved in the final.
Besides he can keep the competitors guessing on a few things. Inspirational leaders keep some tricks up their sleeve and use them to turn around seemingly hopeless situations.
MSD is a master at this." Given the abject failure in 2007 World Cup and then, under MSD, the subsequent trail of victories, Dhoni is the turnaround man Indian companies would love to have as CEO.
Says Ranchi-bred Ganesh Natarajan, Global CEO, Zensar Technologies: "Forget cricket. Dhoni is the singlemost amazing leader India has."
Lessons from Dhoni’s Leadership
Dhoni gives the following Leadership tips for every aspiring Leader : 1. We should be a performer and we should demonstrate the same to our team. Performance is itself the most effective communication down the line. 2. Leader has to be humble in way to consider part and parcel of the team and not above the team. 3. Give genuine respect and trust to the team members.
4. Allow them to experiment and take risk.
5. In case of failure, encourage him / her to introspect and do it next time with more vigour and better planning. 6. Make every one in the team feel that , even though we are leaders, we are just one among them. 7. We should also believe in the ones who failed in the Team. At crucial times a team member who was not able to deliver might do miracles. 8. As a leader, be calm in extreme situations and lead the team from front. 9. Share the credit of success with your team members and praise them in public. 10. Above all believe in every member in the team.
Managing under change is a vital attribute to be learned from the leadership under Dhoni. A good leader doesn’t mind going out and exploring. Dhoni’s risk taking ability, inclusiveness and time-pressure qualities are good examples of leaders on the business side. If you notice, instead of pressing teammates to win, Dhoni told them to just enjoy the game. Also, he has mentioned at several forums that he believes to live in the present and not worry about future or past.. Dhoni’s leadership style represents teamwork, empowerment and confidence. Dhoni utilizes every team member at his...
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