When it comes to leadership, there are six categories of leaders widely recognized across the world based on the work of Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and his colleague, Robert Kegan. Leaders are divided into the following categories – Sociopaths, Opportunists, Chameleons, Achievers, Builders and Transcendents. To reach the level six i.e., the Transcendents, one has to reach a level where they go beyond the institution they govern by ensuring that the institution grows while contributing to the entire community.
Recently stepped down from this prestigious post, cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is regarded as one of India’s most successful captains. The achievements by his team have been often called off as sheer luck. However, experts have commented that a closer analysis of them indeed establishes MS Dhoni to be one of the greatest leaders of the game.
Some of India’s biggest wins in cricket under the captaincy of Dhoni include the 2007 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20, the Commonwealth Bank Series of 2007–08, the 2010 Asia Cup, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy to name a few.
As a player, Dhoni never let his background and upbringing interfere with his perseverance and want to succeed. As a captain and a leader, his greatest attributes include not holding back and being true to himself.
Dhoni’s leadership style resembles that of a transcendent from the level six of leaders, and offers vital lessons to managers at all levels, across all fields – from the corporate world to the sporting world.
Below are the top 5 qualities in him that set him apart from the rest of the leaders:
1. Staying Calm
He wasn’t called ‘Captain Cool’ for anything! MS Dhoni wasn’t one to succumb to the pressure & his ability to make rational decisions in the toughest times accentuated this quality. It is important for a leader to remain calm in the most strenuous situations to restore faith from their team into them & manage the situation with ease.
2. Handling Success
MS Dhoni won fame and money at an early stage in his career but he didn’t let that change his attitude and always remained humble. A great leader earns respect but doesn’t command it – the way MS Dhoni handled his success was extremely commendable. Those who gain success too early, often tend to lose their balance and fail to maintain the steady growth to the path of leadership.
3. Dealing with Failure
As important it is to be able to handle success, it is equally important to be able to handle failure.
In the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni and his team were spectacularly successful but suffered a string of losses after that. Dhoni fought back simply by playing well. As he explained in his BCCI.TV interview;
“The 2011 World Cup: This had a different challenge. Those 15 players who formed the squad not only had to play their best cricket for that period but also be in a really good mental state. They needed to stay calm amid all the pressures and constantly concentrate on the areas they needed to improve on, despite all that was going on around them. Fitness again was very important and difficult to maintain given the amount of cricket we play.”
4. Be The Frontman
They say, a great leader always leads from the front. On numerous occasions, Dhoni single-handedly won matches for India. The best example is the innings played at the 2011 World Cup Final at Wankhede, Mumbai. He came in at the right time, supported his players and played a decisive role in ensuring India’s victory.
5. Being A Team Player
A leader is as much as part of the team as the rest of the members. Dhoni always supported his players at all times with trust and confidence and stood up for them when needed. The confidence that he created among his fellow team members helped them deliver their best. This unfailing support bestowed upon them a responsibility to perform well.
India will surely miss watching Mahendra Singh Dhoni lead the national cricket team to yet another victory.
Do share with us your most fond memories of watching cricket during the time of MS Dhoni.
MS Dhoni is a leader with a passion. If you’re someone with a similar passion looking to expand your business to new heights, consider joining our shared office space in Bengaluru, or our co-working office in Mumbai.