5 Leadership Lessons From M.S. Dhoni

In the week that M.S. Dhoni retires from international cricket, it only seems right to pay homage to Indian cricket’s most successful captains with three TCC trophies under his belt. Dhoni confirmed his retirement over the weekend on Instagram and at 39 years of age, Dhoni has had a good run in the game.

As a captain, Dhoni exhibited many leadership qualities that can be translated into business and deserve to be mentioned upon his retirement. To pay homage to his incredible career, we’re taking a look at some of the best leadership lessons that we can learn from M.S. Dhoni. 

Dhoni’s career is full of leadership gold, however he rose to captaincy because of his amazing performance as a cricketer. Dhoni was always such an inspiration to other cricketers, and in many ways he led from the front. 

His performance, motivation and resilient attitude on the field inspired his teammates and there were many occasions where he carried the team to victory. He always supported other players and shone in his own right, and this attitude of leading from the front is a great lesson in leadership that we can take from his amazing career.

  • He Knew How To Manage Egos

Dhoni always managed players who were established and talented in their own right, and ensuring that he didn’t challenge those egos was a part of his great leadership qualities. Understanding how a team blends together is an important leadership quality, and Dhoni was always careful not to rock the boat.

When he was made captain in 2007 ahead of other key players, he managed egos and maintained a cool head, even though he probably felt pressure to enforce his authority. Dhoni was able to manage egos by earning respect over time, which is a great leadership lesson. 

  • Dhoni Was Good At Handling Success And Remaining Focused

Dhoni achieved success at an early age, and as a result he had money and fame to contend with in his early twenties. Many celebrities and athletes alike fall at this hurdle, as they become arrogant and reckless once they experience success.

For Dhoni, this was never an issue. He took success in his stride and never forgot his humble beginnings as he continued to lead. This made him very likeable and allowed him to get on with people and retain his leadership position over an extended period of time.

  • He Possessed Confidence In His Ability To Lead On The Cricket Field

Despite his humble background, Dhoni always led with confidence that made his teammates ultra relaxed. He always believed in himself and those around him, which empowered his teammates and kept the dream of winning alive. He was confident in sharing his opinion and implementing his plans, without upsetting those around him.

  • Dhoni Goes With His Gut

Knowledge and data always played a role in Dhoni’s decisions, however on the odd occasion he had to lead with his gut. A great leader is able to distinguish between the times when you have to play by the book and the times when you go with your gut and take the risks. 

A great example of this would be in a  Champions League final against England, Dhoni went against the data that would suggest that Umesh Yadav would be the best bowler and chose Ishant Shama. This turned the match for India and proved that Dhoni’s gut feeling was right.

Just like in sports, having top talent with top leadership skills will always pay off. Having the best, most passionate people in your organisation will always yield results, even if that means you have to offshore for your most complex or large projects.

What leadership lessons have you learnt from M.S Dhoni? Share them with us in the comments, or reach out and let us know!


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