What makes a seemingly ordinary next-door boy a legend?
What takes a person from the obscurity of his origins and puts him on a pedestal at par with divinity?
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (M.S. Dhoni) – whenever we hear the name, a broad smile comes to the faces of crores of Indians. Known as ‘Captain Cool’ of the Indian cricket team, M.S. Dhoni has been an exceptional cricketer. He is someone that everyone looked up to when there was no ray of hope at the end of the tunnel. His journey holds many lessons that we can learn from and integrate into our professional lives.
Here’s a look at some of the lessons:
M.S. Dhoni is known for his patience. He never gives up on a match and fights until the very end. All eyes went straight to M.S. Dhoni when Team India was under pressure and in a nail-biting situation. The tide could turn on any side. One glance at him and everyone is filled with hope, thanks to his relaxed demeanour. His calm and composed nature, even during tense situations, is what makes him one of the best cricketers of our times.
In today’s fast-paced world, staying calm is important to prevent work-related stress from getting the better of you.
Determined to the core
Not having a foreign education or any exposure to higher education from a private school, M.S. Dhoni’s determination and grit led him to success. It was not an overnight achievement. Years of rigorous hard work and relentless practice made him a legend. Life threw various curveballs at him, but his firm and resolute character always stood him in good stead and took him forward in his journey.
In our professional lives too, resolve and determination are critical to achieve long-term goals.
M.S. Dhoni always believed in finding a way out of a challenging situation. His unique and famous “helicopter shot” took everyone by surprise when he used it against England in 2006 during a One Day International (ODI) match. It teaches us how to hit our problems out of the park whenever life throws us a full-length delivery.
By being solution-oriented, we not only solve problems, but also identify the root of a problem and look at a better way of doing things.
A humble leader
Leading a team from the front is not an easy task. It needs strong leadership skills to guide the team towards victory. More than a leader, M. S. Dhoni has been a team player. No matter what the situation, personal or professional, every member looked at M.S. Dhoni for support and direction. He was always there for them. They knew he would provide a reality check without any arrogance or condescendence, but with humility.
Humility is a must for professional success and ensures that you are open to continuous learning.
True to his roots
Many of us get carried away when we achieve success. Some become arrogant, some overconfident, and some detached. We can learn from M.S. Dhoni how to stay grounded and remain true to our roots. Within his inner circle, he is still in touch with old friends who supported him in his early days. He remained loyal to those who were there with him through thick and thin. Like many others, he could have succumbed to peer pressure and lost focus, but M.S. Dhoni chose to stay simple and straightforward. After all, why pretend to be something we are not!
Presence of mind
Keeping the mind at peace when chaos is looming around the corner is a difficult task. It’s one thing to stay calm, a whole different challenge to choose the right direction while remaining calm. M.S. Dhoni always analysed the situation calmly and took conscious decisions while things around him were changing at a supersonic speed. His presence of mind led the team to achieve great victories.
Quick thinking and decision-making are key qualities that each one of us needs to cultivate, especially at a time when data and information overload can numb us to indecisiveness.
These are some of the character traits that represent M.S. Dhoni. Being an anchor to the team during unpredictable times, he proved resilience, which we all can imbibe during these challenging times. While Captain Cool’s retirement from international cricket has left a void in the world of cricket, learnings from his career will continue to inspire many.
Do you see an M.S. Dhoni in you?