MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI, the name that has ruled the Indian cricket circuit for about 15 years. This book by Bharat Sundaresan does not discuss the making of this legend or where he came from. But tells us the values he has that has helped him achieve such heights of success and respect.
One of the most successful captains of all time in the history of cricket. A world champion in every way whether it’s on the field or off the field.
In here, we would not discuss the life of Dhoni. But the characteristics of Dhoni that has led him to such heights.
As to be the champion like MSD is, we too can develop some of his characteristics and apply it in our own way of life. We would enlist those characteristics here and try to develop some of them.
TARGET AUDIENCE OF THIS BOOK
This book is for the young generation of the world. It is for those who want to know what are the values that we must develop in order to acquire success and also to hold that success. It’s not a finance or self-help book but it has the values of a champion. We the fans of this champion should make him our role model as there is a lot more than the helicopter shots and the huge sixes that we see. MSD is a leader, a friend, a marketing expert, a warrior, and above all a true patriot.
Below is a list of all the CHARACTERISTICS that Mahendra Singh Dhoni carries. A click on any of these links, will take us to that specific characteristics.
- LIVE IN THE MOMENT.
- DON’T LEAVE THE PERSON WHO WAS THERE WHEN YOU HAD NOTHING.
- DETERMINATION FOR ACHIEVING THE GOAL.
- RESPECT YOUR SENIORS, EVEN IF YOU ARE THE LEADER OF THE GROUP.
- DON’T FEAR FAILURES.
- NEVER STOP LEARNING.
- HAVE THE SELF CONFIDENCE EVEN WHEN THINGS ARE NOT GOING YOUR WAY.
- EARN YOUR RESPECT, DON’T BEG FOR IT.
- A LEADER THINKS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES DURING ADVERSITIES.
- CONTROL THE CONTROLLABLE.
- DHONI – THE BEST CEO ANYBODY CAN HAVE.
- LOVE AND RESPECT FOR THE NATION.
LIVE IN THE MOMENT
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a man who believes in living in the moment. He has developed his mind to such a stage where past performances good or bad doesn’t affect him.
A prime example of this, as said by the author happened in 2017, against West Indies when Dhoni scored about 54 runs in 114 deliveries. The whole nation was criticizing him for his slow innings as India was defeated by a mere 11 runs.
But MSD to the author’s surprise was having fun with him in the hotel the next morning. He was very relaxed and at peace when the whole world was against him.
This is what we can learn. To live in the moment. There will be times when everyone will be against us and people will not be believing in us.
That is the moment when we need to believe in ourselves, in our abilities. By keeping aside, the bad performance and live in the moment and focus on the next day confidently. Remember If MSD can do it, we too can.
DON’T LEAVE THE PERSON WHO WAS THERE WHEN YOU HAD NOTHING.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is reckoned as the pride of his birthplace, Ranchi. The city and moreover his friends have given him all the support right from his early career as a cricketer. This friendship has been so strong that till date it’s very evident.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni in spite of being one of the biggest celebrities of the country has not left out his friends. As said by his very close friend Chittu in the book, MS doesn’t believe in leaving anybody behind. He stills takes care of his close ones in whatever way possible.
We in our small issues and struggles of life, often leave out the people who were there when we needed them the most. It’s a lesson from our champion that however successful we become, we should not forget our roots, and the people without whose support we couldn’t have achieved it.
DETERMINATION FOR ACHIEVING THE GOAL.
Dhoni’s father was not in great favor of his child’s increasing interest in cricket. He believed that to be successful, education is more important and playing will not provide Dhoni a successful career.
But Dhoni being an obedient child, did manage to somehow satisfy his father and also continue his cricket. But he never avoided his interest, and continued to upgrade his cricketing skills with full determination.
He just had a keen sense of planning at that young age. He would always know what to do, how to do, and when to do it.
The result? We all can see today, the brand that Mahendra Singh Dhoni has become.
We too can practice this habit of determination and planning our schedules. As in today’s competitive world, the major thing that we are missing as youngsters is the determination towards one goal. We need to set our goal and be determined to achieve it whatever the circumstances may come.
Once the goal is set, and the plan is ready, new possibilities will arise. Trust our Champion, if he can, we too can.
RESPECT YOUR SENIORS, EVEN IF YOU ARE THE LEADER OF THE GROUP.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni considers Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. This respect was evident since childhood when his room was painted with Sachin’s posters.
Even after taking over as the Indian captain and Sachin playing under him, the respect for his idol didn’t lessen even a bit. But being the leader on the field, it was MS Dhoni who took the call, even after Sachin advising him something. If MS didn’t feel the need, he would not take the advice. That was MSD as the leader on the field.
But off the field, he would give Sachin the ultimate respect that any junior cricketer would or should give him for his contributions to Cricket in India and the world.
We all are or in some years will hold a leadership role. This lesson is important for all new leaders like us, to respect the seniors within the group. They are the people who will show us the correct path. But it’s our responsibility as a leader to have our call and communicate to the senior as to why the idea is good or bad.
Small communications can cover a huge gap that we all want to avoid in our professional or leadership career.
DON’T FEAR FAILURES.
Being the Captain of a country that believes cricket to be a religion is not a matter of joke. There will be times when failures will come, and Dhoni too faced them.
For example, the England and Australia tour of 2011 & 2014 where India lost the away series with a huge margin. That was the time when the team was struggling and Dhoni’s captaincy itself was under the scanner.
But as Dhoni’s childhood coach Mr. Banerjee tells, Dhoni never feared the failure but believed in the process. Dhoni embraced struggle, rather than fighting it or shying away from it. As a result of this Dhoni achieved a lot more than he lost after 2011. That includes the Champions Trophy 2013, Asia Cup 2016, and many other home and away series.
We too can develop this behavior of fearless attitude in front of failures. Dhoni had to face the entire country when he failed but we are in a much better place to handle failures. It’s just believing in the process and not on the result.
NEVER STOP LEARNING.
As Mr. Banerjee tells, Dhoni never stops learning his craft. The eagerness to learn when Dhoni was a kid is still available in his eyes after so many years of international cricket.
And we too as fans can see it, he rarely repeats his mistake when he comes out to bat. Probably a reason why he stresses on the process rather than the result.
A characteristic that we all can apply. As the world is upgrading every day and so should we. Dhoni understands this fact as cricket is also upgrading every day.
HAVE THE SELF CONFIDENCE EVEN WHEN THINGS ARE NOT GOING YOUR WAY.
Dhoni has an unbelievable self-belief in himself. To prove it Mr. Banerjee has a story with him to share.
Back in 2001, Dhoni got an excellent opportunity to showcase his skills in front of the then-best players at India A level. Unfortunately, Dhoni fractured his wrist and had to miss the opportunity. Being the coach himself Mr. Banerjee was worried about how Dhoni would react to this loss.
But to his surprise, when Mr. Banerjee asked Dhoni about the condition. He replied “Don’t worry Sir. I know I’ll get one more chance, you just wait and see, and I’ll take that chance.”
This was the reply of a young kid who just missed a golden opportunity which if grabbed, could have fulfilled his dream. Enough to say what kind of Self-confidence Mahendra Singh Dhoni has in himself.
This type of self-confidence is required in ourselves too. Self-confidence can do wonders and Mahendra Singh Dhoni has shown the world exactly that.
EARN YOUR RESPECT, DON’T BEG FOR IT.
Dhoni is a firm believer in this. As said by the quality leg spinner of the Indian team Yuzvendra Chahal in an interview, that Dhoni didn’t want him to say Sir or anything but simply Mahi or MS. This was said by Dhoni more for his belief that respect has to be earned by doing your work to the best of your potential.
If we too focus on our respective jobs and avoid the petty politics that usually happen in our professional lives, we too will earn the respect that we all want. Moreover, this respect once earned, will not vanish as it is earned by our hard work and not begged for.
A LEADER THINKS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES DURING ADVERSITIES.
A person who only speaks lovely ideas is not a leader. But the person who actually takes the initiative to counter any problem (adversity) is a true leader.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to opt for Joginder Sharma in the last over of The World T20 2007 is just the perfect example of it. It was a decision where anything could have happened and at once Dhoni’s career would have been at stake.
During that stage, as said by Joginder Sharma himself, Dhoni said to him “If anything happens, I’ll take the responsibility.” This statement is of a true leader. You got to take strong decisions during adversities and moreover be ready to face its consequences. That is what Dhoni did on that day and the consequence is a golden history.
We all should develop this characteristic if we want to lead as a true leader. As this separates a true leader from others. [WHERE DOES THE COURAGE TO CONFRONT ANY SITUATION LIES?]
A true leader is what the country requires at this juncture, and this characteristic will be the defining one.
CONTROL THE CONTROLLABLE.
As said by Dhoni’s close army associate, Colonel Vembu Shankar, Dhoni is a firm believer in this. Probably that’s the reason he can stay extremely cool during pressure situations.
But this practice is not an easy task. To be in just the present requires some kind of concentration that would separate the subjective mind (subconscious mind) from its objective and focus on just the present scenario. Col Shankar names this ability as the MS principle.
But Dhoni’s friends say that the reason he can apply this practice is rather simple yet amazing. It’s because Dhoni has planned his future way before anybody could imagine. As his future plan is ready, he can afford to be in the present and face it.
Probably this can be the reason why he is so calm during run chases because he has planned everything. Right from which baller to target and at what time of the innings by which the game would come in control. He sets the plan and then executes it.
In life too, we lack this plan that should be done. We don’t plan for our future and that’s the reason our present suffers. We should learn from the MS principle about planning our future and act responsibly and then only we can focus on the present in a more joyous way.
DHONI – THE BEST CEO ANYBODY CAN HAVE.
Kiran More, one of India’s finest wicketkeepers says about Dhoni, “The factory’s sick unit was given to him, and the sick unit was converted into a profit-making company. That’s what Dhoni did at that World T20.”
During the World T20 in 2007, all the senior players backed out of the tournament. The Indian team was thus left with mostly untested and raw talent. Nobody actually gave India any chance of winning the cup as the captain himself was not that experienced. But the tournament happened and India came out victorious.
This victory brought out Dhoni’s captaincy traits which were unique and brilliant. Dhoni didn’t only say to his team to play as per the situation but he defined each player their small and big responsibilities towards the team. This made things simple for the player. As a result, he enjoyed the match rather than feeling the pressure of performing big every time.
We too should define our respective responsibilities to our team, about who will do what and by what time. This will encourage the team to do their best. As they would know the amount of effort, they need to put in order to contribute positively to the team.
Dhoni is a true team’s captain, he regularly has conversations with his team in order to know their stories. This helps him to motivate them in the way that they will understand while on the field.
As a leader, this is an important aspect as within a team there will be people of a different mindset. It’s the captain’s responsibility to know their mindset and motivate them accordingly.
This is one trait Mahendra Singh Dhoni has maintained throughout his life. Dhoni believes in achieving more within the given time frame (click here).
Chocka, the creative director at OPN Advertising which handles CSK’s ad and social media campaigns shared the experience of directing MSD. He says, Dhoni is super punctual, if one time is finalized, then MS will be there on time, without delay. With Dhoni, thirty minutes is thirty minutes, not a minute more, not a minute less.
Dhoni’s punctuality helps the ad team in planning well and also helps MS in doing more in less time. Punctuality becomes more important for him, as his cricket schedule is too very tight to plan off days.
Punctuality also has earned him the respect of the ad companies and the sponsor companies of a true professional. This also adds to MS Dhoni’s brand value.
We too can try to attain this trait of punctuality. This would help us in completing more work within a given time frame.
This trait will also earn the respect of our colleagues as no one feels confident working with a person who has no value of his/her time.
LOVE AND RESPECT FOR THE NATION.
Dhoni holds the Colonel Lieutenant rank in the Indian army. It is this rank which he holds with great pride. This was evident when he was presented the Padma Bhusan award on 2nd April 2018, by the Honourable President of India. He wore his official Colonel Lieutenant uniform of the Indian Army on that prestigious day.
Dhoni makes sure that whatever he carries with him, has something related to the Indian Army. Like his custom designed wicketkeeping gloves which took the headlines during the World Cup 2019.
Colonel Shankar says that it’s Dhoni’s way of giving back to the army, at least in terms of exposure. He considers that these efforts will promote the positives of the Indian Army. They are and they should be considered to be the real hero of the nation.
Dhoni’s believes his small efforts of exposure will put a positive effect on his millions of Indian fans, who too will take pride and respect the Indian Army and be proud as an Indian citizen.
We too must make sure that our nations pride should not go down wherever we are. Its our sole responsibility to put efforts in order to make our country rise higher. As is said, “The country is as good as its citizen.”
The blog has come to the end by now, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s characteristics will never end. His contribution to the nation can’t be demonstrated in simple words.
His life has always been of answering his critics in his own style. But in reality, his true critic was he himself. He has always fought to be better than yesterday. His strength is his doubt. His strength is his argument with himself.
The characteristics pointed out in this blog are the lessons that we can apply in our own lives. It’s us being our own critic and see where we are lacking and correct it. It’s just asking ourselves “Am I willing to correct myself?”
At last for Dhoni as the author perfectly says “Dhoni was born to be an enigma and will always remain one.”
For us “He will always remain our captain cool.”