Pune: Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have stepped down as Indian cricket captain a few seasons ago, but his leadership skills are a subject of study and as he leads Chennai Super Kings in yet another Indian Premier League season it is interesting to note that there is much more to learn from him.
Leadership is something that is intrinsic to sports as is in business or in daily life explained the internationally renowned motivational speaker Dr Vivek Bindra, who was in Pune to conduct leadership programme for executives. He has been working with pro boxer Vijender Singh helping him to maximize his existing resources.
In an exclusive interview with Sakal Times, Dr Bindra spoke on a host of leadership issues that takes one on the ladder of success just as MSD rose to prominence when he assumed captaincy of the Indian cricket.
Following are the excerpts:
How much does leadership skills play role in sports?
If you look at MS Dhoni’s career. The reason that he took India to No 1 position in the world in all three formats of cricket was his leadership skills.
Beyond a point your technical skills in sports are not very helpful. It is the leadership skills that are important, specially the people’s connect with the leader.
Great team means you should be able to drive the emotions. Sports has a lot to do with emotions. And, when you know how to engage emotions of your teammates then you can multiply their performance manifold.
Do lessons of leadership skills apply to Indian coaches and help them improve on their techniques.
A coach means he has to improve performance of his players. A good coach does not have to inform his players every time but he needs to involve them.
Informing in one side communication. Involving them emotionally takes you to next level.
Many a time, when a leader gauges what is he doing, beyond a point it will not help. Engaging will help. If coach is able to engage the players then results will come. Leadership is not by giving instructions, but it is by creating inspiration.
How leadership skills in sports are different than in regular office work?
The principles of leadership are always same in all aspects. If you are in a business, which is logical, but people are emotional. When you want to drive the business then you use data, but when you want to drive people emotions are needed.
Similarly when you are in sports. Lets say you want to chase 300 runs, then you need to have a scoreboard. You need to have a run rate and some strategy, but to be able to drive the scoreboard you need to have people’s skills.
If you have trust then you need less time, energy and money to make a decision and get your team to work towards the target. It is the implicit faith that you develop with the leader that takes you to a common vision.
Does leadership skills help improve one’s day to day approach to life?
When you have a compelling and exciting story then a leader finds success. This is one aspect that can be misused, or rightly used. People with wrong intentions have the skill to draw people and then misguide them, while those with right intentions rightly guide. Therefore generating trust is very important.
Given that India has so many successful captains in different sports, who do you think had the best leadership qualities?
Across sport if you look at the leaders we had. MS Dhoni stands tall. On MSD there was a study in IIMs because the principles he follows are taken from Bhagwat Gita. It is pertinent to note that he drives the efforts without getting driven just by the results. Even in difficult situations he would maintain his composure and keep calm. He has been the most successful captain in difficult situations. That’s why the team had a lot of faith and trust in him.
Major Dhyan Chand was the first such leader. In 1928 when India won the World Cup he was player, just as in 1932. Britishers had to somehow bring him up and make him captain. During that era Indians were not allowed to be leaders, but Dhyan chand’s elevation was not because of his positional power, but because of his personal power.
When leaders work with positional power they don’t go beyond a point.