MS Dhoni – 7 C’s of Leadership Presence
In over 50 workshops that we have conducted on the topic of Leadership Presence, one example that would always be mentioned by participants, is none other than MS Dhoni. A name that symbolizes leadership, grace under fire, dependability, team management and a lot more.
In the book, Executive Presence by Sylvia Ann Hewitt, the author explains the concept of 7 Cs of Leadership Presence. Let us map these 7 Cs and understand what makes Dhoni such an exceptional leader on and off the field.
Composure – A leader that epitomizes this quality. His ability to focus on the now while maintaining his temperament in the toughest of situations, is one of his strongest qualities. Whether it is his body language or how he communicates with the team even during the most stressful game, Dhoni always seems unfazed. This soothes the nerves of the team and ensures they stay focused and are able to play their best game.
In one of his interviews, Dhoni mentioned, “I would say, I feel equally frustrated. I also feel angry at times, disappointed. But what is important is that none of these feelings are constructive. What needs to be done during a particular situation is more important than any of these emotions. What is the next thing I can plan? Who is the next individual whom I can use? Once I get into it, I am controlling my emotions in a much better way.”
Confidence – Confidence is a key skill for leadership position. Dhoni is always true to himself and secure about his abilities as a cricketer and a captain. He never allows failures to shake his confidence. No matter the odds he takes charge of the situation. This would not be possible without his unflinching self-confidence.
Credibility – Dhoni is one of the most credible leaders out there. He has consistently proved to be Mr. Dependable in various situations. When he took over captaincy, his main goal was to first establish credibility and prove that he can do justice to the title.
It is said a great leader always leads from the front. On numerous occasions, Dhoni has single-handedly won matches for India. One of the best examples of his credibility is the innings he played at the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka. He walked into the crease at the right time, supported the team and played a knock-out game to ensure India lifts the cup. The last over where Dhoni finished off the game in his own style, is etched in the memory of every cricket lover.
Clarity – Dhoni always seems to have complete clarity in his thought process. With the ability to keep emotions at bay, he has a unique skill to take clear and quick decisions. He has an eye to identify talent and has complete clarity about the abilities of his team members.
Yuvraj Singh claims that Dhoni showed him the right path before the 2019 World Cup, which helped him take the right decision about his international career. In Singh’s words, “Dhoni showed me the real picture. He gave me clarity. He did as much as he could.”
Conciseness – Dhoni is a man of few words. With his calm demeanor, strategic thinking abilities and a gifted talent to cut through distractions, he is able to give his team clear, concise insights. Also, his ability to not get over emotional in victory or defeat translates into his communication style, which is balanced and focused.
Connection – Dhoni has an unbelievable knack of connecting with people. Every person who has played under his leadership has only grown to be better, confident and self-assured cricketers. By understanding the abilities of his players, he places immense trust on them and supports them to achieve more. This support and faith has pushed the team to be one of the best in the world.
The camaraderie is visible with the team mates on and off the field. Whether it is Virat Kohli seeking his guidance on the field, or Suresh Raina announcing his retirement right after Dhoni, or young players like Hardik Pandya thanking him for the guidance.
Charisma – Dhoni has always been a charismatic, self-assured player throughout. He is someone who is truly aware of his abilities and allows them to shine. From his famous trend-setting hairstyle to his love for bikes, to the way he carries himself even off the field, Dhoni has never been shy of expressing his true self.
There is so much that we can all learn and imbibe from Captain Cool. These skills can be learnt and applied in any field or job. Finally, would like to thank MS Dhoni for the efforts and contributions for the country.