Learning & Development specialist
To LEAD is to Leader
This year, Maria and Jane were the 2 lucky ones who had been shortlisted for best leader’s award. Both the nominated ones were bright employees and had been handling teams for years. Jane was highly disciplined and was considered a gifted specialist across. Maria was equally disciplined and was known to stick her neck out for the team’s issue and was also visible to everybody across the floor.
Tensions were high. Both Maria and Jane were excited about the award and were silently egging their friends to vote for them… After a fortnight passed, the winner was finally declared! Maria had a dead win! And surprisingly with barely any competition from Jane. Jane was slightly disappointed, but still feigned happiness for Maria. She noticed all her team members hooting and cheering for Maria. She couldn’t understand what was wrong? Why did they not vote for her?
Let’s say, you had to pick an ideal leader amongst the Captains of Indian Cricket team. Who would it be? And Why?
We all know that Indian cricket has seen a lot of great captains leading the team. However,one person who created fireworks on the field and has been known for his shrewd captaincy is Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He is the most successful cricket captain with 27 wins in test matches, 110 wins in one day internationals and 41 wins in twenty – twenty matches. He is never seen agitated and mostly remains calm under pressure. He has been able to LEAD the Indian team and get the desired result,hence known as one of the most successful leader India has ever had in Cricket.
Similarly, Jane was known for her proficiency and was always considered an awesome employee. However, there were few leadership qualities that Maria incurred over a period of years that made her LEAD the show. Some of the elements that qualifies to be a good leader are:
- Lead from the Front:
This is one of the most crucial element expected out of a leader. We all have heard it quite often ‘Best leaders lead from the front’. It is all about playing an active role to accomplish tough things and set an example. It is not about ‘Do what I have asked you to’ it is about ‘I am equally willing to do whatever I have asked all of you to do’.
We all know, Dhoni always faced challenges heads on. The way he pushed himself up the batting order in 2011 final is the best example to prove the point. Chasing 275 in the final against Sri Lankans, after losing early wickets, he decided to promote himself up the batting order and scored a match winning 91 which helped India retrieve the moment of lifting the trophy after decades.
Have you ever had misunderstanding at work? We cannot agree to all the points all the time. There would be disagreements and difference of opinion at work. However, empathy implies building connection, understanding subordinate’s problems, other’s experience and perspectives. It does not require us to agree to their point of view, however it is important that we are willing to understand and appreciate their point. Lack of empathy can have a terrible downfall. Now the question is, Can empathy be learned? Well, according to me it is an innate trait that can be acquired to some extent. Some people naturally have it and some don’t, it is important for a leader to realize if he/she is empathetic or not.
Dhoni has demonstrated his empathetic side on the field and off the field quite often. He letting Ganguly captain the side for a short while during his last test match was highly appreciated. Who can forget the moment when he chose to completely move aside, as team India took Tendulkar on their shoulders after winning the World Cup in the year 2011, this act of Dhoni still remains ever green in millions of heart.
Are you ready to change?Adaptability is not about embracing change, it is about exhibiting extra ordinary resilience.
You may have an end goal and well planned strategy to reach it, but a good leader is the one who is ready to adapt to the demands of the moment. While doing that, a lot of unforeseen or unpredictable situations might creep in, however a great leader is the one who welcome’s and views it as an opportunity and takes it to his/her advantage.
Dhoni gives his best in all the formats. The ability to adapt to various forms of the games and perform better every time shows how open he is to learn new things and adjust to the changing needs. He is a clear reader of his games, he knows exactly which player to pick and drop. He is also known to experiment by shifting his players up and down the batting and bowling orders to his team’s advantage.
- Decision Making Capability
A good leader needs to be inclusive, when the moment of truth comes into light, he/she shouldn’t hesitate to make bold decisions. A leader needs to maintain calm all times and understand his/her business well and take appropriate decisions in the changing context. If anything goes wrong, it’s important to promptly admit the mistake as well. Sometimes,challenging strategy and standing by instincts to take bold decisions can be a game changer.
Dhoni is known to follow his instinct than a well thought out strategy most of the times, he has been proved right in many occasions. In the Champions Trophy Final against England, the data dictated him to ideally choose Umesh Yadav to bowl the crucial over however he decided to send Ishant Sharma which ultimately turned the match for India.
MS Dhoni has proved himself to be a great leader a Leader who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way’Now the question is ‘Do you want to be MS Dhoni at your level? If yes, LEAD elements will aid you climb the ladder to be a successful LEADer.