Tag Archive for 'Dhoni'

Pressure to Perform – the sorry state of Indian Cricket !

Day One at Perth today was a disaster for the struggling Indian cricket team and it was a painful experience to watch the recent world champions falling like nine pins unable to face some excellent fast bowling by the Australians . Chance of a  third defeat in succession looms large and the pressure to perform is very evident in the body language of all the players .

What is going wrong for Dhoni and his team ? . Infighting ? , Australian hostile crowds ? , fatigue from over exposure ? , a new coach not in sync with the team ? or a combination of all these aspects ? .

The selectors need to take a serious note and do some surgical operation to correct this situation if they want to redeem the losing standing and reputation of the Indian team – both in the short term and long term .

Leadership Tips from The Indian Premier League [ IPL] 2011

IPL 2011 – Ten Teams , 70 business rounds to qualify and  four Play Off sessions to decide the winner . 45 days of cricket with great performances  and entertainment with new records being set .

Can we pick up   TEN useful tips on Leadership from this spectacular show of physical fitness and mind games played out in the vast expanse of day and night format  watched by millions of cricket lovers in the field in India and through live telecast off  the field through TV and Internet  globally ?

PEAK  PERFORMANCE AT THE RIGHT MOMENT – While Chennai Super Kings peaked at the right moment and clinched the trophy , Royal Challengers Bangalore  gave in meekly at the finals . Same thing happened with Mumbai Indians and Kings Eleven Punjab at crucial moments of the competition . Leaders need to train their teams to bring in their reserve energy and perform at their maximum potential when the situation demands.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAM – A leader should believe in the capabilities and initiative of his team members and empower them to seize fleeting opportunities in the field and capitalize on them . A good example is Murali Vijay’s performance in the finals after repeated failures with the bat in earlier sessions . The leader in Dhoni had a lot to contribute in this feat as he still believed in his team mate and his potential and gave him the opening batting slot – Besides , the leader should believe in himself and own up the process instead of passing on the pressure to his team mates . Again , Dhoni and to some extent Gilchrist showed up well in this aspect.

DO NOT FOLLOW A PRE-DETERMINED GAME PLAN –  Business like cricket is full of glorious uncertainties and one needs to work equipped with a number of contingency plans and exploit success with mental mobility . Change of bowlers and batting order by Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne frequently to meet the situation on the ground is a good example here.

FOLLOW UP ON RISK TAKEN WITH AUDACITY AND AGGRESSIVE SPIRIT –  In IPL , the first mover advantage can be at times with the team which wins the toss and decides to field  , even though batting first has its own advantages . It is your decision and you need to follow up the risk taken with audacious strategy once the opponent has revealed his game plan . This holds good greatly in the business scenario as well and the ” laid back ” strategy to watch the opponent reveal his hand first and then strike with full power to beat him in his game brings in great results .

PLAY MIND GAMES TO SUBVERT YOUR OPPONENT”S STRENGTH – Dhoni deciphered the strength quotient of Chris Gayle and used Aswin to bowl to him in the opening over and got him out with a duck !. A great winning strategy indeed !!. On more than two occasions , Tendulkar got out to the bowling of new unknown bowlers . In a business setting , we need to resort to mind games quite often to unravel the moves of our competitors and draw them in to battles of our own choosing for favorable outcomes .

THINK THROUGH THE WHOLE GAME  – A game of cricket especially the limited over editions is never over till the last ball is bowled . Look at how Mumbai Indians snatched the qualifier from under the nose of Kolkata Knight Riders during the last over from a seemingly impossible situation . A leader needs to react to each stage of the game and bring in fresh thought process to retain control . A well thought out run rate through out the game definitely helps in cricket and in real life business it translates into completed staff work and follow through on excellent execution .

ECONOMY OF EFFORTS – In IPL matches , missed catches , fielding lapses and extra runs from wides or no balls can cause enormous harm to your chances of victory . In real life , business leaders should make conscious efforts to eliminate waste and rework  and train their staff  to achieve SIX SIGMA like performance standards of quality and process maturity .

PROVIDE FEED BACK OFF THE GAME –  Do not admonish or constrain your team member while playing . Do post mortem after the act and let them watch their performance on recorded discs , mentor them . Compliment them for their achievements on the spot . Team members should also be encouraged to watch their potential opponents playing to learn useful strategies to deal with them later . Good leaders in business  simulate competitive scenarios and sensitize their team to meet various contingencies before the act .

PLAY TO WIN AND NOT TO SHOW OFF – In IPL , there is always a tendency or urge to show off  because you are playing to the large crowd in a limited over match – the urge to hit a sixer or try to bowl a bouncer is great when prudence demands otherwise  . Many good batsmen get out caught at mid field prematurely or bowlers get hit to the fence when they forget this lesson . Every one cannot be a Chris Gayle or Malinga . The same rule applies in business when you try to show off to your boss or team instead of working on tangible and enduring results .

MAKE YOURSELF REDUNDANT – Let the team survive even if  you get out early even if you are the star batsman . Have sufficient second string batsmen to continue the scoring . Also , develop the youngsters by assigning audacious tasks for them . Cricket and Business are team efforts  in harmony and there is no room for solo players.


ICC World Cup 2011 – Dhoni leading India from the edge for a fantastic victory

India makes history again by winning the ICC World Cup cricket trophy 2011 on 2nd April at Mumbai chasing a formidable total in a convincing manner by six wickets and eight balls to spare . While it is the result of great team work backed by expert coaching and training for last 18 months , what stood out on the ground was the superb captaincy and leadership by Mahinder Singh Dhoni -the Captain Cool against tremendous pressure of losing both Shewag and Tendulkar early during the run chase followed by the loss of Kohli’s wicket when the innings was shaping up well with Gautam playing a lead role  in a great partnership .

Everyone expected Yuvraj to come in and take control but Dhoni thought otherwise . In spite of his indifferent batting performance so far , he took the gamble of upgrading himself in the batting order and brought the innings to a winning streak in spite of losing Gambhir also mid way with Yuvraj joining him later and giving able support .

Dhoni’s decision showed real class in that he took the responsibility on his own shoulders , knowing fully well that he had to deal with the twin threats of Malinga and Muralidharan and above all prove himself right to his critics and all the spectators world wide watching this game  . This was a classic example of ” Leading from the edge ” with no safety net at all  if there is a free fall in the shape of wickets . Dhoni’s confidence in himself and his team payed off at the end to a glorious win for India .

It was a privilege to watch Dhoni leading India through three consecutive cliff hanger matches in the quarter , semi and finals of the world cup 2011 to clinch the coveted trophy . Great performance by Tendulkar , Yuvraj , Zahir and others during the run up to the finals.