Dhoni’s Success Principles — By Priya Kumar – THE ONE MINUTE COACH

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a great inspiration to me. I am always on the look out for people who rise in ranks, faster and stronger than others do.

When India won the Twenty20 world cup, what touched me most despite the fact that the boys played well, was Dhoni’s heart winning performance and speech. Following up on Dhoni I found an underlying success philosophy which can easily be applied by anyone who aspires for greatness in his or her field of endeavor.

Success is the Sweetest Revenge:
Before the Twenty20 world cup finals, Ravi Shastri had expressed his doubts on India’s victory because he felt it was pre mature for Dhoni to be the captain and it was a team of youngsters. This came from the fact that the world cup was lost by a senior team. With the victory at the Twenty20 Dhoni proved Ravi Shastri wrong and took great pleasure in quoting him at his speech after the match. It does not matter what others predict about you, everyone has the right to their opinion, and success is the sweetest revenge to shut people up, temporarily :O)

Take responsibility for your vision:
Dhoni knew that at the Twenty20 no one expected them to win, and so his philosophy was that they could actually play and have fun and make this their best game. I have heard many a professional say that their seniors don’t encourage them or push them forward. They use this excuse to remain where they are and lay the responsibility of their success and progress on everyone but themselves. Dhoni led his team to success, by taking up the responsibility of their victory, when no one else had faith in them.

Respect and Recognize your team:
As a captain Dhoni has tremendous respect for his team and his players. Even on winning he addressed Yuvi as the Trump Card of the team. I have seen seniors hog the glory of their teams success by themselves. Dhoni knows that what leads the team to victory is the team, not necessarily the captain. And he is humble and fair enough to put the credit where it really belongs.

Do your job right:
I love Dhoni’s attitude where he was aware that he didn’t have good bowlers like Bentley, but he banked on Jogender Sharma. Even though others said he was slow, Dhoni stuck to his belief that to win you don’t have to be quick or extra ordinary. If one bowls in the right places it will add to the victory of the team. Dhoni is amazing, he believes that you don’t need extra ordinary talent to be a winner; you need to play the right game. When you do your work well, and well enough consistently, victory will always be yours. A lot of people use lack of talent and expertise to remain in mediocrity. They feel they are too old, too young, too slow, too fast, too fat, and too thin, as excuses for their mediocre thinking. If your mind is made up, then nothing else matters. Dhoni’s belief is a true example of that.

Make peace with the consequence of your decision:
I also love the fact that once Dhoni makes a decision he is willing to live with the consequence. He made a decision that Joginder bowl against Harbhajan Singh. He was prepared to win with it and prepared to lose with it. I feel that is an amazing attitude. A lot of people make decisions and then they are not at peace with the results. If you can make peace with failure before you play to win, nothing can take victory away from you.

Convert Pressure into Passion:
At the Twenty20 finals, Dhoni He didn’t want the team to work under pressure. He told his team this in every meeting, “Guys we are out here to enjoy. We will give our 100% and whatever is the outcome, I don’t care about it.” There was no fear amongst the youngsters, which was so refreshing to see. He told Yuvi that even Australia was under pressure because they have the reputation of winning. He took the pressure and converted it into passion, and we saw that so evidently on the field. Take all of your pressure and steam it off in fun. Having fun doesn’t mean being irresponsible, it means working with your best self.

Win more than you lose:
When Dhoni was asked, how he plans to maintain his position of India’s captain, he said, “We will win more matches than we lose.” He didn’t say that he will win them all, because he knows that losing is a lesson towards winning. A lot of us drive ourselves crazy by expecting to win every time we get on with our work. There will be good deals and bad deals, good days and bad days; success is about creating the good ones more often than the bad ones.

Be consistent in your performance:
When you go out and deliver your best, there is a catch. You now have to deliver excellence consistently and it also raises the expectations of your seniors. Dhoni is every aware of that after his mega innings at Vizag against Pakistan. He knows that he gave his 100 percent in that and that it was his BEST performance. He also knows that has raised the expectations of his fans from him to deliver that consistently. And he is working hard on himself to deliver to that expectation. No matter how hard your day, be consistent in your delivery if not better.

All training is useful:
Dhoni started out as a footballer and that training helped him in cricket too. There is really no waste in practice and knowledge, it’s like a universal formula, Success in one area, training in one area always finds use in another. There are no wasted moments or experiences in life. You can use success strategies of one area to help you win in another. Dhoni is an expert in that. You have surely been a success at some area or the other in life, use those principles and duplicate it in your work. One lady won the national level badminton championship, the principles she used to win the championship can easily be translated to her work profile. Try it, if it works for Dhoni, it will work for you.

Physical Fitness is important for success:
Dhoni attributes his success a lot towards his physical fitness. And it is true for anyone, if you are not fit; you can’t be a hit at anything that you do, period. With people taking their bodies for granted, they expect their mind to work magic. The mind lives in the body, to deliver peak performance in any area of work, you need to be physically fit.

Repeat your success:
Dhoni always aspires to out do himself. He sets a record for himself and then aspires to beat it. His philosophy is that if he can score just one more run like he did 148 in Vizag, then he can continue to be his best. He feels that if he can do it once, he can do it again! That’s the spirit. Whenever you deliver work well done, your next strategy should be to repeat that as many times as you can. Repeated success is true success. If you can do it once, you sure can do it again.

Work your way up:
Dhoni climbed the ranks. He is a true example of rising to the top,
Dhoni is an aggressive right-handed batsman and wicket keeper. Dhoni is one of the wicket-keepers who have come through the ranks of junior and India A cricket teams to represent the national team He worked his way up and was consistent in his performance that was the crucial key to his selection in the Indian Cricket team. Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom, that is a more stable way to the top, to have been through every rung.

Constant and Never Ending Improvement:
Dhoni believes in constant and never ending improvement. Success and victory don’t go to his head. When he wins he celebrates and then right after that gets down to practice on how he can do better in order to maintain his score if not beat it. Success is not an accident, it is a planned event, “My mind is constantly working on how I can get better at my game. My mind never stops.” Says Dhoni. Finding better and new ways to do the same thing that you are doing will keep you creative and excited. Either you are improving or you are deteriorating, progress is success.

Exuberate Enthusiasm:
Dhoni is always bubbling with enthusiasm. His spirit is evident in his voice and his face. It’s great to see someone so alive and so passionate about his game. Today what meets the public eye is the glory, but what they cannot see is that there was also a road full of obstacles that led there. It sometimes is a dark lonely road and you have only your own desire and courage that will bring you to the light. Dhoni, a Ranchi boy who through his sheer courage and focus made the country proud is an example of the unshakeable enthusiasm and spirit. Make enthusiasm and excitement a daily practice.

Success takes time:
When Dhoni was given a chance in the one-day series in Bangladesh, though he did nothing extraordinary in the three ODIs against Bangladesh, it was only a matter of time before he exploded on the big stage, and that happened at Vizag . So success doesn’t come instantly. There will be hitches and glitches and bad games and not so good games. You have to be at it until you strike the balance and then maintain it. Life is always a learning experience and success is about putting that experience to get better.

Self Confidence Helps:
Self-confidence has always been a trade mark of Dhoni’s personality. I have always seen him very confident and aggressive. And it applies in his batting as well as wicket keeping. Self confidence is a learnt personality trait; it comes from constantly challenging oneself, winning or losing, not being the criteria. Self confidence comes in facing one’s fears and moving ahead despite any and every odd. Challenge yourself daily, to be bigger and better than you are today.

Be the best in all your roles:
Dhoni is a pro at multi tasking. He is an ace batsman and also an ace wicket keeper. So can you imagine the level of practice he needs to do in order to achieve mastery in both? It’s like having a group of companies under your umbrella and make them all work. It’s like excelling as a CEO and excelling as father. It’s a full game when you excel in all your roles. Dhoni believes that he can’t afford to be less than 100 percent in any of the two roles. He feels they complement each other and give him his identity.” Same way, one has to give 100% in any and every role that they play. All roles shape our identity.

Focus on your performance:
When Dhoni aspired to play test cricket, his focus was “I think if I perform well, and maintain my form, I will definitely get a break in Test cricket.” A lot of people want many things in life. Their focus becomes the achievement and they feel that it must be served to them just because they want it. To achieve your desire you need to perform well and maintain your form. You get noticed for your performance not your potential and Dhoni put his potential into performance and earned his space in test cricket.

Have a role model:
Dhoni has a role model, the famous cricketer Gilchrist, do you? How arrogant can someone get not to acknowledge that they need a helping hand, a little guidance and a role model? All successful people have had someone they looked up to. They have followed enough to be good leaders themselves. Leaders are not born, they are followers who find their own identity in the journey, and hence lead by their own transformation. In today’s world of abundant negativity and insensitivity, a role model is so important for one to stay focused on his task.

Be superstitious about goodness:
And there is always room for superstition. Superstition that anchors you to success, for that matter anything that anchors you to success is good. About a year ago Dhoni decided to change his hairstyle completely. Besides giving him a distinct personality, he feels the new hairstyle brought him luck as well! It’s ok to have superstitions that support one’s mind towards success. Goodness is any form can never do any harm.

— By Priya Kumar –  THE ONE MINUTE COACH

How to Be a Good Manager ?

1. Motivate people. Why are the employees there? What keeps them with your organization and stops them from going somewhere else? What makes the good days good? What makes them stick with the organization after a bad day or a bad week? Don’t assume its money–most people aren’t that one-dimensional. Ask the employees how they’re liking their job on a regular basis. Encourage them to be honest with you. Be a good listener. Then take action based upon what they tell you. If health is important to them, give them time to go to the gym and work out. If their family is important, respect the time they may need to send their kids off to school in the morning or pick them up in the afternoon. Remember, our values are what makes us “tick”. If you manage by respecting your team’s values, they will give you 110% of their effort.

2. Delegate. You’re a manager because you’re good at what you do, but that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to do it ALL. Your job as a manager is to teach other people how to do a good job. If you’re uncomfortable with delegating, however, this can be a huge leap of faith for you. One way to overcome this is to start small. Give people tasks that, if performed incorrectly, can be fixed. Take the opportunity to teach and empower your employees. Then gradually give them tasks with greater responsibility as you come to understand their strengths and weaknesses and learn how to anticipate any problems they might have so you can coach them properly before they begin.

3. Keep the door open. Always remind people who if they have any questions or concerns, you’re ready and willing to listen. Don’t be one of those managers who inadvertently makes an employee feel like they’re “bothering” you when they bring up a question or concern. Instead of seeing it as another crisis to manage, look at it as an opportunity to show your employee how much you want this organization to be a fulfilling place to work. Never minimize or dismiss their concerns, and always make sure that you’ve answered their questions completely.

4. Let people make mistakes. As a manager, you take responsibility for other people’s actions, so the last thing you want to do is be responsible for someone else’s mistakes. In an attempt to be proactive and prevent mistakes, you might give careful instructions and create clear, strict standards. But are you making people afraid of mistakes? Do they always check with you about every little thing, reluctant to make their own decisions because they might not do it correctly? That ends up making the employees more dependent on you, which makes them less effective and unnecessarily drains a significant portion of your time. In order for people to think for themselves, they need to learn, and in order to learn, sometimes we need to make mistakes. Trust them, and give them a fair margin of error.

5. Learn from your own mistakes. When things don’t turn out the way you expected, recognize what you would’ve done differently and visualize this realization to your employees. This shows them that you make mistakes, too, and it also shows them how they should handle their own mistakes. Whenever you’re doing something correctly after having done it incorrectly in the past, let whoever is watching know. E.g. “The reason I know to press this button is because this happened to me when I first started out, and I made the mistake of pressing the blue button, thinking ‘This will shut down the system, which should resolve the issue’ and I found out–the hard way–that it makes the issue even worse!”

6. Treat everyone equally. Most of us aren’t as egalitarian as we’d like to be. Many times, favoritism happens on a subconscious level. The tendency is to give more positive recognition to the people who remind us of ourselves somehow and who actually like us, rather than to the people who make the biggest contributions to the organization.[1] In the long run, its people in the latter group who will make the most progress in achieving the organization’s goals, so monitor your own behavior carefully and make sure you’re not accidentally short-changing them, even if they give you the impression that your positive regard doesn’t affect them. Some people shy away from positive feedback but appreciate it nonetheless.


# Celebrate success with your team, whether it’s by giving them a pat on the back, taking them to lunch, or giving them the afternoon off.

# Avoid making them stay back after normal working hours. Respect their time and personal commitments and they will reciprocate by producing exceptional results for their manager and the organization.

# Forget about your credentials. Education didn’t make you a better manager. But experience can contribute to becoming a good manager.

# As manager try to communicate with your employees in proper way and avoid making them feel down.

# Being a good manager doesn’t mean being a people pleaser. If an employee keeps crossing the line or failing to meet expectations, use a feedback sandwich or nonviolent communication to correct the situation.

# If that fails, consider firing them.


Common Interview Questions & Answers

1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up to the present.

2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons.

3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.

4. Do you consider yourself successful?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others.

5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific statement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith Company, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever known. It is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview herself.

6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are going. What are the current issues and who are the major players?

7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year? Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job.

A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.

8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus on this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything else is a distraction.

9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term career goals.

10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought of.

11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like, That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position? In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not, say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range.

12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready. Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team rather than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do not brag, just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.

13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?

Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I’d like it to be a long time. Or As long as we both feel I’m doing a good job.

14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?

This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you like to fire people. At the same time, you will do it when it is the right thing to do. When it comes to the organization versus the individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the organization. Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in force.

15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here. Do you have strong feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That’s the type of answer that works best here. Short and positive, showing a benefit to the organization.

16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?

Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the type of work you prefer. Do not say yes if you do not mean it.

17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying negative things about the people or organization involved.

18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization?
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to highlight your best points as they relate to the position being discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.

19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not mention any other candidates to make a comparison.

20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted and was then considered successful. One related to the type of work applied for is a real plus.

21. What irritates you about co-workers?
This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with anything that irritates you. A short statement that you seem to get along with folks is great.

22. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples: Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects, Your professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive attitude

23. Tell me about your dream job.
Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job you are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say another job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with this position if hired. The best is to stay genetic and say something
like: A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and can’t wait to get to work.

24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.

25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23

26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the organization, violence or lawbreaking to get you to object. Minor objections will label you as a whiner.

27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?

Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is no better answer.

28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?

There are numerous good possibilities: Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise, Initiative, Patience, Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver

29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.

30. What has disappointed you about a job?
Don’t get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include: Not enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company did not win a contract, which would have given you more responsibility.

31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an example that relates to the type of position applied for.

32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?

Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want another job more than this one.

33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are: Challenge, Achievement, Recognition

34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.

35. How would you know you were successful on this job?

Several ways are good measures: You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a success.Your boss tell you that you are successful

36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if you think there is a chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to get the job if the real answer is no. This can create a lot of problems later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself future grief.

37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead of your own?

This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about the deep ethical and philosophical implications. Just say yes.

38. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like progressive, salesman or consensus, can have several meanings or descriptions depending on which management expert you listen to. The situational style is safe, because it says you will manage according to the situation, instead of one size fits all.

39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make it small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An example would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and thus throwing coordination off.

40. Do you have any blind spots?
Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer blind spots. Do not reveal any personal areas of concern here. Let them do their own discovery on your bad points. Do not hand it to them.

41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?

Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.

42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?

Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well qualified for the position.

43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?

First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know about, bring that up: Then, point out (if true) that you are a hard working quick learner.

44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of humor, fair, loyal to subordinates and holder of high standards. All bosses think they have these traits.

45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute between others.

Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving technique and not the dispute you settled.

46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?

Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.

47. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.

48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. Show acceptance and no negative feelings.

49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.

50. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on? are examples.

9 lessons from Google, Jim Lecinski, managing director for Google

Jim Lecinski, managing director for Google. broke down his companys innovation strategy into nine notions. Each notion contains an important lesson that all professionals can learn from.

1. Innovation, not instant perfection. Google believes in launching new products and ideas early and often, rather than trying to perfect those ideas behind closed doors before releasing them to the public. Then, customer feedback and popularity prove which projects are most successful.

2. Share everything you can. Small teams that communicate openly have proved the best results for Google. They believe in transparency in the workplace so that everyone knows what everyone else is working on. (Scary, right?) They have a computer program where employees can look up names and see what others are working on, so if they have an idea to contribute they know who to talk to.

3. You are brilliant, were hiring. When Google interviews employees, Lecinski said they set the bar very high. They focus more on hiring generalists rather than specialists, as they have found generalists are more valuable and can contribute ideas to different parts of the company.

4. Allow employees to pursue their dreams. Lecinski said Google allows its employees time in a 70/20/10 model. Seventy percent of the time they work on Googles search and ad flagships; they develop new programs like Images, Desktop and Finance 20 percent of the time; and 10 percent of the time employees are allowed to pursue their own high risk/high reward projects. Lecinski said Google Earth is a result of one of those projects.

5. Ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes Google turns to the public for new ideas. The Google mastheads, which are customized for holidays and events, are taken from non-employee submissions. One of the mastheads was designed by a 12-year-old girl.

6. Don’t politic use data. With all the ideas floating around Google, the best way to determine which may work is to use supportive data. As Lecinski said, Data beats opinion.

7. Creativity loves restraint. Again, Google has to have some way to keep all of the employee-generated ideas streamlined towards the companys goals. Let people explore, but set clear boundaries for that exploration,Lecinski said.

8. Get users and usage the money will follow. This goes back to one of Lecinski’s larger points, “respect for end users,but is a principle to follow in any form of business. He says to focus on creating things that are innovative and useful for people, not something you can sell.

9. Don’t kill projects, morph them. Google doesn’t waste ideas. Instead, they try to change and transform them into something the company finds useful.