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