The three most-lovingly chanted syllables in any stadium that the Boys in Blue play. From being a football lover in his childhood days to putting his country above his family in his adult phase, the man has proven to be worthy of all the love showered on him. He has come a long way from his days as a TTE and thank god he has! Because India has gained the new hero we were all waiting for. Touted as the “next Kapil” or “next Sachin”, he has made it a point to prove that he is the ONLY Dhoni.
He is the man that debuted with a duck having been run out and he is also the man that led the Indian team to victory against Pakistan in a thrilling contest as his first captaincy T20 series.This sounds like a very familiar tale don’t you think? From having a rock bottom start to blazing victory, his path to being a national hero is filled with multiple “getting back up” instances, just like start-ups face. May it be from financial loss or lack of employees, there are lessons each entrepreneur can learn from the Captain’s life.
1.Truly being “Captain Cool”
Be it managing ego clashes or facing criticism from media, Dhoni has always maintained a cool exterior. When questioned about his worth as a player, he remained silent and let his game prove his credibility. This is the attitude that startups need. Step backs and criticisms will be found all along the way and during all of this, keeping a calm mind and letting the work speak for itself is the best reply.
2.Stepping up when the boat is being rocked
No one can forget the nail-biting final of the 2011 WC. India playing in the finals needed more than six runs per over with three top order batsmen already dismissed. With nerves running high, Dhoni promoted himself up the batting order to take up the responsibility of effortlessly etching the Indian cricket teams name in history.
For any individual, performing under pressure is understandably hard. Looking up to Dhoni, one can remember how he made a billion prayers come true.
3.Presence of Mind
Scores of articles have been written about Dhoni’s unfazed nature during the heat of a match. But one need not look further than the India vs Bangladesh T20 WC group stage Match on 23rd March 2016. When all hope was lost, Dhoni brought in relatively new face Hardik Pandya out to bowl. Casting his magic, Pandya bowled magnificently and for the last bowl, Dhoni had already removed his right glove before the last ball expecting a run-out case.
Predicting the ups and downs in the growth of one’s venture and taking the necessary steps is what can move a startup forward. Be it bringing in new heads to take up a sinking ship or letting go of dead weight, making hard choices and being sure they are the right ones can save your startup.
4.Graceful acceptance of failure
Dhoni treats victory and defeat as two sides of the same coin. He knows anything that goes around comes around.
“I believe in giving more than 100% on the field, and I don’t really worry about the result if there’s great commitment on the field. That’s victory for me.”
-Dhoni after the CB series in an interview with Cricinfo, Mar 24, 2008
This type of unending determination and passion for work is what every entrepreneur must have within their heart.
5.Taking the blame
at the post-match press conference after a match against Australia in 2015, Dhoni took the blame on himself for a disastrous performance of his team , saying that he was the main culprit as the captain.
“I need to blame myself as I am the leader of this side. Of course, I am the main culprit, so of course I blame myself,”
When a venture achieves success, all praise is directed to the leader of the team.The same should be applied when the venture underperforms. Taking up responsibility and understanding the reasons for failure is the most humble lesson Dhoni can teach an entrepreneurial mind.
Startup communities are filled with enthusiasm and passion for their work. But understanding that passion is not the only ingredient for success is the mark of an excellent entrepreneur. Understanding the importance of teamwork and growth of the team members along the way t success will ensure the possibility of a strong and loyal workforce for your venture. Ending on the wise words of the captain, “Till the full stop doesn’t come the sentence is not complete”.