Management Lessons from Indian Cricket Team

Management Lessons from
Indian Cricket Team
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A Leader should have the team
he/she wants
• Dhoni was clear about whom he
wanted and insisted on it even while
taking enormous personal risk
• He preferred the raw talent over big
guns like Saurabh, Rahul and Laxman
• Remember after winning the trophy
after the tri series he said “my team”
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Optimal utilization of resources
• A Leader should know the optimal
utilization of resources.
• In current talent scarce market attrition and poaching scenario, it is a key
leadership skill.
• Dhoni never complained about absence
of Zaheer Khan, R.P Singh, Ishant or
Yuvraj when they got injured, but got on
with what was available and performed
successfully with them.
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Leader should back his/her team
• Dhoni backed people especially who
were low on confidence and raw.
• Generally, leaders do not trust people
who are low on confidence and raw.
• Leaders give them easy tasks that not
only dents their confidence but they also
never get the opportunity to learn
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Leader should have confidence in
his/her team
• On the contrary, by trusting such people
and throwing a challenge at them, the
member will be ready to lay his/her life
for the leader
• Dhoni showed enough confidence in his
young team
-Whether asking Ishant to open bowling
or -Selecting Pravin Kumar over Sehwag
-Opening bowling with Pravin Kumar
-Sending Rohit to bat ahead of more
established batsmen
-Selecting Piyush Chawla for the finals
with no previous match practice
-Asking Gambhir to open the batting
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Leaders -Inspire and trust
•Irfan Pathan’s anecdote about Mahendra Singh
Dhoni shortly after India had won the tri-series
tournament gives some insight into the mind and
methods of the Indian captain.
•“During my last over,’’ Pathan told the ESPN
commentators, “Dhoni walked up to me, patted
me on the back and said with a smile, “You’re not
such a bad bowler to give away three boundaries
•In the event, Pathan got two wickets to quash
Australia’s hopes and win the triseries, but that is
only half the story of how Dhoni inspires his
players to perform for him.
•The other, and perhaps more crucial half, is how
he trusts them to do this.
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Leaders -should be calm and cool
•Amongst so much pressure Dhoni
was very calm and cool.
•Inspite of mudslinging, verbal assault
and threat of being not able to
qualify for the final he was cool, calm
and always smiling.
•Even when they had beaten
Australia in the second final and won
the trophy, he was very calm and cool
and left his team to do all the
jumping and enjoyment.
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Constant explore and innovate
•A good leader has to explore and
innovate. Changes in business
environment are very rapid.
•A leader needs to encourage trying
and experimenting and keeping the
things which work
•Dhoni whether sending Irfan to open
or one down, opening the bowling
with Pravin Kumar and Ishan or
selecting 5 bowlers, or two spinners
out-thought and out-strategized the
mighty Australians
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Innovation to thrive, failure must
be encouraged
• Remember most of his team
members said on camera that
Dhoni told them – not to take
much tension and just enjoy
the game. It does not matter
even if we lose.
• You cannot innovate if the
failures are punished
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Live in the present
• Dhoni mentioned that he
lives in the present and not
worry about the future or
• Too much analysis/
strategizing for the future is
not recommendable in a
dynamic changing business
Too much analysis leads to
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Leaders should give the credit
•A good leader should let his
team take the credit.
•See how Dhoni after being
handed over the trophy
handed it over to his team
At the prize giving ceremony
he supported Harbhajan and
took the swipe at Aussie
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A leader should walk the talk
•A leader should lead from
the front and be a role model.
•Remember Dhoni in one of
the crucial match with
Srilanka avoided all the big
shots and made all his runs by
While in the second final scored 36 runs in 36 balls
when quick runs were
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Individuals-know your inner calling
•As an individual one should believe in his
inner potential
•Pravin Kumar the son of a Constable
used to disappear daily in the morning at
4 am for cricket practice.
He used to get beaten when he returned
every evening but never flinched
He plays his domestic cricket for Uttar
Pradesh where in the absence of a good
coach, he has relied on the likes of
Mohammad Kaif, his state captain.
•Playing not even ten international
matches got two man of the match
•There is a Message for parents and
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teachers-recognize the child potential
Individuals-Have Self Belief
•Have the self belief and self esteem
to not get disturbed with the name
calling and all other dirty tricks
employed by others.
•Harbhajan Singh at the end won by
taking the critical wickets of his
tormentors Mathew Hayden and
Symonds in both the finals.
•It was a poetic justice.
•It is the test of your character to
focus on your performance and shut
out other things
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As Competitor
• No matter what you are never –
never be arrogant about your success
and achievements.
This way you are firing your rivals to
beat you.
• Time is a great leveller.
• Do not be arrogant, you might look
like a fool when the time changes
• Ricky Ponting also said before the
start of the tour that they would
wallop India by 4-0 and that Australia
would have a cakewalk in one-dayers
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Play fair/by the rules
• You cannot play unfair and win.
For all those who shout from the
rooftop that in real world you cannot
play and win by the rule.
• This is the apt example- if you are
good – no matter what the rivals are
doing, you will win at the end as India
did in the end.
• Do not get disturbed by temporary
Life is a marathon and not a hundred
meter race.
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Do not lose sight of the goal
• Harbhajan hasn't been bowling
particularly well of late and he didn't
bowl particularly well in the first final BUT the two batsman at the centre of the
childish schoolyard spat with the Indian
off spinner decided he had to taught a
lesson and as a result got out.
• This after they had dominated the game
and got the Indians on the back foot.
Symonds and Hayden could quite easily
have milked the bowling and taken five
singles an over and just accumulated
another 80 more runs and then set up a
guns blazing finale.
• In business how many times we start
fighting the personal battle- losing the
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A Leader should be fearless and confident
• Fearlessness and confidence to
believe and perform that you can
compete with the best in the world and
• This has made India globally the best
whether in IT or in cricket
• See How rookie Ishant Sharma
showed Symonds the pavilion when he
abused him after given out
• Remember Young leadership is not
about age but about thinking big and
risk taking ability.
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