MS Dhoni: Important for a leader to earn respect with deeds rather than words

Under Dhoni, India had won two World Cups and a Champions Trophy besides reaching the top of ICC Test rankings for the first time.

Published : Feb 09, 2024 22:07 IST - 2 MINS READ

 Cricketer MS Dhoni during a press conference.
 Cricketer MS Dhoni during a press conference. | Photo Credit: PTI

 Cricketer MS Dhoni during a press conference. | Photo Credit: PTI

MS Dhoni’s captaincy and man-management skills are part of cricket’s urban legend, and the former India skipper on Friday said earning the respect and loyalty of players with deeds formed the primary layer of leadership.

Under Dhoni, India had won two World Cups and a Champions Trophy besides reaching the top of ICC Test rankings for the first time.

“Loyalty has a lot to do with the respect factor. When you talk about the dressing room, unless the support staff or players respect you, it is difficult to get that loyalty.

“It is actually about what you are doing and not about what you are speaking. You may not actually speak anything, but your conduct can earn that respect,” said Dhoni in a function organised by Single.ID.

ALSO READ: SL vs AFG: Pathum Nissanka becomes first Sri Lankan to score ODI double century

Dhoni said that respect for a leader comes from his deeds rather than words.

“I always felt that earning respect (as a leader) is important as it does not come with the chair or rank. It comes with your conduct. People are insecure at times. Sometimes, even if the team believes in you, you are actually the first person who will not believe in you.

“To sum it up, don’t try to command respect but earn it, as it is very organic. Once you have that loyalty then the performance too will follow,” he said.

But the first step for that, Dhoni said, is to understand each and every player in the dressing room – their strengths and weaknesses.

“Some people love pressure, and some people don’t like pressure. What is important is to understand the strengths of the individual and the weaknesses of the individual.

ALSO READ: Tilak Varma: Performances with Mumbai Indians did help me in process of being picked for India

“Once you have done that, you will start working on the weakness of a player without actually telling him that this is a weakness.

“So, it keeps a player confident and keeps the player from doubting himself. They like to see how it works and that is the job of a captain or coach to figure out what works for who,” he added.

The Jharkhand man said as a leader one has to keep things simple to get the best results out of a team.

“In that process, the simpler you keep things, the easier it will become for you. I always felt that the team (that he captained) had character because all of us were different.”

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment