Friday, December 19, 2008

The calm in the midst of a storm

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.
E. F. Schumacher

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.
Rosalynn Carter
It's no secret that I have a great deal of admiration for MS Dhoni, more for his captaincy than his game (though I am a big admirer of that aspect, too).

For a man who trolled the railway platforms as a ticket collector a few years ago, Dhoni has come a long way and has taken to the role of a leader like a duck to water. Earlier, I had written about Dhoni's leadership skills and how he makes more sense than most people who make a living on lecture tours where they talk about what it takes to be a great leader.

Lest someone starts thinking that being the captain of a team is as easy as showing up for the toss and throwing the ball to the bowlers, Dhoni reminds them that they are in for a rude awakening. As Dhoni points out in this article, it takes more than just instinct and luck to be a good captain - you also need to have a sense of the right moment to strike.
"Nothing is easy, I can assure you of that," said Dhoni with a smile when asked if this whole captaincy business was a lark. "International cricket is tough. Yes, if you do have a good side, if the side is doing everything right, it looks a bit easy. I think it's just that the team is playing really well."
Seizing an opportunity when it presents itself is easy. But seizing it after you have created that very opening is true leadership.

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