15 lessons Mahendra Singh can give Manmohan

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Manmohan Singh are leaders in their chosen areas of work. While one is just a captain of the cricket team and the other is the prime minister, their styles of stewardship impact the people of the entire country.

Yet, one could not be more different from the other.

As MMS flies to Mohali to watch MSD in the semi-finals of the cricket World Cup, here are 15 traits which help us to study and compare their styles of leadership, their omissions and commissions, and how they are generally perceived by  the people:


1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni doesn’t have report to the BCCI on every single move he makes although he is appointed by it. Manmohan Singh cannot move a single sheet of paper without an OK from the high command which appointed him.

2. Dhoni has built a team which listens to him most of the times; Manmohan’s team rarely listens to him or to each other.

3. Dhoni remains calm and soaks in all the pressure even when leading Chennai Super Kings. Manmohan too remains calm, but that is because he transfers all the pressure on to his colleagues when Chennai’s Super King is in the picture.

4. If Dhoni makes a single mistake (like say handing the ball to Ashish Nehra for the final over), the whole country turns against him. If Manmohan makes blunder after blunder (CWG, 2G, S-band), the people are not bothered.

5. Dhoni graciously owns up when he slips up, he doesn’t call it an “error of judgment” or attribute it to some unknown ‘compulsions’. On the other hand, Manmohan….

6.  In times of crisis, Dhoni leads from the front to overcome the situation. Manmohan hides or deflects it to his colleagues, unless the crisis lands directly at his doorstep, a la S-band.

7. In case of Dhoni, the buck stops with him. In case of Manmohan, whose “personality integrity is beyond question”, the buck travels upwards, downwards and sidweards to one or more of his colleagues in the government or party.

8.  Nobody is looking over Dhoni’s shoulders to occupy his position, at least not publicly. In case of Manmohan, from day one he is rumoured to be merely warming the chair for someone else.

9. Dhoni remains calm and unruffled be it in victory or defeat, the hallmark of a true leader. In the case of Manmohan, no one ever gets to see his emotions.

10. Dhoni doesn’t make vicious comments on the opposition in case of adversity; Manmohan likes to needle the opposition, especially Lalchand Kishinchand Advani.

11. Dhoni makes decisions all by himself after taking inputs from all. It is evident from Wikileaks that the United States is helping Manmohan make msot of our key decisions.

12. Dhoni doesn’t have an intellectual background and has never had to buy up the opposition to keep his position. Despite his “personal integrity being beyond question”, Manmohan, well…

13. Rarely has the BCCI publicly interfered with Dhoni’s work and told him how to run the Indian team. Not a day passes without the Supreme Court telling the government what to do.

14. Dhoni’s action brings cheer to millions every day; Mammohan’s inaction brings sense of dismay and betrayal in millions.

15. Dhoni is yet to visit Parliament in the company of Shahid Afridi to see how Manmohan and his men battle it out in Parliament; Manmohan is visiting Mohali to see how Dhoni and his team fare.