'Don't try to command respect...' - MS Dhoni talks about loyalty and earning players' respect ahead of his potential last IPL season

Team India have enjoyed tremendous success under MS Dhoni's leadership. The wicket-keeper batter is also one of the most successful captains in Indian Premier League (IPL) history,

Mathew K
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CSK (Source: X)

CSK (Source: X)

You talk about the greatest captains of all time in cricket history, former India skipper MS Dhoni will be there. The 42-year-old from Ranchi has left a lasting legacy in the sport with his captaincy and batting prowess. Team India have enjoyed tremendous success under his leadership; notable among them are the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy. 


Dhoni also led India to the top spot in the Test rankings for the first time. Moreover, the wicket-keeper batter is one of the most successful captains in Indian Premier League (IPL) history, winning five titles for Chennai Super Kings. The legendary cricketer is gearing up for his potential last IPL season and has now spoken about the leadership mantra.

Speaking in a function organised by Single.ID, a first-of-its-kind cross-reward programme identifier, Dhoni said that earning respect is important for a leader and it comes through his deeds rather than words. He added that a captain should never command respect but earn it through loyalty. 

"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.


"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 added. 

Understand the individual's strengths and weaknesses: Dhoni

According to Dhoni, understanding each and every player in the dressing room – their strengths and weaknesses – is the first step to gaining respect and loyalty from your teammates.


"Some people love pressure and some people don't like pressure. What is important is to understand the strength of the individual and the weakness of the individual. 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 concluded. 

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