Introduction The situation was tense and CSK was losing every single match in one of the previous IPL seasons. M.S. Dhoni appeared calm as ever. He merely said that they were late starters. It later came to be known that he had crafted many strategies to defeat the best of the other teams.
CSK went on winning every single match and also the final at that time. That was the magic of M.S. Dhoni. The art of becoming and being a really cool person is centered around a) Maintaining an ability to smile at all times b) Focusing only on the task on hand c) Sticking to the basics d) Being a good listener and e) Developing a "just do it" attitude.
Maintaining an ability to smile at all times M.S. Dhoni would smile at each press conference. He would not lose his cool even when asked the most tricky questions. He had the ability to smile at his teammates during the break times and would be seen whispering something into the ears of the particular bowler. The successful bowler would later say that Mr. Dhoni had asked him to remain cool!!
Mr. M.S. Dhoni is not alone. We see them in the banks and in the front offices of five-star hotels. Their smile makes us happy. They are effective at making us feel at ease. They would be ready to answer any query and also take immediate action if required. This was seen in a medium-sized vegetarian restaurant on the Chennai to Bangalore Highway recently. One of the waiters would quickly serve the dishes. He would then ask what more the customer wanted and keep giving the refills going as often as the customer wanted. All this was done with the utmost dedication and care. Customers would ask him his name and mention that in the feedback form that was obtained from each customer. He was a really cool person.
Focusing only on the task on hand This author had the unique opportunity of spotting a Senior Manager of the production department in one of his previous experiences in a particularly heavy chemical organization. This person would always smile and pass on the smile to others. He would motivate others to smile too. He had a sharp focus on the basics. He would go to the spot to explain what needs to be done. He would be involved so closely in every aspect of the operations and was really hands-on. This helped him build a viable second line of engineers who would get things done even in his absence. All this made him a sort of hero. He would not reprimand any subordinate at any level. He would call the individual to his cabin and explain where the individual went wrong and why. He was quite kind and took an active interest in the personal work of his subordinates, The workplace was so interesting when he was around. His ever-smiling attitude won him many friends. He had received the news of his brother-in-law being admitted in a serious condition in a hospital some sixty kilometers away. He did not show this at all. He did not inform anyone. He attended to the breakdown that was rather severe. By this time the CEO had come to know what happened. When he arrived on the shop floor he was stunned to say the cool person just emerging out of the place. Only then did his colleagues know that he had some urgent personal work. The CEO spared a couple of other subordinates and gave his personal car to take him to the hospital. The relative survived.
When he came back to work he never told anyone what happened. He just smiled and said that everything was fine. He had won many admirers from all over. They went out of the way to help on any future occasion. This is exactly what can happen if one is able to remain cool.
Sticking to the basics One can easily notice similarities between Mr. Dhoni and the aforesaid production manager. Both had only concentrated on the basics. There is always an ideal way of doing things and it is up to us to understand that. It should be noted that when we stick to the basics in an ideal manner the world becomes a far better place to live in. The lessons from such experiences are always good. There will be situations where we might lose our cool. The trick is to just follow the lessons from such illustrative examples of people who have mastered the art of remaining cool. The task is not easy but not impossible either. One has to just keep on trying until he or she reaches the stage of perfection. M.S. Dhoni is the perfect example for all times and for everyone.
Developing a "just do it" attitude. This is also true of most cool perfectionists. They are never the ones who use management jargon. They are uncomfortable when confronted with people who boast and try to impose their ways of thinking on others. They do not do anything to strike a conversation with such people. The coolest person is always a person who is focused on the end result. He or she would not rest until they reach their targets. They do not have any ax to grind. They are people with big "just do it" attitudes. We can spot these people everywhere. They can be found in the small catering shops offering a variety of vegetarian food at cheap prices. The food is affordable by all and there will always be a big crowd.
Those with a particularly cool exterior will speak minimum but busily engage in serving the customer by coordinating with the cook or by handing the parcel orders by themselves. At times we can see this among the husband and wife team as well. Their simple smiles would speak for words. The customer will understand and respond.
This "just do it" attitude can be seen among hundreds of small entrepreneurs in Coimbatore city. They would supply small components to some engineering industry. They are always focused and are the typical cool guys. They just get immersed in the work and they have just one or two attendants. They always deliver on time. These entrepreneurs easily earn some sixty thousand rupees a month. Their customer focus can be seen in each of their actions.
Conclusion The ability to develop the basic qualities to become and always be a perfectionist in the art of staying cool can be learned with practice. The task is always challenging. However, we need to at least make good attempts at doing what it takes. The aforesaid points are some insights in this direction.
Being cool is very good art. A few people only will have this quality always. They will never show their emotions out. They behave in one way only when they have a lot of work on hand and when there is little work only on hand. Such people will always concentrate on their basics only. Such people will be able to go to the top of the ladder always. Such people will be more efficient in tackling the problems.
When there is a big problem on the shop floor also these people go and try to understand the exact problem instead of showing hurriedness or raising voice and shouting on others. They know unless otherwise, we understand the problem we can't solve it. Troubleshooting and solving is also tricky.
Basically a person who remains cool will use their brain 100% on solving the problem rather than discussing and making unnecessary comments. I agree with the author in this. A good article by the author and my appreciations to him.