Indian Institute of Management, CalcuttaOpen For Admission
Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are culturally rich and educational when it comes to the analysis of human behavior. Ramayana highlights the qualities required to uphold the dharma of one's duty to undertake actions. Each character has been etched as a representative of unique takeaway. Incidentally, the learnings from Ramayana are universal in approach and can be assimilated into the professional aspects of everyone's life.
A true leader is someone who fosters future leaders. This is important to carry the business forward. Through constant encouragement and mentoring, a leader can truly bring out the best in others. Lord Ram believed in the power of Hanuman and each general of Sugriva's army. As a result, each of them could in their way contribute to the defeat of the mighty Ravana. Within organizations, leaders need to identify potential leaders and offer them the ground to take action in the same way Ram offered complete freedom to Hanuman to take charge of certain fronts of the epic battle.
The success of every endeavour depends on planning by involving each team member into the decision-making process. Whether it was the battleground or the governance of Ayodhya, Lord Ram involved everyone as a team into the decision-making process. When it came to battle, he entrusted each of the ape generals with certain responsibilities basis their core competency.
For example- Naal and Nil were excellent builders and therefore they were entrusted with the task of building the bridge to Lanka. When it came to the governance of kingdom Ayodhya, he entrusted each of his brothers depending on their proven capabilities. When every person is respected as capable and involved in matters of importance, he or she feels responsible as a stakeholder thereby, contributing immense value most uniquely .
With all the smart gadgets around, there are communication gaps within the daily operational framework. Leaders,and kings back in the days over came these challenges and communicated with speed and efficiency. Communicating effectively and is a temperament and attitude.
For example in Ramayana - Bali instructed Sugriva to stay outside the cave and keep a watch while he went to battle a fierce demon Mayavee. After waiting for a year, Sugriva grew impatient and on seeing traces of blood coming out of the cave he took Bali to be dead. Without waiting, he went back to the kingdom and announced Bali's death and assumed charge of the kingdom. Incidentally, Bali returned and witnessed Sugriva's action as a sign of betrayal. Even Sugriva failed to communicate the reasons behind his action. This lack of communication created a huge rift between the two brothers. So, one can safely take away the lesson that without effective communication, an organization cannot function effectively.
Businesses thrive on networking and therefore, it is critical to etch meaningful alliances and partnerships that are value-creating to both the parties. In Ramayana, Ram allies with Sugriva. Ram defeated Bali in a battle and helped Sugriva to get back his kingdom. In return, Sugriva helped Ram with his resourceful army to fight Ravana and get to Sita .
Ram also is known as Maryada-Purushottam because of his strict adherence to compliances and established code of conduct during those times. He never sacrificed ethics to win credibility rather he chose the other way round. Even during the battle with Ravana, he chose to challenge Ravan head-on rather than resorting to tricks. On one occasion when Ravana was completely disarmed by Ram, he was allowed to leave the battlefield safely. Such was the spirit of Ram. Leaders too in organizations, in times of distress, must display great strength in terms of remaining compliant while innovatively figuring out solutions to difficult problems.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but there is a great depth in Ramayana that can be only understood by reading it with a spirit to learn. Seeking to learn is one of the great attributes of a great leader whether in corporate or personal life.
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