Leadership Learnings for Adults
Leadership lessons from Apic: Rama
August 5, 2020
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Dr. Thaker spoke about Values, Leadership, Communication, and Ethics explained how these qualities were evident in Ramayana. Dr. Thaker analyzed how the saint composer presented Rama as a leader, arbiter, just ruler, true friend, equanimous prince, and a person who knew the value of detachment and attachment

What should be the focus of one’s character- — Rama’s qualities draw attention to the greatness of Rama’s name, he said. Two qualities of Rama stand out, namely, satya and dharma,

In the Ramayana, Lakshmana is unable to kill Indrajit, and he finally says, “ If Rama is one who keeps his promise, then let this arrow kill Indrajit.” And that is enough for the arrow to hit the target. Tyagaraja is lost in admiration of Rama when he sings ‘Raama nee samaaanam evaru.’ (Who is equal to you, Rama?)

A good leader tries different ways like reconciliation, mediation, negotiation, and arbitration, to resolve conflicts Rama tried everything possible to get Ravana to mend his ways. He offered to gift Ayodhya to Ravana. He recognized Vibhishana as the ruler of Lanka. But Ravana did not budge. With all possible avenues exhausted, Rama had no alternative but to kill Ravana.

A good leader makes decisions only after conferring with others. When Vibhishana arrived from Lanka, Rama asked the monkeys what he should do: should he accept Vibhishana, or send him away. Rama had already made up his mind as to what he was going to do. And yet, he was not dictatorial, but allowed others to state their points of view. A good leader does what is right. He does not go by what would be a popular decision.

An iron maker is allowed to speak what he feels. That means society does have a right to reveal our feelings/emotions. A leader have to listen to it and decide the facts accordingly. Justification have true value in leadership.

Had Rama abided by popular opinion in the case of Vibhishana, then the latter would not have been admitted into Rama’s camp. But when the consensus was against Vibhishana, Rama welcomed him, showing that while he was willing to lend his ears to the opinion of others, he would always abide by dharma. ‘Nagumomu’ (Abheri) is a cry for acceptance, and can be interpreted as Vibhishana’s words of anguish as he awaits Rama’s decision.

In ‘Emani Maataaditivo Rama’ (Thodi), Tyagaraja marvels at Rama’s ability to choose the right words, keeping in mind the listener’s bent of mind. This is in tune with the modern concept of designing an advertisement to convince the target audience.

Here are some lessons that someone can learn and can apply in the corporate world: Some Management Lessons from Ramayana to become effective managers in the corporate world:-
1. Team Motivation is essential
One of the topmost management principles is to motivate your team. We can learn this thing from Ramayana that when Hanuman went Lanka. Hanuman’s mission was to find Sita there and convey her Lord Ram’s message. When it was confirmed that Sita is in Lanka then Janmant asked Hanuman to go there. Jamwant helped Hanuman to realize his true potential and motivated him to go to Lanka. We can learn the lesson from Ramayana and can apply in the corporate world that how Jamwant motivated Hanuman as a good manager to help him in realizing his true potential and act like that.

2. Give value to your subordinates
A good manager or leader is the one who can get work done even by its opponents. A good manager hears all the things that his subordinates say to him and tries to keep them together in the oddest situations. When the company or an organization is not in a good situation, then a good manager’s responsibility is to listen to his subordinates and keep them together. In Ramayana, Rawan shows the qualities of a bad manager many times. And this reason becomes the departure of his kingdom. Rawan did not listen to his managers from the starting and from that there is a situation came in the state of war with Ram because of Rawan’s mismanagement, one of the wisest managers, Vibishan left his kingdom in between a crisis.

3. Leaders create more leaders
There always comes a time when a leader has to create more leaders. So that they can make their own independent decisions. And there is not anymore dependency on anyone to make decisions in bad situations. When the Sita’s whereabouts were known then Hanuman, from his own burn the Lanka. The Ram was not happy with Hanuman’s decision by burning Lanka. After that, Hanuman stopped taking decisions on his own. Then Ram removes himself from the scene so that Hanuman can take his own decision and rediscover himself to make things right. During the war, the Mahiravan succeeded in kidnapping both Ram and Laxman and take them into Patal Lok. From the physical and intellectual power, Hanuman succeeded in rescuing both Ram and Laxman and thus Ram created a leader and from that Hanuman could use his abilities of leadership.

4. Communication is Vital
In Ramayana, two brothers Sugriva and Bali became enemies of each other. The reason for enmity, of two brothers was misunderstanding or miscommunication. Because of the sour events, Rama could do his task. In management, be careful of happening miscommunication at any stage. This could lead to a big crisis.

5. Believe in your team and their efforts
A manager or leader should always motivate and believe in his team to achieve the desired goal. A manager who believes in his team definitely met with his goal achievement. The army of Rakshasa was very powerful and unbeatable. They had defeated many devas and powerful kings. But the soldiers in the Ram’s army were not originally soldiers and they had never experienced that experienced army before. But the Rama built confidence in his army to fight. Ram’s confidence and enthusiasm make his army to fight and conquer victory.

6. Ready to take Risks
This is the topmost management lesson one can apply in the corporate world. Leaving the comfort zone is the most important thing in any business or enterprise. In today’s world, the marketing experts or gurus who travel the world, get a good experience of customer’s taste or like, better serve the market. In Ramayana, when Rama was ordered to live in the forest for the course of fourteen years, then Rama and Sita took it as a challenge to involve the ordinary people of their kingdom to better understand their problems and situations. They didn’t remain limited in the comforts of their palace. It helps them to understand the ground realities in a better way.

7. Successfully execute plans
A good manager’s responsibility is to make a clear plan and execute it successfully step by step. In Ramayana, When Hanuman gets the responsibility to search Sita then Hanuman has done this task brilliantly and single highhandedly. This way, he gave an introduction of his wisdom that how he conducts himself in the task and single minded is a perfect example to be followed by the managers in the corporate world. At the time of crossing the sea, he rejected the invitation which was given by Mount Myna-aka to take some rest in the way to better complete the task.

8. Having a Clear Vision
Having a clear vision is a very important thing in the corporate world as well as in all aspects of life. A clear vision will always be a motivating factor in focusing on the goal and not to be turned aside of it. It is very important for a leader to have a clear vision that what he is aiming for and what consequences he has to bear in the future. He should also be careful of his subordinates or followers that who is helping him to achieve his goal. In the Ramayana, the Ram’s vision was clear that he has to save his wife Sita and to defeat the evil personalities. The clarity about the goal forced his army to put their soul and heart in the war to save Sita.

9. Having Patience
A good manager’s quality is to have patience in all situations. Maintaining cool in bad situations helps a person to achieve its goal. In Ramayana when Sita was kidnapped then Ram wandered resource lies in the forests to search the Sita. In Ramayana, it is detailed how Ram feels sad, deeply and the memories which were linked with Sita. But his intense sorrow did not stop him from searching the Sita even he did not know the single detail of the enemy. Even in the worst situations while battling with Rawan, the Ram maintained his courage and patience and by doing this, he inspired his army to not only continue the battle but even win it.

10. Be careful of doubtful Attractions
A good manager’s quality is to not to be attracted by doubtful attractions in his way. In Ramayana, when Sita got madly attracted by a beautiful golden deer, she refused to take notice of her husband’s advice. She could not pay attention to that the deer could not be a natural deer, it can be evil in the false appearance. It is her unpleasant trouble of acquiring the deer to be her playmate that forced Ram to go behind the scene. Afterward, it became the way of getting her separated by his husband Ram and get kidnapped by Rawan.

11. Tolerance… Keep tolerating in life. It could be for TEAM, Family and friends, and organization. I do agree that things do not come up to your mark, but, you remain silent and tolerant.

12. Walking on Talking:
Following promises in life is everything. A promise once given can not be withdrawn.

13. Gentle touch: To offer a gentle touch to personality, the leader has to compromise and adjust and show flexibility in his idea. A leader does tolerate, compromise, and adjust with the TEAM or circumstances or situations. He never compromises with value and ethics.

14. Family spirit: Rama is able to display a great family spirit and bonding. To showcase, he sacrifices even his kingdom.

15. Sympathy: A leader does show sympathy for his well-wishers and doer. In Ramayana, Bird JATAYU sacrifices his life in the fight against Ravana. A bird is a well-wisher to King Rama. a lot of Well-wishers in life, they are to be taken care of when you get an opportunity.

16. Character not personality: A leader should focus on character, not personality. Rama shows a couple of times character by following ethics, value, and code of conduct. A person can polish his personality by learning manners, etiquette, styles, and communication. But a character can be developed by fOLLOWING Certain code of conduct. Rama is able to display sich 16 great qualities in life.

None can go to the past and live a life. But everyone can live in the present and shape the future.

About author

Dr Shailesh Thaker

Dr. Shailesh Thaker is a world-renowned management thinker and trainer on organizational behavior and development. He is the CLO of Knowledge Plus Inc., a highly reputed training firm based in Ahmedabad, India, helping organizations to achieve international benchmarks in management practices.

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