Rise of Indra leadership

When I was a kid, my dad introduced me to reading. He said “the books should be your best friend. They will help you grow within and would come to your aid when making some hard decisions in life.” I will always remain grateful to my dad who introduced me to the joy of reading. The first books that I got my hands on other than my textbooks were the volumes of Amar Chitra Katha.

A story that stayed with me is the one below which kept playing in my head whenever the egoic mind flared up.

The Story of Lord Indra

Lord of Devas, Indra had to defeat an asura called Vritra in a deceptive way. The way he owned the success did not stop the Devas from applauding and worshiping Indra and all this attention made him proud and arrogant.

He thought to himself that he alone could have killed the asura and his selfish desires grew by each passing day. He demanded more comfort and looked down upon everything and everyone in the court.

He also felt his huge palace was too small for his stature. So he called the celestial architect Vishwakarma to build him a big grand palace. Indra suggested few specific design to be incorporated in his new palace.

Vishwakarma nodded and set about designing a big palace. He showed the plans to Indra. Indra after looking at them nodded appreciatively. Vishwakarma started building. However Indra was now ruled by greed. Each time Indra was asked to look into the construction, he found the palace small and was still not satisfied. Vishwakarma ended up building three huge palaces and Indra found fault in all.

Vishwakarma realized that he could never satisfy Indra. No matter how grand the palace was, Indra would want it bigger. Dejected he approached the Trimurtis(Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara) for help. They heard him and felt Indra’s pride needs to be humbled.

The next day, outside Indra’s palace was a beautiful dark boy admiring Indra’s palace. Indra who was passing by called the boy. He looked at the boy and told him proudly that he owned the palace.

The dark boy listened to Indra and told him that the palace is by far the biggest and grandest palace built by any Indra so far.

Indra in utter disbelief asked the boy if there existed other Indras. The boy surprised at the look of Indra asked him if he was unaware of other Indras who ruled parallel in the other universes. The boy also tells him that he has seen all the Indras and their palaces.

Indra realizes that his arrogance made him think that he was the king of the universe. He then salutes the dark boy.

Indra pride was thus suitably humbled and he left his throne to meditate on the Lord, the master of all the cosmoses to repent for his pride.

This is the story of the most dominant leader, Indra. Leadership roles in any Industry have a lot in common with that of Indras. As long as the leaders are modest and realise that they were many before them who have adorned this position and there will be many hereafter too, shall keep them grounded.

These stories were written to teach us the art and the importance of humility even when riding high on success. Today’s Indras basking in admiration and attributing all success to themselves alone are culpable. Behind every Organization success or failure is a team. Denying credit is equivalent to denying the necessity of other employees in the corporation.

Let’s face the truth, power tends to corrupt the mind. It makes man greedy and selfish. The other side of the truth is also that greed breeds ignorance and ignorance fosters fear. The Wise Leader see the whole truth before they commit to either.

Indra’s behaviour towards Vishwakarma lead him to a state of dejection and blowing the whistle. Unlike Indra, leaders who use their power to empower their team are capable of building the best organizations. Don’t we have a saying, ‘Human capital is the most valuable asset of an organization’? So, wise leaders should make the investment right on this valuable asset and lead them to their fullest potential by being their role model.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3, Shl 41

Tasmāt tvam indriyāṇyādau niyamya bharatarṣhabha
Pāpmānaṁ prajahi hyenaṁ jñāna-vijñāna-nāśhanam

Selfish desire is found in the Senses, Mind, and Intellect, misleading them and burying wisdom in delusion. Fight with all your strength, Arjuna! Controlling your senses, conquer your enemy, the destroyer of knowledge and realisation.

Image: amarchitrakatha.com

 

Does it matter how we perceive Krishna in The Gita?

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Social Psychologists’ term us as cognitive misers who downplay every stimuli other than the ones we find useful. Since we have this problem it is important to re-look at the character Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.

If we look at him as someone who advised Arjuna at battlefield, we might ignore his teachings as only relevant to Arjuna. If we look at him as a God, we might never be able to implement his lesson as there is a fear of being categorized by our mind as an entity different from us. If we look at him as a Guru/Teacher, we will end up trying to apply his teachings. Thank God, for the reinforcements we had as children@School to act upon teacher’s advice .

Before seeking instruction from one of the best Teacher the world had known, we need to set aside our prejudices and judgmentalism. To do that, we ought to go off from the autopilot mode to an elaborate processing. Yes, we are capable of doing this but we need a good reason to do so.

We need to ponder at finding its importance in our professional or personal lives. Many Corporate Gurus termed him as a Tactful Leader and used his teachings to set leadership values. So, we aren’t the first to test him at the professional front and will easily find many reasons to imbibe his teachings. Yet, take some time out to see Gitas’ relevancy in your life to making it better.

From the standpoint of Arjuna, he had the wisdom to accept and admit being taken over by doubt and dastardism which is so not a trait of warrior(He in Chapter 6, shl 39 says Etanme samsayam Krishna Chetum Arhasya Asesatah). He seeks refuge as a disciple and request to discipline him is indicated in Shlok 7 of Chapter 2.

Karpanya Dosopahata Svabhavah
Prcchami Tvam Dharma sammudha Cetah
Yac Chreyah Syan Niscitam Bruhi Tan Me
Sisyas Te ham Sadhi Mam Tvam Prapannam

Arjuna casts away all defensive manoeuvres’ and prepared his mind to a neutral state to soak up in the teachers’ advice. By the way, it is a great leadership quality to possess in disciplining our minds and opening up to new ideas to make profitable decisions. Most of our problems arise when doubts overwhelm us and we lose the clarity of thoughts. Acting blindly in doubt is a sure recipe for trouble.

If we succeed to taking Gita as our teacher, we will see the song Divine uplifting us slowly but steadily from being human to spiritual. We will no longer be entangled in the character of Krishna but would look at Gita as a jewel box full of hand-picked precious gems- especially for us from The Great Upanishads.

Is Demanding the way for Corporate Existence or Exitus?

Children Demand Attention and Time

      Women Demand Protection and Security

Men Demand Respect and Authority

       Other Sex Demand Admission and Rights

Irrespective of what category we belong, we are demanding. Is that the right way to procure what we want?

If we look closely at these, we understand that our demands are different and similar at the same time. We are afraid of being taken for granted and when the fear creeps in then we move from requests to demands. When demands are not met, we conjure. Take a min and reflect on any of your relationships. It can be personal, professional or even with nature. It forms a loop. There were times when we ate what nature provided then we started to cultivate what we want and today we are demanding and destroying in the name of industrialisation. When nature does not succumb to our demands but starts to give what we haven’t asked for then we conjure. Guess this is a natural phenomenon.

If we look at this from the organization perspective, study suggests that many skilled labors exit for lack of attention or recognition than just pay. You might have heard the saying, ‘people quit their managers, not their jobs’. Now from a manager’s perspective, it’s the other way round, the fear of being taken for granted forces him to demand and not request. As a bystander, we understand this but when we are involved in the game, we react and the loop forms. It is funny, isn’t it? We somewhere need to break the loop. We move from being Self-aware to being too conscious because of our poor troubled mind. Even when we want to respond sensibly, the mind forces us to react. Nothing seems to work then.Not even the externalizing technique which the psychologists suggest. We can’t complain. Can we? We are habituated to reacting than to responding.

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Indriyaanam hi Charatam Yanmano Vidiyathe

Tadasya Harati Pragjnaam Vayur Navam ivambasi

                                                                           Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 verse 67

Bhagavad Gita warns us about the same. As the wind carries away a ship in the water, so does the unsteady mind associated with sense objects, destroys the power of discrimination and self-control.

Imagine the scenario below,

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Why does this happen? Because we constantly crave for attention and recognition. If somebody doesn’t recognise us, we question our own existence. Swami Vivekananda rightly said we are slaves to many. In this process, we FAIL TO LIVE

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This had to happen because we aren’t living our PRESENT. Why do you think surgeons fail to operate their kith n kin? They are surgeons and that is what they are good at. Why Psychiatrists’ fail to not succumb to anxiety? They cure everybody but still fall prey to stress. We suggest everybody around but can’t follow our own suggestions. What to do? When it comes to us, our mind takes a ‘U’ turn. Practice can only help put the mind back on track.

Bhagavad Gita teaches us to look at the impermanence of everything that we are clinging to. It can be anything. Look at that strong emotion ‘Anger’. How long does it stay? What damage does it do to the body during its stay? Is it staying forever? Yes, only till the time another emotion knocks the door. Even a minute before now has lost it’s life. If we understand this concept, it will give us some room to think before reacting. Bhagavad Gita says anything that is unreal and impermanent has no existence. Real according to Advaitam means that which does not change/constant. 

Nasato Vidyate Bhavo nabhavo Vidyate Satah(Chapter 2, verse 16.) The nature of being is never known of the unreal. The real is never known not to exist.

We might always feel right when we look at a situation from our viewpoint. A healthy organisation or relationships are always a collective effort. A collaborative culture can only be fostered by a good leader. A good leader who doesn’t cling to his decision alone but also listens to his people. One who can transform his beliefs with time and works towards benefitting his employees. A leader with a clear mind and one who owns teams failures as much as their success. History has seen such leaders and they all had one thing in common. They were high on spiritual quotient. Understanding Gita will not only make us better individuals but can pave the way in becoming Great Leaders.

Being in the Company of Good is a Concomitant of growing Wise

Wise Sayings:

We can choose to be in the company of Adhama(Inferior), Madhyama(Intermediary) or Uthama(Superior). Our personality will reflect the company we keep.

Even at organizational level, potential successors for critical jobs are mentored and monitored closely by nobody less than the CEO. If you have to be like them, you got to think like them- is the objective of a good succession planning

Likewise,if we wish to live above the mediocrity then we need to seek Uthama Sanga. How do we do it? Seekers of such, needs to develop Satsangam. The power of Discrimination and the Freedom from Delusion only comes with Satsangam.

Sat–Truth   Sangam–Union

See how beautifully has Shakaracharya exalted the value of this association in his Bhajagovindam! (See the diagram below) 

 

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Satsangatvey Nissangatvam; Nissangatvey Nirmohatvam; Nirmohatvey Nischalatatvam; Nischalatatvey Jivanmukti  

Our intellect would evolve further upon reflections and interactions with the wise. Also, we would start living like a Karma Yogi, the merits earned by living such a life will remove any possible roadblocks to the Ultimate.

Bhagavad  Gita says the same in Chapter 10, Shlk 10

Karma yogi, who performs his/her work with Love, not only be Intellect evolved but also progresses on the path of self-realization to the Ultimate.

Be a Goal Getter than a Goal Setter

We have all tasted failure. In spite of having a brilliant goal in mind, there were times when I couldn’t bring it to life. Only upon reflection, understood I lacked some of the very important ingredients to the recipe called Success.

It is a natural instinct to desire success. To succeed we need to take care of the following…

What I lacked primarily is focused thinking. I was more identifying with the final outcome. Alas, Self-fulfilling prophecy would have worked beautifully only had I focused at the journey than the outcome alone.

We could harness all our mental energy towards a desired goal, if we could do focussed thinking. Good example is laser, being a weak source of energy can still drill a hole in a diamond when focused.

Set clear immediate goals to realize the big picture, whether they are weekly, monthly or daily. Plan to reach these within time allotted.

What stops us from achieving our goal is the thought that’ I know it all’. Thereby there would be no learning and we tend to become stagnant. Only an immature mind would make such statement. I feel there is so much to learn here that one life wouldn’t be enough.

A mature mind is always ready to listen. Isn’t there a saying that you learn more when you listen? Everything around, I believe can teach you something good or bad. We just need to be smart to pick the ones we need.

Be sure to spend time in the company of experts .We can end up getting some good insights in our research.

Experimenting always helps. Charles Kettering said’ All human developments, no matter what form it takes, must be outside the rules; otherwise we would never have anything new.’ So do not be afraid to tread the unusual path.

Success or failure both in business and life should be attributed to our Mental Attitudes than to our Mental Capacities. Since we are all blessed with the same mental abilities, we can reach great heights if we believe.

Hard work Hard work and Hard work. Take any success story; you will see huge sacrifices that have lead to their success. Shortcuts will only make us obsolete.

Last but not the least, timely meeting of the milestones set by us will help us see through the journey.

If you look at the workflow below, one leads to another towards your goal.

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Year on Year, I see my 1st year Grad students, all full of energy wanting to get A+ in their subjects. But with each passing semester the determination gets lost somewhere. Self-Determination Theory explains how to overcome this. It is about a healthy way to connecting to both our intrinsic and extrinsic motives towards effectively achieving our goals

Of course, failures do happen. There is nothing to be dejected about. If we haven’t failed we haven’t learnt. It’s good to reflect upon our past mistakes but should abstain from staying there. We might risk the goal itself if we tend to look into the past too much.

Most people often fret over the results, but how you handle it matter just as much. This is where positive thinking would do us good. Every action is bound to have some results. Don’t superimpose your happiness on that. Indentifying self with success or failure will only make you anxious. It’s okay to fail but that should make us more focused to reach that goal in mind.

If we reflect upon our scriptures, they also have the same thing to say.

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We really don’t want to pile up all those negative thoughts. We have enough evidences of go-getters around us. Hard work and perseverance have helped them reach their goals. So, lets stay positive and get what we want in life.