Friday, August 11, 2017

Management Lessons from Mahabharata

Mahabharata, an epic from India, with many characters depicting certain qualities for us to learn from. For those who haven't read the epic can read here. I am going to assume that you know the story, characters and the sequence of events in this epic

What can we learn from:

1. Dhritarashtra
             - A leader should always have a vision (futuristic) and be able to take decision based on what is right (no partiality). This is one reason for Vidura to opt for Pandu as the King first.
             - Leader cannot use emotions or personal attachments while deciding for the general administration of the company
             - It's important to analyze the bad omens (at least when well-wishers suggest) and correct your decisions if it proves wrong (strategy / decisions could go wrong)
             - Always inculcate the right virtues to the best of your ablilities to all juniors and then assess who can take your role in future
             - Leader should not be partial in his decision making we could lose out some good employees / candidates to our competitors
             - As a leader, do not be a spectator to any wrong-doing happening in the company. Better to nip it in the bud or consult seniors / team to attain better solutions
             - Responsibilities of a particular position should always be of prime importance than anything else
             - Today we shall not have the ability to see future, but what epic teaches us is that the leader could change course and correct things at least when things start to show negative signs
             - Gauge the role and ablities of the competitor before making your strategy.
             - One needs to assess, which person in team has a higher say and why (e.g. Krishna)
             - Identify the negative character in your team / company and remove him to avoid debacles in future

2. Kurukshetra War
             - Try to tap new opportunities instead of simply focusing on killing your competition.
             - If your competition dies, there is only a smaller growth in your business because there would be another one in a short while
             - While working on a big project, it is good to extend to other people who can contribute in whatever way or portions
             - Share your responsibilities when you have a huge target. It is good to have different people looking after different departments and answerable for their own tasks
             - It's important to have a good team that gels nicely. More importantly, all the team members should be given due consideration while making decisions
             - Kauravas had individual motives but they could not help the group motivated enough. Only Duryodhana wanted war. While Pandavas they worked towards a common goal.
             - Commitment is very important. Make sure the common goal is achieved even if it means keeping the personal goals pending.
             - Put the right people at the right places. If the managers or team leaders are not able to inspire or provide directions, the team won't function effectively
             - It's important to tap the potential of all employees irrespective of the gender. Masculine traits of aggression and dominance should be balanced with harmony and sustenance of women.
             - Once you’re up for a challenge, do not back out. If you’re going to manage a team, you better know what role they suit the best and use them well.
             - Keep learning over the period of every role, you never know when that would be useful.
             - Emotions, pain and mode of execution does not matter, Success matters.

3. Bheeshma
             - Never take a decision without analyzing the long term effect of that on all stake holders. Impact analysis is crucial when it comes to decision making
             - Create a distinct identity amongst, to be regarded by people at all levels and ensure one's only allegiance is towards righteousness.
             - Stay put at your decision at all times and fight for it, if you conscience is positive. Stand for the core values and ethics.
             - Always take a graceful exit and decide at the right time when to exit

4. Ekalavya
             - You can achieve your goals even if the best rejects you.
             - Never ruin your prospects for the sake of emotion. Attain your goal nevertheless.
             - Gather information about the competitor before throwing even a stone at

5. Karna
             - Never give away the hard earned skills, which you know shall be important to attain success
             - Do not hide the truth to fellow team members, keep transparency as the motto of governance
             - When you see many things going against you, it is best to retract and hide until time comes positive for you
             - Be loyal, but raise your voice if you feel something is wrong.
             - Never take a decision without analyzing the long term effect of that on all stake holders.
             - Example for misjudgement and how that renders all the fine qualities of an individual futile.

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