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Back to the Future - Gita and Leadership

by Aarthi Kalyanaraman *

Page - 1

"Because, whatever noble persons do, others follow.
Whatever standard they set up, the world follows."

- (3.21) Bhagavad Gita

Leadership and Management principles are imperative in all organizations, where a group of human beings assemble for a common purpose, through planning, proper management of resources, adopting common policies and practices.

The Bhagavad Gita is not simply a fountain of wisdom for philosophers. It reveals several secrets of leadership and the path to managerial success. The ancient Hindu texts are equal, if not superior, to other management bibles such as 'The Art of War' or 'The Prince'. Written thousands of years ago, the Bhagavad Gita enlightens us on leadership and managerial techniques leading to a balanced state of affairs providing guidance to resolve conflict, poor productivity, absence of motivation and so on - common plagues in enterprises across the globe.

Most of the western management concepts of vision, leadership, motivation, decision making and planning, are all discussed in the Bhagavad Gita. There is, however, one major difference in the approach followed. While western management thought deals with problems at an extrinsic and peripheral level, the Bhagavad Gita tackles the same issues from the subliminal level of human psyche. The Gita preaches that once the basic thought process of man is improved, it will automatically enhance the quality of his actions, and consequently, their results.

The modern management philosophies are oriented towards continuous thirst for profit, irrespective of the quality of the methods adopted to achieve that goal. The 'management by materialism' concept has become the ‘watch-word’ of all the countries the world over, India being no exception to this trend.

We have reached a point in time where the management and workers have become disparate and antithetical entities whose approaches are divergent and interests conflicting. There is no common umbrella enveloping both of them, which predictably leads to constant friction, disillusionment, suspicion and mistrust. The erosion of human values in the organizational structure has resulted in a permanent crisis of confidence.


* Contributed by -
Aarthi Kalyanaraman,
Currently student of PGP-I at BIM, Trichy,
Article published in KRIYA, August'06 Issue, the monthly magazine of the institute.

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