Srimad Bhagavad Gita in Modern Management
Continued from Part XLI
While unraveling the priceless marvel and gems of Srimad Bhagavad Gita in the previous parts, it was pointed out that this treaty not only contains the essence of the four Vedas and principal Upanishads revealing the supreme spiritual truth of universe but also encompasses complete philosophy of human life and how it should be regulated and managed. From this point of view, it carries an eternal and everlasting knowledge and wisdom on religion, spirituality, Dharma (righteous duty), and other mundane aspects of human life. Unlike holy books of some popular religions, it is neither coercive nor restrictive; instead, it is inclusive of all-encompassing wisdom, knowledge, truth, glory, virtues and unexplored mysteries for the entire mankind. In that context, Gita carries necessary wisdom and practical tips too for healthy administration and management of the human resources and work in any forward looking modern organization.
Administration and Management
In common parlance, the administration refers to running an organization, office or business by creating and application of sound rules & regulations, making needful decisions, managing the functions and operations involving necessary staff/employees/people towards achieving the laid down organizational objective and goals. An administrator has the responsibility of putting in place a viable structure with constant monitoring to ensure that the administrative activities within the organization are run efficiently, effectively and economically. On the other hand, the management is basically the organization and coordination of the activities of the organization, office or business in order to accomplish the defined objective and goals. It comprises of all connected functions and activities related to planning, organizing, directing and controlling organizational resources, manpower and material, in order to achieve laid down objectives. In the modern age, with advancing technology and its gainful exploitation in day-to-day routine functions, the distinction between the aforesaid two terms is increasingly getting mixed and obfuscate in various organizations.
Though terms administration and management are often mixed and interpreted together by many but the fine line of distinction between the two could be that the former is more concerned with the overall health of the organization including laying down the policies and objectives, and planning and organizing functions, while the latter is concerned directing and guiding plans and functions focusing on managing people and work. While administration broadly encompasses the process of effectively running the entire organization, the management shall be taken as skill of getting the work done from the people engaged. The term management is now getting more focused in executive role and different kinds of managers are increasingly associated with planning, control, coordination, motivation, organizing and decision-making bringing 5M’s together i.e., manpower, machines, material, money and method in organizations.
Analogy: Arjuna in Kurushetra Vs Manager in Organization
When the mighty armies of Kauravas and Pandavas were strategically stationed in Kurushetra and the ferocious war was about to begin, Arjuna requested Shree Krishna to place the chariot in the centre of the battlefield. Seeing his venerated elders like Bhishma, Drona, all the kings and near relatives, overcome with deep compassion and grief, Arjuna loses his courage and serenity with mouth getting dry and limbs weakened. He almost gives up the idea of fighting and killing mighty warriors and own kith and kin merely for personal lust of kingdom, power and pleasures. Then he casts aside his bow and arrows and sinks into the hinder part of the chariot. At this stage, Shree Krishna tells Arjuna to relinquish his infatuation and unmanliness, reminds him of the righteous duty of a Kshatriya prince and to fight the imminent war to establish Dharma. Almost every manager at his workplace faces somewhat similar despondency or dilemma during the life some time or other.
What followed next was an allegory of ethics and morality in the form of Srimad Bhagavad Gita embodying the essence of the Vedas and Upanishads unraveling the supreme spiritual truth and complete philosophy of life answering all relevant questions of human lives and existence inter alia including the eternal ethical and moral struggles of human life on diverse subjects including righteous duty (Dharma) and action (Karma). A manager who is novice in a job or even accomplished and experienced one in an organization at times face situation somewhat analogous to what the despondent and crestfallen Arjuna experienced at the Kurushetra. As Arjuna sought guidance or support from Shree Krishna to overcome his infatuation, so an employee or manager seeks and learns from his experienced superiors or skilled trainers in any organization. The state of mind of such people is best illustrated and is self-explanatory in the following verses.
Chanchalam hi manah krishna pramathi balavad dridham,
Tasyaham nigraham manye vayor iva su-dushkaram.
(O Krishna, the mind is very restless, turbulent, tenacious and powerful. It appears to me that it is difficult to control as the wind.) (BG: Chapter 6, Verse 34)
Shri Bhagavan uvacha
Asanshayam maha-baho mano durnigraham chalam,
Abhyasena tu kaunteya vairagyena cha grihyate.
(Lord Krishna said: O mighty-armed, son of Kunti, there is no doubt; the mind is restless, and difficult to restrain. But by practice and detachment, it can be controlled.) (BG: Chapter 6, Verse 35)
Bhagavad Gita and Management Concept
Be it a personal or professional matter of human life, concepts of management have relevance everywhere as long the people are to deal with multiple factors like personnel, material and financial resources within some set priorities of timeframe, policies, planning and execution. A good management basically utilizes all components in a schematic and systematic way to achieve harmony and equilibrium in executing all related activities to garner optimum results in consonance with the organizational objective and goals. Lack of proper management creates confusion and disorder in operation, and in turn causes failure leading to wastage, ruin and desolation. The terms management itself begins with syllable ‘man’ that signifies the importance of the role of people in any organization, who are key behind the use and execution of all remaining components. Those who have even little knowledge of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, would also know that the central theme of this treaty is Karmayoga i.e. action in an effective and efficient manner, further supplemented with devotion (Bhaktiyoga) and knowledge (Jnanyoga).
In the context of the Bhagavad Gita, effectiveness is doing the right things and efficiency relates to do things right. While in the context of Karmayoga, Gita emphasizes on Karma (action) as per universal Dharma (righteous duty) as personal goal in life as well as in discharge of worldly commitments in a detached fashion, and the same principles are applicable to an efficient and effective management of any modern organization too. The cardinal philosophy of the right to work without fear or favour, prejudice or passion and avoiding personal gratification and reward is explained with ample illustrations in Chapters 2 and 3 of the treaty. It goes without saying that the treaty provides a high level of motivation and direction else how would despondent and depressed Price Arjuna overcome his trepidation, phobia and mental agony in going to war against the potential adversaries, who were mighty kings and warriors of other powerful kingdoms, elders like Bhishma, Drona and Kripacharya besides many kith and kin. Gita indeed provides a host of eternal and ageless precepts and paradigms for the modern management.
Yoga-sthah kuru karmani sangam tyaktva dhananjaya,
Siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhutva samatvam yoga uchyate.
(Be steadfast in the performance of your duty, O Arjun, abandoning attachment to success and failure. Such equanimity is called Yog.) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 48)
In the aforesaid verse, Shree Krishna asked Arjuna to develop a sense of equanimity which is an essential virtue of a cool and composed personality that remains equally detached in success or failure. This would be an exemplary and quintessential attribute of any manager or leader. According to scriptures, three gunas - Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, in various permutations and combinations make a man; and the one who has achieved equanimity of mind, would transcendent even all these gunas. The following two verses encompass important attributes that every manager or leader must acquire for success in his (or her) workplace.
Sama-duhkha-sukhahh sva-sthah sama-loshtashma-kanchanah,
Tulya-priyapriyo dhiras tulya-nindatma-sanstutih.
Manapamanayos tulyas tulyo mitrari-pakshayoh,
Sarvarambha-parityagi gunatitah sa uchyate.
(Those who are alike in happiness and distress; who are established in the self; who look upon a clod, a stone, and a piece of gold as of equal value; who remain the same amidst pleasant and unpleasant events; who are intelligent; who accept both blame and praise with equanimity; who remain the same in honor and dishonor; who treat both friend and foe alike; and who have abandoned all enterprises – they are said to have risen above the three gunas.) (BG: Chapter 14, Verses 24-25)
From the management point of view, the Bhagavad Gita offers deep insight on work, action and efficiency in the beginning (Chapters 2 and 3), which could serve as an ideal wisdom and learning for the modern managers, particularly in corporate working. Of course, this learning would require deep concentration and able guidance of a guru (teacher) in many cases. Shree Krishna essentially postulated four ingrained principles: (a) Every doer has the right of action; (b) the doer has no control over the outcome or fruits of action; (c) the doer has no control on the root causes of the fruits of action; and (d) there is no choice to be jubilant in inaction. Shree Krishna also ruled out the state of inaction by a doer in the light of the first three.
In respect of action and inaction, Shree Krishna blessed Arjuna with the following advice:
Niyatam kuru karma tvam karma jyayo hyakarmanah
Sharira-yatrapi cha te na prasiddhyed akarmanah.
(You should thus perform your prescribed Vedic duties, since action is superior to inaction. By ceasing activity, even your bodily maintenance will not be possible.) (BG: Chapter 3, Verse 8)
Here the Vedic duties are what is prescribed as Dharma and Karma in scriptures i.e. righteous duty and action. The righteous duty of every manager would be to sincerely work as per the duties assigned by his superiors in the organization in an effective and efficient manner. As every work lead to some organizational productivity, it is always desirable to work rather than sitting idle or not to work. Inaction is neither good for the self nor it helps the organization in any way.
Tasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samachara,
Asakto hyacharan karma param apnoti purushah.
(Therefore, giving up attachment, perform actions as a matter of duty, for by working without being attached to the fruits, one attains the Supreme.) (BG: Chapter 3, Verse 19)
Karmany-evadhikaras te ma phaleshu kadachana,
Ma karma-phala-hetur bhur ma te sango ’stvakarmani.
Durena hy-avaram karma buddhi-yogad dhananjaya,
Buddhau sharanam anvichchha kripanah phala-hetavah.
(You have a right to perform your assigned duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction. O Arjun, seek solace in divine knowledge and insight, and discard reward-seeking actions that are certainly inferior to works performed with the intellect based Divine knowledge. They are greedy who seek to enjoy the fruits of their works.) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 47, 49)
Bhagavad Gita insists on performing action as righteous duty without attachment to the fruits. Basically when anybody works, it always has two aspects; one is the external activity as visible to everyone, while the other is the internal attitude of the person suo moto not apparent outside. For example, there are two mangers engaged in production in two different units of the same factory. One works with a craving for higher salary and perks which is not forthcoming, so he has a routine and careless attitude towards the production activities leading to average output. The other manager puts in his best to maximize production because he considers the assigned work as his bonafide duty without linking it salary and perks received. Both are working full time and the external work appear same but the production is more in the second case due to the other manager’s positive internal attitude.
Krishna insists on non attachment to the fruits of action because when the work is done without nurturing any desires, the efforts and energies are focused on one goal, and it becomes easier to attain it. On the other hand, the mind of the desire-driven person is crowded and unfocused due to several obvious and hidden goals. With the mind wandering in all directions in such case, the chance of success becomes dismal. This is an imporatant learning lesson for every leader and manager.
Vyavasayatmika buddhirekeha kurunandana,
Bahusakha hyanantasca buddhayo'vyavasayinam.
(O Arjun, in detached action, the intellect is determinate and directed singly towards one ideal; whereas the intellect of the undecided wanders in all directions, after innumerable aims.) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 61)
When Shree Krishna asked Arjuna to invoke the divine knowledge and insight discarding the reward-seeking attitude towards the work, he basically taught him to evolve to higher levels of consciousness. This is what any manager should imbibe while serving an organization. With the higher level of consciousness, the person would naturally discard the greed for enjoying the fruits of work and focus in the direction of what is known as the righteous duty. Perhaps the best example of this spirit could be the famous American Businessman Bill Gates, the erstwhile Chairman and CEO, of the Microsoft Corporation, who made revolution in software by taking the company among the top successful corporations in the world and then renounced his position to work full-time at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a private charitable foundation in the service of society. This is possible only when the person achieves higher consciousness and works in a detached manner keeping the pleasure of God in mind.
The Gita talks of "detachment" from the “fruits of actions” performed during the course of work as the righteous duty. When a manager works, he should be working for the excellence of the work only; instead, if one always thinks of what he (or she) will receive in lieu of putting so much of efforts, it is bound to impact his performance adversally. In such case, his quality of performance is bound to be low due to constant mental anxiety driven by his greed and so will be his contribution and output for the organization. On the contrary, if one puts in his best efforts to maximize the output for the organization without keeping an eye on personal return, he is often rewarded with even higher benefits in terms of remuneration or promotion in recognition of his contribution. This is indeed possible for the reasons of “cause and effect” that makes doer responsible for the consequences of his deeds. Therefore, just because the things may not always work to our calculations or expectations, we should not compromise our positive energy and work commitment to an uncertain future; this is true in all walks of life including any manager’s work in his organization.
For the aforesaid reasons, Shree Krishna asks Arjuna to do his duty without any attachment to the fruits of his actions. Here the righteous call of duty was to fight like a true Kshatriya warrior against enemies who were own elders, kith and kin, without any prejudice or attachment for the redressal of grave injustice caused to Pandavas. Shree Krishna declared it a holy war against the injustice of Kauravas that should be fought by Arjuna without any fear for the profit or loss as also irrespective of the victory or defeat in pursuance of the righteous duty. This shall be taken as a model lesson in he management of modern institutions because everyone is bound to Karma and its aftereffects. Even mundane good deeds add to one’s Karma leading to material rewards which might also add to a manager’s satisfaction; however, the read good deed is one which is done as one’s Dharma (righteous duty) without any desire for material reward or return.
Attributes of Good Manager
A good manager is one who has the qualities of an effective leadership, good communication skill and sound knowledge that comes with constant learning and the experience of working in a professional environment. Even good communication skill cannot be achieved without adequate knowledge of the subject and its dissemination in the environment through constant interaction with own team and clientele. Shree Krishna advises Arjuna as under in this regard.
Yaj jnatva na punar moham evam yasyasi pandava,
Yena bhutanyasheshena drakshyasyatmanyatho mayi.
(Following this path and having achieved enlightenment from a Guru, O Arjun, you will no longer fall into delusion. In the light of that knowledge, you will see that all living beings are but parts of the Supreme, and are within me.) (BG: Chapter 4, Verse 35)
Na hi jnanena sadrisham pavitramiha vidyate,
Tatsvayam yogasansiddhah kalenatmani vindati.
(In this world, there is nothing as purifying as divine knowledge. One who has attained purity of mind through prolonged practice of Yog, receives such knowledge within the heart, in due course of time.) (BG: Chapter 4, Verse 38)
In the aforesaid verses, Krishna insists on the divine knowledge that relates to the Supreme Reality but nonetheless it is equally applicable to mundane life in its day-to-day working. Be it a spiritual life or mundane managerial job, enlightenment in the form of acquisition of knowledge removes all illusions and misconceptions. Ignorance is illusory while the knowledge has a power to change our perspective and vision of the world in right manner. Besides, it has a potential to purify, elevate, liberate and synergize one’s mind not only with positive energies and thoughts but also with a potential to unite the person with God. The aforesaid knowledge comprises of the theoretical information and practical realization; the former comes by reading books and hearing from teacher(s) while the latter is acquired through constant practice at workplace. This is true for the divine knowledge as also equally applicable for the mundane (worldly) knowledge of any working manager. Thus theoretical information is incomplete in itself without the sadhana or regular practice in accordance with the theory. Shree Krishna says that the knowledge attained by realization from within through the practice of Yoga (practice) is far superior to theoretical knowledge of the scriptures (theory).
A successful manager is also well organized in his thought and action, meticulous in time management, and reliable and trustworthy to his team workers. Its like “walk your talk”: if he is punctual and regular, other employees will be inspired to be so; then, by prioritising his time, he can make sure that he spends reasonablt time for fellow workers and accomplishing targets set for a period. He must be confident, considerate towards other employees and a believer of more delegation for the optimized output. The aforesaid virtues can be acquired by a person who is mentally stable and strong as also has a cool temperament. Shree Krishna has accorded high value for mind control to achieve requisite strength and stability. Though he addressed it to Arjuna, but it is a message for the humanity and more relevant to the modern management practices. Many verses of the Gita are dedicated to these attributes and virtues, two of which are referred to in the beginning and a few more are illustrated here.
Shree Krishna says:
Asanyatatmana yogo dushprapa iti me matih,
Vashyatmana tu yatata shakyo ’vaptum upayatah.
(Yog is difficult to attain for one whose mind is unbridled. However, those who have learnt to control the mind, and who strive earnestly by the proper means, can attain perfection in Yog. This is my opinion.) (BG: Chapter 6, Verse 36)
In the aforesaid verse, “yog” relates to the righteous duty of a person which cannot be understood and attained with an uncontrolled and unrestrained mind. A manager who has not learnt to discipline the mind and senses can neither focus on his tasked action nor mobilize resources to acheive the set goal. Any person who attaches more importance to the material happiness, remains engrossed in the gratification of the own senses, and can not focus on his work and objectives of the organization served. In a way, the material desires and consequent gratification is like eczema; more one indulges in them, cravings become more intense and the situation becomes worse. Therefore, a strong and stable mind is one, which has completely restrained senses from their objects.
Nasti buddhir-ayuktasya na chayuktasya bhavana,
Na chabhavayatah shantir ashantasya kutah sukham.
(An undisciplined person, who has no control over the mind and senses, can neither have a resolute intellect nor steady contemplation. For one who never unites the mind with supreme goal, there is no peace; and how can there be happiness for one lacking peace of mind?) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 66)
In management, a sound mental health of the managers is very essential because such a mind can easily maintain calm, consistency, elegance and poise with favourable vibes, and can quickly return back to normal even if temporarily unsettled by the external stimuli due to vagaries of work. On the other hand, the negative attributes such as greed, ego, envy, suspicion, anguish, and consequent dissatisfaction and anger, can easily ruin the peace of mind counterproductive to any manager’s performance at work.
Krodhad bhavati sammohah sammohat smriti-vibhramah,
Smriti-bhranshad buddhi-nasho buddhi-nashat pranashyati.
(Anger leads to clouding of judgment, which results in bewilderment of the memory. When the memory is bewildered, the intellect gets destroyed; and when the intellect is destroyed, one is ruined) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 63)
The mind crowded with negative attributes and thoughts is unable to decipher right and wrong with the surge of emotions, thereby the judgments are invariably impaired. It’s a chain reaction as the downward slide of such person with perplexed mind continues; the perplex mind ruins memory which, in turn, destroys intellect; as the intellect is internal counselor and chaperone, when it is destroyed, the person is completely ruined. In Gita, this path of descent from divinity to impiety has been described from contemplation on the sensory objects to the destruction of the intellect. Hence Shree Krishna advises:
Uddhared atmanatmanam natmanam avasadayet,
Atmaiva hyatmano bandhur atmaiva ripur atmanah.
(Elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the self.) (BG: Chapter 6, Verse 5)
Management Efficiency and Effectiveness
While mind control and knowledge are the prerequisites for a good yogi (doer) or manager but his managerial efficiency and effectiveness ultimately depends on his attitude towards the work, commitment that he shows at the workplace in organization and the results that he delivers through his work and commitment. Gita has important management lessons in regard to efficienct and effectiveness of managing resources through optimal use. For illustration, when the Mahabharata was about to begin and both Kauravas and Pandavas were seeking support of other mighty kingdoms in the Akhand Bharatvarsha (United Bharat). Shree Krishna gave option to Duryodhana and Arjuna to choose between his army and himself; while the former opted for the huge army of Yadvas while the latter settled for Krishna on his side. Then we all know that Pandavas merely became tools or medium, it was actually Krishna’s wisdom and war strategies that actually decided the outcome of the Mahabharata at Kurushetra. So it is not the quantity or manpower that really matters but the wisdom and strategy behind that determines success of any venture.
(a) Attitude Towards Work
Many people may be deployed on similar job but they might have different perspectives. For illustration, a new enterpreneuer starts a toy factory and engages skilled workers for the job. After a few days in the workshop, he asks same question to some of them about ‘what they were doing’. The first one says that he is working to earn livelihood for his family, the second one tells him that he is working hard to produce more to earn incentive while the third worker responds with gleaming eyes that he is working with a spirit to produce best toys to earn name and fame for the factory in the toy business. Needless to mention, the visionary perspective of the third worker is what is required for a healthy business, growth and expansion, and it is this visionary perspective at work is what has been stressed by Shree Krishna in this treaty at many places.
(b) Commitment to Work
A manager’s commitment is best illustrated in the verse 47 of second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, where Shree Krsihna tells Arjuna that the person has a right to do the assigned duties, but he cannot claim right on the fruits of actions. Commitment to work implies 'work for the sake of work' and it should never be done with any greedy motive of promotion or perk. Once performance is linked with anticipated benefits, anxieties take over the mind due to vagaries if work and the quality of performance invariably suffers. So Gita teaches to work with equipoised mind and not to compromise the commitment to an unforeseeable and uncertain future.
Karma-jam buddhi-yukta hi phalam tyaktva manishinah,
Janma-bandha-vinirmuktah padam gachchhanty-anamayam.
(Wise men possessing an equipoised mind, renouncing the fruits of action that binds the man to samsara, attain the state beyond all sufferings.) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 51)
(c) Delivery of Result
Likewise the attitude and commitment, Gita deals with the result of detached actions equally philosophically in the last Chapter 18 (Verses 13-15). It lists out five contributory factors for the accomplishment of all actions. These are the doer, body, organs of different kinds, functions of manifolds and the destiny itself.
Adhishthanam tatha karta karanam cha prithag-vidham,
Vividhash cha prithak cheshta daivam chaivatra panchamam.
(The body, the doer, the various senses, the many kinds of efforts, and Divine Providence - these are the five factors of action.) (BG: Chapter 18, Verse 14)
In the aforesaid verse, the word adhishthanam means “place of residence” and karta means “soul”. The former refers to the human body and the latter is doer, and actions can be performed only when the soul (doer) is situated in the body. Although the action is performed through the body but it is the soul which triggers and inspires the body-mind-intellect mechanism with the inset life force to act. Then the sensory and working organs as also the divine providence have their own role and contribution; and, therefore, any single factor is not responsible for the resultant success or failure. Philosophically, the same concept is applicable to the accrued results in any organization with interplay of so many factors such manpower, labour, material, machines, finance and allied aspects involved. Therefore, a manager’s duty is to put in his best efforts to bring in all things together to work. In such case, if the result of his sincere efforts is a failure, the entire blame does not accrue to him alone.
(d) Equipoised in Success and Failure
In essence, a manager who has put in his sincere efforts in discharge of his righteous duty should remain equiposed in success and failure. The following verse of the Bhagavad Gita explains this beautifully and absolves the person from fault (sin) in such case.
Sukha-duhkhe same kritva labhalabhau jayajayau,
Tato yuddhaya yujyasva naivam papam avapsyasi.
(Fight for the sake of duty, treating alike happiness and distress, loss and gain, victory and defeat. Fulfilling your responsibility in this way, you will never incur sin.) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 38)
As multiple factors (including destiny or unforeseen) are involved in any success or failure, people should have faith in sincere actions, and whatever results come their way, it should be taken as will of God and accepted with equanimity.
The Ultimate Management Fundamentals of Gita
The dejected and dispirited state of Arjuna in not an unique or execeptional situation; instead, it is a common human situation that people so often confront in personal and professional life. Such contingency comes like a crossroad where depending upon the right or wrong choice of the person, he may overcome the predicament to reach goal or end up in ruin. In Kurushetra, it was the inspiring discourse of the words of wisdom and knowledge that motivated Arjuna's mind from the state of recoil and withdrawal to the state of readiness and righteous action. Every soul has a hidden and infinite potential energy, and it is possible to synergise and motivate this energy to produce best possible result through righteous intense action. When Arjuna got over his weakness and was ready for action with the revelation of Shree Krishna, the synergy and motivation thus achieved by Arjuna was not for any personal gratification but for the larger objective of defeating the forces of injustice and untruth for good. Similar synergy and motivation among the managers and workers in any organization may produce wonders for the success of any venture or set goal.
Among many teachings, Shree Krishna describes in the Gita how to control the mind to achieve equanimity as the greatest achievement of life. Krishna did not use any weapon, yet he controlled each and every activity to turn the table in favour of Pandavas during Mahabharata. He preached Arjuna to stay away from negative emotions including anger; Queen Gandhari cursed him with destruction of his entire clan, which was an extreme offence and provocation, but he accepted it with a smile setting a paradigm of “walk your talk” by remaining equipoised in all situations. Among all incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Shree Krishna is considered to be the most complete one that of a true Karmayogi. Therefore, he is also better known as Yogeshwar Shree Krishna. Hence the teachings of Shree Krishna in Srimad Bhagavad Gita and his life itself is a perfect guide for every modern nation, organization or individual manger to live professional and personal life in an effective and efficient way.
Then the most critical question in every manager’s mind could be how to achieve effectiveness and efficiency in their job. The Bhagavad Gita answers this basic question at numerous places by repeated advise of "managing self by right attitude, total commitment and equanimity of mind. Through these measures, the requisite level of excellence could be achieved else the person is likely to remain as a mediocre in the crowd. The modern age is very competitive, hence management has become a part of routine life everywhere, be it home, office, factory, or any other establishment where people assemble for a common purpose or work. Even in government functioning, the erstwhile predominance of administrative functioning has been gradually replaced by management practices. As the life of Shree Krishna truly reflects and Gita teaches, things are best managed by those who practise what they preach. This is one of the best leadership qualities prescribed in the Gita for an effective management.
As explained earlier too, the Bhagavad Gita is not merely a religious treaty; instead, Gita is the most valuable treaty on moral and ethical teachings as also the righteous duty and action, and Shree Krishna is the greatest teacher to be emulated by all. By the time Mahabharata started, Prince Arjuna had already established paradigms of excellent talent and skill as true Kshatriya warrior on several occasions but his current despondent state was typically very human like due to the lack of needful motivation and direction that Krishna provided him in the Kurushera. In the very beginning of this discourse, Krishna addresses him with the following motivational verse.
Klaibyam ma sma gamah partha naitat tvayyupapadyate,
Kshudram hridaya-daurbalyam tyaktvottishtha parantapa.
(O Arjun, it does not befit you to yield to this unmanliness. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O vanquisher of enemies.) (BG: Chapter 2, Verse 3)
Here manliness is the symbol of man's potential energy and action. What Shree Krishna did to Arjuna in the battlefield, typically all organized services are doing to their managers and employees as modern management concept these days by imparting professional and on-job training before deploying them on actual work assignment. The talent and skill without necessary motivation and direction is futile or less productive. Krishna precisely did same with “Gita Gyan” for very capable yet uncertain Arjuna, which is available in the form of an ageless treaty as a complete management guide in the modern age. Although the elder Prince Bhima was formally leading the Pandavas army but actually Krishna-Arjuna duo played the stellar role in war, and fought and defeated major warriors on the enemy side. Likewise irrespective of who is the formal head of the organization, a true manager would shine and contribute to the success of an organization.
Shree Krishna is also remembered as Yogeshwar Krishna because of his complete personality and mastery of Karmayoga while constantly practicing what he preached others in managing self by sticking to righteous path. Modern day managers have quite a lot to learn from the teachings of Gita and personality attributes of Yogeshwar Krishna. Every leader or manager cannot become Krisna but he (or she) can certainly try to emulate him by imbibing some of his virtues. Some of the attributes of the true manager or leader are: Follow Dharma or righteous duty in all situations; be equipoised and never lose cool of mind or act irrationally; establish long term vision and goal for self and organization; be committed to efficiency and effectiveness; be detached in action as emotional attachment is bound to affect work; exercise flexibility in talking and listening to everyone; be accessible to public and own people; be perseverant, no point in brooding over mistakes and failures; render unflinching support to what you stand for; best manager is one who stays away from limelight and leads from behind; never mix personal and professional life; and lastly, freely disseminate your wisdom and knowledge with others.
To be continued...