Excellence requires rigorous work and determination to work on self and keep moving up gradually in our offerings to others. Bhaartiya Shaastraas offer a wide array of Sutras on how one can consistently work on self. Here are a few of them with insights on how to start and then keep working on it.
क्षतात्किल त्रायते इत्युदग्रः क्षत्रस्य शब्दो भवनेषु रूढः। राज्येन किं तदविपरीतवृत्तेः प्राणैरुपक्रोशमलीमसैर्वा
Raghuvamsam II. 53
The lofty word Kshatra is widely known in the world for it’s derivative Kshatriya – i.e. “one who protects from danger”; of what use is a kingdom to a Leader, who behaves otherwise and of what use is life, which bears a stain of ignominy?
Pandit Kalidas, the great poet philosopher, guides us about the very objective of having a Leader.
He reminds us that the Leader is one responsible for: 1. Preserving the DNA of the organization, 2. Protecting the organization from all kinds of internal and external risks and 3. Making the organization sustainable. The actions of the Leader therefore always have to be enabling the above three. Any actions which contravene these three cause a blot on the organization’s reputation, says the Guru.
Examine how your thoughts, words and actions are adding value to your credibility as a Leader.
प्रमादात द्विषतां वशम् उपयास्यति।
Chanakya Sutra 3.4
Due to negligence or blunders, the Leader renders oneself vulnerable to the adversary.
What a strong caution from Acharya Chanakya, the master strategist of Bhaarat – about the need for total application of both – one’s time and attention.
This insight from the Acharya is hardly surprising as this is an important theme in the Arthashaastra. There is no relaxation for the Leader, rather he/ she has to be ever engaged in strategies (and their execution) for growth – failing which, these are likely to happen – 1. The entire organization becomes complacent 2. Consequently, productivity begins to slide 3. The adversary gains an upper hand and 4. This vicious cycle leads to eventual collapse, says Chanakya.
What are your organizational mechanisms to identify slips early and then correct them?
Kautilya Arthashaastra 1.19.35
Prosperity is rooted in meaningful activity.
What seems like a simple message from Acharya Chanakya, the great master of Governance – is one of the core principles of Leadership.
What the Acharya calls as meaningful activity is at the heart of Leadership – it begins with the purpose of the Leader viz. The greater good of all the stakeholders on a sustained basis. Next, he/ she has to be ever engaged in developing strategies (and their execution) which realizes this purpose through – 1. Converting the purpose to an inspiring vision 2. Aligning the goals of the team with this vision 3. Creating systems and processes which reflect the same vision and 4. Defining success measures, including financial, which brings clarity right upto the last person employed, says Chanakya.
Ponder how, you as a Leader, can operationalize the above four steps?