Vedic Principles of leadership
Vedic Leadership is inspiring employees and partners in believing that their success lies in your success there by having alignment of purpose and efforts.
Vedic leadership is a philosophy with deep routed belief in Vedic Dharma, ‘Passion and compassion for others.’ It is not the subject of any specific Vedic text. Rather it reflects values, principles, attitudes and practices that are part of Vedic philosophy. Indian Scriptures envisage sacrifice with compassion, which yields a harmonious living with other humans, animals and the Cosmos leading to a scenario of all being happy.
Sustainability is inversely proportional to degree of efforts required to operate and manage the enterprise. Higher the effort required, lesser the life, whereas lesser the efforts, longer the life. Many enterprises perish soon because the difference of objectives among the various stake holders leads to significant efforts that is required from the leader and the management team, unsustainable in the long run. Hence key to sustainable growth is in finding that magic formula which can help create an enterprise where resistance is minimum while support is maximum. Does this sound possible?
We should learn from the Nature. The natural creations and processes lasts centuries. The magic mantra is to seek alignment of large number of small forces. When multiple small forces pull in one common direction, magical things happen, with little efforts, we get bigger and sustainable success. Happiness for all comes along as a bonus, everyone involved enjoy the journey of togetherness, sharing and caring for each other. Vedic principle of Vasudhaiva kutumbhkam means whole world is a one big single family hence we should live with harmony, caring and sharing with all.
There are two key words in above statement viz alignment and large number of small forces, fortunately both move hand in hand. The same key gets us both.
Alignment towards a common purpose:
- Starting with self: Leader should have his own mind and heart aligned. When our Mind and heart are aligned, our soul, an extension of the Universe inside each one of us, start guiding us, bringing support of Nature along with it. Only a strong belief and conviction in the idea being pursued in the enterprise, leads to this alignment of mind and heart. I call it passion.
- Though it very important as to what we think, but more important is how others thinks about you. Do they trust you? and your intentions? An alignment between words, deeds and behavior is what leads to establishment of a mutual trust. Only a strong belief and conviction in an idea results in a natural and spontaneous behavior, easily noticeable by others leading to mutual trust and respect. It takes long time to establish trust but take very little to break it. And once broken, very difficult and a herculean task to restore.
- Alignment with customers, employees, local community, regulators This is possible only and only when these partners in business trust the intentions of ‘Passion and compassion of others’ sensing their own wellbeing. Alignment is unlikely when each party works towards maximising their own profits and interests. Only a balanced approach toward each of stake holders brings alignment, so essential for growth and sustainability.
- Alignment with Nature occurs when we one rises above the petty self-gain and instead works toward the welfare and wellbeing of others. When the purpose of the enterprise is Dharmic, Nature starts helping, a big boost to success and sustainability.
Second big factor is large number of smaller forces combining to form a big force. I call it embeddedness of stake holders. Larger the number of stake holders who are convinced of the purpose of the enterprise and leader, larger the quantum of resulting force.
- Like Alignment, embeddedness starts with self. Leader should have passion towards the purpose the enterprise exists.
- If your idea is Dharmic and not for self-gain, many will join the journey wishing well and joining hands for your success
- Higher the customer centricity, higher the customer advocacy, a best and cheapest form of advertisement
- Higher the employee engagement, higher force
- Higher the engagement with local community, higher the supporting force
Invest in trust worthy business partners, invest in employees, invest in happiness of local community. More the embeddedness, more the support and blessing for your success
One of Vedic principle is to give out what you seek. One can expect return if you have made investment to begin with. Expecting return without investment is foolish. If you seek respect, respect others. You want success, focus on success of others, you want sustainability of your enterprise, focus on sustainability of employees and partners in business, If you seek happiness, work towards making others happy as we can be happy only when people around us happy. We can’t be happy living in midst of unhappy people.
If we as a leader are seeking happiness, sustainability and growth than that is what we should be giving out to the people associated in our enterprise. A simple formula indeed.
The modern principle of maximizing of profit is quiet contrary to Vedic philosophy. Business is a transaction between two parties and when both parties try to maximize their own gain, a misalignment and a mistrust sets in, risking the sustainability of relationship. Whereas ‘Passion and compassion toward others’ leads to scenario of mutual trust and co-existence where none tries to maximise their own gain by compromising the interest of partner, thereby eliminating friction and challenges that arise due to lack of mutual trust. Others will like you to succeed as that also mean their own success, leading to alignment of efforts and resulting in fulsome outcome with much lessor efforts.
A little passion goes a long way, and a little foresight goes even further.