Monday, April 30, 2012

Management lessons from Ultimate CEO: Kaschit Geeta

This post is inspired by a chapter i read from a book titled "DROP", which I got from the Chinmay Mission's Temple near Powai lake. The novel is a nice read, a travelogue of five young people who learn and teach with the experiences they have and share during their journey. This blog post is based on a chapter from the book wherein Kaschit Geeta is replayed in a play in the context of the life of a modern businessman and the principles for managements from the Kaschit Geeta are laid bare for us to benefit.

Background: Kaschit Geeta are the words spoken by Lord Ram to his beloved brother Bharat when he came to bring Ram back to Ayodhya on hearing about his exile to the forest. Note the words, they are not spoken of anger or spite or about general sharing of pleasantries, which is what you would expect most people to do. Instead, Lord Rama enquires Bharat about his handling of the kingdom, and implicit in his enquiries are laid the principles of management. Have a read yourself and see if you can apply the principles in your life too.

Lord Ram's words to Bharata Crux of the words
"How are you my dear brother? What brings you here? I hope our father, King Dashrath, is in good health? Are you rendering service to our father? Are our mothers Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra in the pink of health. Do you hold in high esteem the Lord, and also your dependents, elders, kinsmen of your father's age, physicians and your teacher?" Take care of well-being of those who depend on you.
"Getting up regularly everyday do you show yourself well adorned to the people in the assembly hall in the forenoon, O prince?" Be a role model, appropriately dressed and adhere to all office norms, fresh and ready to start the day and inspire others.
"Has a man of your state, who is learned, clever, ready-witted and capable of delivering messages correctly, nay, who is able to distinguish between right and wrong been appointed by you as an ambassador, O Bharata?" Choose a right-hand who knows what is right, and can distinguish it from wrong.
"I hope you neither deliberate alone nor take counsel of too many. I hope the decision arrived at by you through deliberation with your counselors does not reach the public before it is carried out." Choose your advisers carefully, take advise from few trusted people qualified in their domain.

"I hope you distribute daily provisions and disburse the monthly salary due to your employees at the opportune time in a suitable manner and do not defer payment." Value your employees, make them feel appreciated and recognized.
"Are the forests, which are the home of elephants, preserved by you? Are the milk-cows in abundance with you?" Be socially responsible.

"Is your income sufficiently large to meet your expenses and your expenditure comparatively less? I hope your wealth does not go to undeserving men." Balance your books, do not go beyond your means.
"I hope you do not partake by yourself of food nicely cooked. I hope you offer it to friends who seek it." Share your wealth. Give employees pay hikes to make them feel part of company progress.
"I hope you remain ever mindful of your enemies expelled and since returned, even thought they are weak, O destroyer of foes!" Know the competition to develop a competitive edge.

"In an unhappy contention between and affluent and a feeble man, icon of Raghu, do your ministers of vast learning, judge the case impartially?" Have an objective look by not being partial or prejudiced.
"I hope you do not cause interruption in your religious practices by your excessive devotion to wealth." Do not be too consumed by material desires to forget the goals of life.

"Having obtained his share and ruled in the right way over the entire globe, a wise kshatriya holds sway over the earth, and administering justice to the people -- quite in consonance with righteousness -- surely ascends to heaven when detached from his body."

NOTE: I do not claim copyright over the words of the book, they were spoken by Lord Rama and the produced in the novel DROP. This blog should fall under the "fair use" exemption of the novel.

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