7 Effective Leadership Skills in Valmiki Ramayana – Ep 10 - servant leadership

7 Effective Leadership Skills in Valmiki Ramayana – Ep 10

उत्साहः पौरुषं सत्त्वमानृशंस्यं कृतज्ञता।
विक्रमश्च प्रभावश्च सन्ति वानर राघवे।।
–Valmiki Ramayan 5.37.13।।

Maryadhapurush Ram exhibited seven effective leadership traits which are Enthusiasm, Fearlessness, Goodness, Kindness, Gratitude, Commitment to work and Prowess as told by Sita Maa to Hanuman when Hanuman met her at Ashok Van.

Leadership Quality 3 – अनृशंस्यं Kindness / Compassion

Many ask me how could compassion be a Leadership quality? Many rather think that a good leader has to be a task master and compassion could actually be a weakness for a good leader. Their logic is that compassion could turn out to a problem in getting works done.

Not necessary.

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.   
— Khalil Gibran

Lord Ram proved that a compassionate leader can be an effective task master as well. His simple and primitive monkey sena managed to build a bridge for him across the mighty sea and managed him to win a war against ravana’s powerful army.

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”
Henry James

Lord Krishna highlighted the importance of compassion in this Bhagavad Gita sloka

अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्र: करुण एव च
निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: समदु:खसुख: क्षमी
Bhagavad Gita 12.13||

advehā sarva-bhūtānā maitra karua eva cha
nirmamo nirahankāra
sama-dukha-sukha khamī
— Bhagavad Gita 12.13

advehā—free from malice; sarva-bhūtānām—toward all living beings; maitra—friendly; karua—compassionate; eva—indeed; cha—and; nirmama—free from attachment to possession; nirahankāra—free from egoism; sama—equipoised; dukha—distress; sukha—happiness; khamī—forgiving

Meaning of this sloka :  Lord Krishna to Arjuna – “Those who are free from malice toward all living beings, who are friendly, and compassionate are dear to me”

Being friendly and compassionate to all living beings is important to become close to the god and also important to become successful. A Leader has to be friendly, free from malice and compassionate to his/her team.

Servant Leadership

Ramayan and Bhagavad Gita popularized the concept of compassionate leadership and this has led to the development of a leadership style called #ServantLeadership. Servant leadership” as a concept was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970.

Servant Leadership’ begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

“The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived? “

A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible, essentially a compassionate leader.

Why is compassion a leadership trait?

Being compassionate, develops positive thoughts which is an essential requirement for growth. Being kind to everyone enhances peace, satisfaction, self-actualization & reduces stress.

Being compassionate with the team members, ensures their commitment to the cause. 


Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. Bhogya.online is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in the article.


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