7 Effective Leadership Skills In Valmiki Ramayana – Ep 12

Leadership Skills from Valmiki Ramayana - Kindness

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.

Lord Ram showed compassion to his team and thus was able to enjoy undoubted loyalty and commitment to his cause. Lord Ram’s compassion can be seen from this story.

Lord Ram and the hapless squirrel

Lord Ram’s vanara sena started building the bridge to Sri Lanka as per the design given by the architect Nala and Nila.

One day, Rama saw a small brown squirrel going up and down the seashore with little pebbles in his mouth. The little squirrel could carry only little pebbles at a time in his small mouth. He carried the pebbles from the seashore and dropped them into the sea.

Monkeys were carrying large and heavy stones on their back. Monkeys saw the squirrel coming their way and ridiculed the squirrel. But the squirrel did not give up. He said “I’m helping Rama build the bridge. And I want to work hard for him.” Monkeys laughed at the squirrel on hearing this.

The squirrel did not think this funny at all. He said, “Look, I can’t carry mountains or rocks. God gave me only a little strength. I can only carry pebbles. My heart cries out for Rama, and I’ll do all I can for him,” and continued to focus on his job. Monkeys got angry and one of them picked up the squirrel by his tail and threw him far away. The squirrel, crying out the name of Rama, fell into his hands.

Rama held the squirrel close to him and said to the monkeys, “Do not make fun of the weak and the small. Your strength or what you do is not important. What matters is the determination to contribute and the love and passion in work. O Vanaras, you are brave and strong and are doing a wonderful job bringing all these huge boulders and stones from far and dropping them in the ocean. But did you notice that it is the tiny pebbles and stones brought by this small squirrel and some of the other smaller creatures which are filling the small gaps left between the huge stones? Further, don’t you realize that the tiny grains of sand brought by this squirrel are the ones which bind the whole structure and make it strong?”

Rama continued, “Always remember, however small, every task is equally important. A project can never be completed by the mainline people alone. They need the support of everyone, and however small, an effort should always be appreciated!”

Rama then turned to the squirrel and said softly, “My dear squirrel, I am sorry for the hurt caused to you by my army and thank you for the help you have rendered to me. Please go and continue your work happily.” Saying this, he gently stroked the back of the squirrel with his fingers, and three lines appeared where the Lord’s fingers had touched it. It is said that squirrels are born with three lines on their back after this.

A leader should take care of the interest of everyone in the team and everyone has a task for them in the team as long as they remain committed to the cause.

Lord Ram’s compassion to Sabari Maa is legendary. Lord Ram happily accepted and appreciated half eaten fruits given by Sabari Maa. Great leaders like Lord Ram are not bothered about courtesies, false pretences, gifts, etc. They give consideration only for pure love, passion and commitment.

Our next leadership trait is Gratitude. Gratitude and Compassion are related. Gratitude develops out of compassion and that is probably why Sita mata put compassion in the list of leadership traits ahead of gratitude. More about gratitude in the next episode.



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