7 leadership skills - success and failure

7 Effective Leadership Skills in Valmiki Ramayana – Ep 5

Seven effective leadership traits as per Valmiki are

विक्रमश्च प्रभावश्च सन्ति वानर राघवे।।
Valmiki Ramayan 5.37.13।।

These are the traits of Lord Ram as described by Sita Maa to Hanuman when Hanuman met her in Ashoka Van. We are now in second trait POURUSHAM ie manliness / fearlessness.

Anxiety and Worry are quite natural. It is only our response to the anxiety and worry differentiates us from others and makes as natural leaders. Buddhists folklore has a similar story as that of the story we have seen in the last episode ie ‘Misery is the size of your fear’. Let us listen to one more story #TaleOfTwoArrows.


Once a man ventured into a forest and he was struck by an arrow coming from the bow of a Hunter. He was hurt in the arm and he started to bleed. The hunter panicked and ran away. The injured man looked around for help but there was no one to help him. He started worrying — Will I survive?; There has been so much blood loss, will I lose my arm?; How will my family survive after I die? and so on and so forth.

Well, did you notice the second arrow? No? — Well the first arrow was the real arrow shot by the Hunter and the second arrow was self-inflicted coming from the worries. The pain from the second arrow is even more intolerable. The pain from the first arrow is inevitable and inescapable but the pain and suffering from the second arrow is hugely conditional. Second arrow is our response to the pain inflicted by the first arrow.

The thoughts and patterns that arose in his mind are uniquely his worries and concerns. I am not saying, he should have instead thought about his favourite snack or music — that would be a denial of the present reality. However, the worries are not based on facts but on “Could be’s” and “What if’s”, which unfortunately have no grounding in reality.

Imagine he finds his way back to the nearest village or town and gets treated for the injury successfully. He also probably gets a few stitches and is recommended rest for the next month — what happens to all the energy he wasted in the needless overthinking in the moment of crisis?

Sounds familiar? Many of us suffer the pains from an invisible second arrow.

I had to go through a gruelling bypass surgery last week. The pain from the wounds is intolerable but becomes easily manageable once you get the realization that the ‘Pain is inevitable’ and the pain enables you to get a fresh life of happiness and purpose.


Fear of failure is the worst stumbling block for growth. Lord Krishna gives a very interesting and easy tip to overcome Fear Of Failure.


हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम् |
तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चय: ||
Bhagavad Gita 2.37||

Transliteration – hato vā prāpsyasi swargaṁ jitvā vā bhokhyase mahīm

tasmād uttiṣhha kaunteya yuddhāya kita-niśhchaya

Translation – (If you fight) you will either be slain in the battlefield and go to the celestial abodes (as a shatriya dying in battlefield), or you will gain victory and enjoy the kingdom. Therefore, arise with determination, O son of Kunti, and be prepared to fight with determination.

Discussion on ‘Fear of Failure’ will continue in the next episode.


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