7 Effective Leadership Skills in Valmiki Ramayana – Ep 8

7 Effective Leadership Skills in Valmiki Ramayana – Ep 8

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 – सत्त्वम  Quality of Purity, Goodness, Honesty

We purify our body by cleaning whereas practicing Sattva purifies our mind, intellect and soul.

As per Hinduism philosophy, the body is impermanent whereas the impermeable soul resides inside our body. As per Vishishtadvaita tenets of Hinduism, the soul, jeevathma, resides inside the body and supreme lord, paramathma, resides inside jeevathma. Hence, it becomes our pertinent responsibility to keep the inside clean. How to keep our inside clean? By keeping the evil forces namely Lust, Anger, Greed, Delusionary attachment, Ego & Jealousy away. These enemies make our inner dirty and not worthy of the god. 

We cannot live in a dirty house with stench even for minutes and how can we expect the paramatma, supreme god, to stay in a dirty place.

You might ask me the question, Sattva is a dharmic quality but how is it included here as a leadership trait? There are many reasons why leaders should practice Sattva. Let me give some reasons here.

I had mentioned in the last episode that Sattva, Rajas and Tamas roughly map to Assertiveness, Aggressiveness and Passiveness respectively.

Understanding Assertiveness

Assertive Communication’ is an interplay between how we communicate and how we treat the other person in a conversation. Being assertive in a communication enables you to put forward your ideas, thoughts and opinions by expressing yourself effectively at the same time respecting and listening to other’s opinions.

Let us understand the 4 personality traits in a communication to understand the effectiveness of assertiveness.

I’m ok means I respect myself and feel confident to put forward my thoughts and opinions.

I’m not ok means I am not confident of expressing myself or my ideas.

You’re ok means I respect you, I am interested in your perspective and want to hear it.

You’re not ok means I’m not respecting you, and don’t value your ideas

Aggressive behavior (Rajas) is selfish, rude and controlling, it puts off others. Whilst you might win the conversation you will lose valuable ideas and contribution from others. Suitable only when dealing with troublemakers or during exigencies.

Being Passive (Tamas) means that you’re not respecting yourself and so are not bold enough to express yourself. This results in losing ourselves, our Self Esteem. Suitable only when listening to mentors and teachers.

Being passive-aggressive (Tamas + Rajas) means that you are not respecting yourself by being honest about your point of view, but you are also showing subtly that the other person is in the wrong. Passive-aggressive behaviour makes both you and the other person feel bad. This results in everybody losing.

Being assertive (Sattva) means that you respect yourself enough to put forward your thoughts and suggestions, whilst also respecting the other person and their point of view. You are communicating directly and honestly as well as being kind and likeable. This results in mutual respect and everyone benefits. Only time when assertiveness cannot win is when the other person is a `compulsive aggressor’ which is not a loss anyway.


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