Lord Rama refused the request from his brother Bharatha to get back to Ayodhya and don the mantle of kingdom and instead asked Bharatha to rule Ayodhya after giving him confidence and valuable leadership suggestions. One sarga in Valmiki Ramayana (2-100), about 65 slokas, is entirely devoted to valuable leadership suggestions.
We covered many lessons in our last episode stopping with Rama’s advice on “Giving right job to the right calibre people (valmiki Ramayan 2-100-25)”. Thiruvalluvar gave a similar learning through this kural
இதனை இதனால் இவன்முடிக்கும் என்றாய்ந்துஅதனை அவன்கண் விடல்.— (குறள் 517: தெரிந்து வினையாடல் அதிகாரம்)
Meaning – Evaluate who will, with what implement, (how and what method), would complete a work and entrust the work to such a person.
Competency Mapping and Delegation
This is an apt definition of ‘Competency Mapping’, ie mapping competency required for a job to skillset and capabilities of the people available so as to ensure that right people are given the job as per their proficiency and interest. Beauty of this kural is that this explains two complex leadership skills ‘Competency Mapping’ and ‘Delegation’ in one kural, just 7 words. Please go back to the meaning of the kural and look at the significance of the highlighted word entrust. Thiruvalluvar in this kural has not just left it to ‘assigning such work’. He goes a step further. The phrase “avan kaN viDal” strongly yet subtly suggests “entrusting”, not interfering in the working methods of the chosen person.
Lessons from Ramayana continues – Quality and not the number matters
कच्चित् सहस्रान् मूर्खाणाम् एकम् इग्च्छसि पण्डितम् |पण्डितो ह्य् अर्थ कृग्च्छ्रेषु कुर्यान् निह्श्रेयसम् महत् || 2-100-22
Meaning – Rama advises Bharath “I hope you solicit for one wise man rather than for a thousand stupids for, a wise man can be of a great help to you in difficult matters.” Quality and not the quantity matters.
Timely recognition and compensation
काल अतिक्रमणे ह्य् एव भक्त वेतनयोर् भृताः |भर्तुः कुप्यन्ति दुष्यन्ति सो अनर्थः सुमहान् स्मृतः || 2-100-33
Meaning – Rama advises Bharath “Servants become incensed against their master and become corrupt if there is delay in getting compensation for the job done; and that is said to be a great unfortunate occurrence.”
Not just compensation. Even, recognition has to be timely. People look for Instant Gratification.
Work Life Balance
This advice from Rama to Bharatha closely aligns to the principles of ‘Work Life Balance’.
कच्चिद् अर्थम् च धर्मम् च कामम् च जयताम् वर |विभज्य काले कालज्न सर्वान् भरत सेवसे || 2-100-63
Meaning – Rama advises Bharath “I hope you pursue wealth (Artha), duties for natural coexistence (Dharma) and pleasure (Kama) dividing them all according to time”
Rama’s advice is with reference to giving time and attention as required to the four purusharthas of Hinduism namely Dharma, Artha, Kama & Moksha. Rama mentioned that a king (applicable to all) must pursue Dharma, Artha as well as Kama dividing attention to all the three of them according to time. This goes against the common perception that Materialistic pursuit and Pursuit of pleasure are to be avoided as per Hinduism philosophy. All the three pursuits ie Dharma, Artha & Kama are essential for living a ‘complete life’ and the trick for an ideal life is in the right mix of Dharma, Artha & Kama as per the time in which it should be sought. Overindulgence in any one pursuit (including Dharma) is not ideal.
This could be extended to ‘Work Life Balance’ which is becoming a big challenge for many executives in current time. Work Life Balance is in fact giving the focus and attention as deserved to materialistic pursuit (Work) and other commitments and pleasure (Life). Single dimension in life cannot result in happy and successful life.
14 negative traits a leader should avoid
Next sloka lists 14 traits a king, essentially a leader, should carefully avoid. What are they? We will see in detail in the next episode.
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