MBAs everywhere! : Management lessons from Ganesha and other Gods

MBAs -everywhere!How Gods are fitted into!*


For the past 25 to 30 years people talk of management in daily life. Even a kindergarten boy talks of his dream of becoming MBA.From rearing a child to managing the kitchen, leading a life within means,maintaining relationship even with foes -everything comes under management.Women who were addressed as 'SIT AT HOME MOMS' are referred to as 'Home Managers .

There are about 70 to 80 courses offered under management.It ranges from Agricultural management,Athletic Administration,Aviation management,Bio management,,compliance management, Crisis management,construction management,( Real Estate),corporate Finance, Crime and Fraud management,Energy management,Event management( as that of Shri Chandraiah's expertise as revealed yesterday),Facility management and Faculty management, Fashion management,Financial management and Forest management, Global health management,Health Information Technology,Health care services and Hospital management,Hotel managemnt Hospitality and Tourism management.Not to speak of HR ( Human Resource management )Industrial Management,Information Technology and Security management,Infrastructure management, Innovation management,Investment management,Medical management, Music management,Natural Resource management,Nursing Management, Operations management,Pharma management,Political management and Public Administration,Social media management, Sports management and marketing,

Supply Chain management ,whatsapp management and wild life management.The list is pretty long.

Of late all the business  schools  even as famous as Warten,Stanford,MIT and Harvard don't hesitate to include the  Hindu mythological stories and attribute the managerial technical terms to the erstwhile anecdotes from the life Of Rama, krishna, Skanda,Hanuman and Ganesha.When my son was doing MBA in Stanford ,he was talking more about Hanuman,than he used to, while in India.


Encapsulated in a magnificent form, Lord Ganesha's each body part and everything associated with him depicts mantras of success which are essential for overcoming professional life challenges.
He is entitled as the god of the good beginning and wisdom. Also, he is associated with the ability of solving problems and removing all obstacles. It is in his name devotees begin new ventures and take important decisions in life. 
He demonstrates important traits that each aspiring leader should inculcate in order to succeed. 

Big Head of Lord Ganesha represents big thinking and enlightened mind filled with wisdom and Knowledge. 
Small eyes of Lord Ganesha indicate that one should be focused in completing tasks at hand. Also, he represents microscopic vision meaning ability to observe minutely. A proper focus and a determined approach are pivotal pillars of success. 

Big Ears convey that one should be a good listener,more than being a good orator.
Long Nose or trunk indicates that one should always be on guard with surroundings. Also, a good leader should be alert of the future.
Big belly or stomach indicates good capacity to digest and learn quickly while moving forward. It includes both good and bad. So, a good leader should never be disheartened with failures or too jubilant with successes. He should measure and act -not react.  He should be resilent in nature and strong willed person.

Broken Tusk symbolizes power of sacrifice.  Many a times a manager needs to overcome his emotions and act wisely.  Also , act for others without any selfish motives or interests. 
So, On the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi , lets learn and imbibe exemplary leadership traits from the most revered and loved  Ganesha.

Modern day’s Project Management has many facets that draw their idea and ideology from various spectrum of life. The stories and tales from various religious discourses have inspired plethora of management gurus to draw an examples, make it contemporary and used to inspire people within the organisations. Among many loved and revered Gods and Goddess in Indian tradition and culture, one character that stands out is Lord Hanuman.  Command, Competency, Communication, Discipline, Risk Management, Ethics and Loyalty all rolled into the role of Hanuman. 
 The concept of multi- tasking a buzz word in most of project work can also be related with personality of Lord Hanuman. 
Hanuman is a perfect example of 'SWOT' mechanism-Strength, Weakness,Opportunities and Threat- when he displayed the courage to burn  the city of Lanka even as his tail was set fire to.

  1. The story of Ram and Krishna are perfect examples of different strategies adopted. 
    In Ramayan, Lord Ram is the best yodhaa of his side.
    He leads his army from the front. Strategizes and directs different people to do things which will meet the objectives. His people are happy to follow orders and want to get all the appreciation for being the best executors. Lord Ram set direction and also tells people what to do during difficult times.

    Ultimately they won the war and the final outcome was achieved.

    On the other hand Lord Krishna told Arjuna, "I won’t fight the battle. I won’t pick up any weapon; I would only be there on your chariot as a charioteer."

    Still, Pandavas won the war and final outcome was achieved.

    So, what was different? It was their managerial style and it was also the type of people who were being lead.
    Lord Ram was leading an army of ‘MONKEYS’ who were not skilled fighters and they were looking for direction. 

    Lord Krishna was leading Arjuna who was one of the best archers of his time. While Lord Ram’s role was to show it and lead from the front, 

    Krishna played the role of a coach whose job was to remove cobwebs from Arjuna's mind. Krishna would not teach Arjuna archery, but he could definitely help him see things from a very different perspective.

    Here are some of the basic differences in two styles:
    Lord Ram- A skilled warrior, lead monkeys, was emotional, gave precise roles & instructions, motivated the army to fight for his cause

    Lord Krishna: works with best the professionals, provides strategic clarity, allows team members to take lead, fights for the cause of the team, did not depict his true emotions

    Look at your  team/family and reflect what type of leader/parent you are, One who keeps answering/solving problems for people/kids  Or Who asks relevant questions from their people/kids so that they can find their own solution.

    Are you  someone who tells/directs all the time  Or
    Someone who clarifies doubts & allows their people/kids to find their own ways.

    Are you someone who has monkeys in the team or have the brightest experts in their area getting stuck with issues?  

    Younger generation do not  want you to tell or show how things are done, they want to know the meaning of their task and how it makes a difference in this world.

    They are Arjunas who don’t necessarily seek more skill/knowledge but they need someone to clarify the cobwebs in their mind, if you still apply Lord Ram’s style on them, you are bound to fail as a manager.

    On the other hand if there are people who aren't skilled enough but rely on your expertise to sail  through ,Lord Ram’s style is appropriate.

    Isn't it good for us to reflect and think what managerial style will bring the best result for you  and your team/family ?

    It is in the fitness of things that all gurus and orators have started taking classes in business schools and they make Ganesha,Hanuman, Ram or Krishna adorn the roles more of business executives and strategic managers rather than the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent gods.All the anecdotes are recast in managerial ,business language.The world is turned into a business hub.Is it for good?Vathsala jayaraman*
     Ex-RBite settled in Chennai. 

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