Tribute to the Father of Nation on the occasion of Father’s Day
Mahatma Gandhi is venerated and exalted in India as the father of nation, epitome of leadership and nation building. Much is written and studied about his leadership qualities and humanity, however it still feels that there is lot more to learn from the “Mahatma” style of enduring leadership. This post summarizes few leadership lessons learned from the Mahatma that continued to be relevant in today’s world and we all can put to good use in our daily lives. Today’s corporate world’s competitive demands impose relentlessly increasing stringency on performance strategies and requirements for leaders. Learning the lessons from Mahatma can build significant impetus to the positive results that can be achieved in every aspect for those who are striving for perfection. Mahatma Gandhi’s life is filled with many priceless gems and it was not a coincidence. His philosophy endured his success which is applicable in every facet of our lives. Only requirement is to get one step ahead and excavate these gems out for you.
This post does not claim anything new but just summary of various posts for my own inspiration to remind that one’s thoughts and company, influence life to a great extent. Having a positive company, a strong mentor, a source of inspiration is great importance in your daily life.
- Actions speak louder than words: Despite of having a valid ticket, Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out from a first class train carriage in South Africa. This event invigorated his desire to encounter racial segregation. However he observed the racial segregation at all levels within the society. It shaped the Indian National Congress to promote his beliefs for the non-violent protest compared to violence to endorse political activities. In today’s corporate world, people continue to honor and follow leaders who walk the talk and whose words are no different than their actions. Such companies win over customers and prosper beyond expectations.
- Be the change you want to see in the world: When Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa, he established his belief in non-violent civil disobedience protests against the British, encouraging economic independence by boycotting British products and advocating the locally manufactured textiles to replace imported ones from Britain. He invented a small portable spinning wheel called “Charkha” to ensure farmers and workers could fabricate textile being economically independent. The corporations that be noticeable from crowd often bring the change required by the broad set of customers.
- Lead by Example: Mahatma Gandhi blazed a trail for initiatives like simple living and high thinking, cause for untouchables, or even bigger movements like non cooperation, quit India, salt march, where he has led by example and led from front. Entire nation believed him because he followed himself what he expected from them to do and applied his philosophical principles from root level. Mahatma Gandhi has been a magnificent leader who led by example.
- Build impeccable and honest brand: Faith is the most fundamental requisite and the leaders who lead by example commands abundance of it. We build faith and trust in the leaders and managers who can lead by example; pace the paths themselves on which they want other to follow. When leaders lead by example, they command respect and do not demand respect. “Mahatma Gandhi” established faith in himself and became greatest leadership brand which have been enlightening and moving people from all levels within the society. Mahatma build this brand based on integrity, transparency, truthfulness, high quality and connectivity with every single person. Great brands commands emotional connect with its consumers and customers. Similarly, great brands build on the impeccable platform of transparency and truthfulness. Even every one of you also a brand personified called the brand “You”. Your own brand also has emotional connect rather than rational connect with your acquaintances. The philosophy-based branding and ubiquitous message is a instrument that most global organizations use in the present, and was a key point to success that Mahatma Gandhi used to his advantage many decades ago!
- Build great team and work for a common cause: Mahatma Gandhi built a great team of leaders from diverse beliefs, religions and principles. For example, Chakravarti Rajgopalachari, Sardar Patel, Pandit Nehru, Jinnah and many others worked in tandem for a common cause; freedom of India. They complemented each other, and also had great bench strength. Great leaders build great teams with members who complement each other. It has leadership at all levels which grabs the baton and continue the race for common cause. Similarly, corporations that build great teams have potent force to conquer the market.
- Engage people: Mahatma Gandhi was apt in the art of making people devote everything for the cause. He enthralled and engaged people like a magician. He pulled the people together for a common mission every single movement he led for India’s freedom. Every one of the person was so engaged that they were ready to go to any extent to achieve the goal of India’s freedom. Similarly, engaged employees are more productive and more likely to stay with the organization compared to non engaged employees. Engaged employees are the key to greatness for every organizations. Once we engage employees with common cause, a common mission, and a common goal which must be lived every moment by all. Defying leaders make the difference in any organization with help of all involved stakeholders. Mahatma manifested these lessons long ago and it is still as much relevant as was at many decades ago.
- Become the follower of greats: Making sense from day to day chaos and noise in new and unfamiliar situations can only be achieved by a leader with very concrete vision in mind. Taking new initiatives and being a leader in unchartered and unexplored waters pays off. Mahatma Gandhi was a great role model of self discipline to the world. He firmly believed that God have made man to work hard, and he followed philosophy in being able to manage all aspects of his life independently. Mahatma Gandhi was a soldier and saint at the same time.
- The collaborator: Twenty first century leadership has to be based on global collective minds and collaboration which is a form of benevolent leadership as it has to be approved by very different cultures. Someone has said correctly, “spiritualization of politics beats politicization of spirituality”. Charisma originated a religious term “of the spirit” or “inspired” and about a sparkle in people that money cannot buy. Mahatma Gandhi showed us all that one can resolute good intentions, define clear sense of purpose, be passionate about the cause and work on it with impeccable integrity then it can influence millions.
- The simplifier: To become leader of masses, Mahatma Gandhi lived a simple life. People from different beliefs were able to connect with him as he maintained “do as you say”. As Mahatma practiced his beliefs himself, messages to the masses were passed even without any preaching. His life had been open book for anybody and he always followed to his moral values that he used to communicate irrespective of the circumstances. Even the in British camp admired his “walk the talk”, and masses vow by his truthfulness. Minimalistic living is the mantra for happiness. Mahatma found peace and tranquility in frugal living, giving us the concept of “ Simple living and high thinking”.
- Gandhi a benevolent leader: Mahatma Gandhi is amongst one of the foremost servants of humanity. Mahatma Gandhi defined himself as a leader with learning and growth mindsets, who can anticipation of follower’s needs and rigid consistency was NOT one of his traits. Mahatma Gandhi rendered his beliefs in principles by living like the people he wanted to lead. Following statements authenticize his process towards becoming one of the greatest leaders humanity has seen and demonstrate how he believed serving people as a privilege by expressing many times, “It has been my desire by bottom of my heart to service the common people, and have enabled me to identify myself with them”. When anything is done for sake of “show” or based on fear of public opinion, it does not contain the true spirit driving the followers away. Any service can be worthless until those who are being served benefited from it. Any service rendered without true ecstasy, does not bring true spirit of joy for the servant and nor the served. While working with such organizations, customers themselves and even the entire universe becomes driving factor for their successes.
Mahatma Gandhi is contemplated as one of the most influential leaders within human history. Mahatma emerged as leader without any official or political position, authority or monitory capital, who started from humble beginnings to the world honorary prominence that helped achieve national freedom and created a lasting legacy. Many of Mahatma Gandhi’s core principles are remarkably relevant in the realm of leadership competencies and self-development even in today’s dynamic global economic commerce. In order be a better leader, one will have to deeply understand why you feel what you feel and why you behave as you behave, and this is possible only if you grow in self awareness.