Episode 200 – Important Management/Leadership lessons from Hanuman – Mainaaka Episode!!!


Today’s is a very important episode in terms of what can we learn for the modern day life from Hanuman’s actions in the Ramayana. We are of course getting to learn innumerable lessons for the modern day from various aspects of the Ramayana, right from the commencement of this blog, however, there are going to be innumerable modern-day lessons especially in terms of modern day management and leadership from Hanuman’s life. Today we are going to discuss some important take-aways from the Hanuman-Mainaaka episode that we were discussing yesterday.

In the yesterday’s episode we had witnessed that the Mainaaka Mountain, which rose up from the water, intercepted Hanuman as he was passing by. Initially Hanuman saw Mainaaka as a huge obstacle coming in front of him and later realized that he was a great soul and is related closely to his father, Vaayu Bhagawan (Lord of the Wind). We also saw how Hanuman accepted his hospitality, but at the same time proceeded towards Lanka without resting himself.

Here is a couple of important management lessons – The first lesson that can be learnt from this episode is the art of “smart” decision making and the second lesson to be learnt is the art of “effective” communication. Today we shall elaborate on both of these two important lessons.

When we talk about “Decision Making”, all of us know that it is that unique capability of a person that can distinguish himself/herself as a leader. It is of prime importance for a leader to take the right decision at the right time. If we look at this particular Hanuman-Mainaaka episode, we can clearly witness this quality in Hanuman – When Mainaaka requested Hanuman to rest for a while, nourish himself with good and tasty food, accept his hospitality and then proceed towards Lanka, the offer seemed quite tempting! Anybody could have fallen for such kind and loving words, however, Hanuman didn’t! He was completely focused on his mission and had pledged in front of all the other Vaanaras that he wouldn’t rest or eat anything unless and until he finds the whereabouts of Sita. Thus, Hanuman had to reject Mainaaka’s offer of hospitality and not let his focus to dilute. Moreover, it is normal psychology that if our body starts taking rest, it would want more and more rest only and the task in hand goes for a toss! Hence it is important to note here that rest can be taken only after the completion of the task in hand. Thus, knowing all this, Hanuman politely rejects the hospitality offer of Mainaaka. He is very clear with his mission and his approach and this is the primary learning that modern day leaders and management professionals need to admire in Hanuman!

Now that Hanuman has to reject Mainaaka’s hospitality, how does he communicate that to Mainaaka? Here comes the importance of “Communication”. Modern day leaders and Management professionals talk a lot about “effective business communication” today. Here we can see from this episode, how Hanuman exhibited clear and effective communication techniques to pacify Mainaaka and proceed further towards Lanka. What did he say? If we can recall from the previous episode, Hanuman says to Mainaaka, “Oh dear Mainaaka! Thank you so much for your hospitality and your kind words! I’m so overwhelmed with joy upon meeting you and hearing from you! This itself is the greatest hospitality that you can provide to me! You should remember that I’m on an urgent mission to Lanka and at the moment I’m running short of time to reach there. Hence, I’m currently not in a position to stay here and rest. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not accepting or recognizing your kind hospitality. I request you to understand my situation!” Saying thus, Hanuman touches Mainaaka with his two hands with a smile and moves on!

As modern day leaders and Management professionals we can learn from this episode, the art of conveying a negative message! How does Hanuman convey the negative message of his inability to stay there with Mainaaka? He conveys an appreciation and a recognition message at the beginning and then “sandwiches” the negative message of his inability in the middle and finally concludes with another positive message of recognizing Mainaaka’s hospitality! This is how a negative message is to be conveyed! If the negative message is conveyed directly to a person, it might hurt him or her. Instead, if the negative message is sandwiched between two positive messages while conveying, it reaches the other person more effectively. Hanuman knew this technique and thus has employed it to Mainaaka! We can see this communication technique being employed in modern day marketing communication techniques by big corporates across the world. But it is amazing to note that these techniques already existed some 5,000 years back! 🙂

Thus today we learnt two important management lessons from Hanuman’s actions. We shall learn more such lessons as we proceed further. What happened next? Whom did Hanuman encounter after Mainaaka? The action continues in the next episode! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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