Episode 203 – Successful Leaders “outsmart” their opponents!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed a very important event wherein Hanuman encounters Surasa on his way who comes in the form of a huge demoness. Surasa is actually a kind-hearted and a good woman but she wants to test Hanuman’s strength and his ability to handle obstructions successfully. Hanuman decides within himself that he has to win over her with his smartness and not with his strength and thus, enters into Surasa’s wide-open mouth and comes out through her ears! Upon realizing that Hanuman had outsmarted her, Surasa takes her original normal form and blesses Hanuman with all the success in his mission of finding Sita.

What are some important implications for modern-day managers and leaders from this important episode? There are three key aspects to be discussed as follows:

The first important point is that leaders and managers should know how to deal differently with different people and with different situations. As per the famous proverb coined by Mr. Shiv Khera, author of the famous book “You Can Win”, Winners do not do different things! They do things differently! It is important to note that if we’ve to be a winner, we should think different and act different! This is exactly what Hanuman has done here – The moment he realizes that he is under test by Surasa, he quickly makes a decision as to how to handle her without using his physical strength. Of course, for modern day managers and leaders, this comes with lot of experience. However, to stay competitive and relevant in the market in the modern day, irrespective of any industry, it is very important to think differently and out of the box everytime. This is one way how good leaders are differentiated from others.

The second important point under discussion today is that, leaders should be able to outsmart others with their unique decisions. This might be seen as a continuation of the previous point, wherein, leaders are expected to be smart when it comes to handling tricky situations. In the modern day we see quite a few exceptional leaders who demonstrate this important characteristic – Both in the industry as well as in other areas such as sports. Many of us might be familiar with Mr. Mahendra Singh Dhoni – former captain of the Indian cricket team. Why is Mr. Dhoni revered as one of the most successful captains, Indian cricket has ever seen? It is because of his unique ability to outsmart the opposition with his game tactics. This is an extremely important but often not much discussed quality of a leader. This is exactly Hanuman has also exhibited here – The way he outsmarted Surasa is definitely an important lesson to be observed and learnt by modern day leaders.

The third most important point to be discussed as part of the Hanuman-Surasa episode is that, leaders should keep themselves calm and composed at any situation. Here we can see that, the moment Surasa erupted from the ocean with the huge demoness form, Hanuman never panicked. Instead, he was focusing on how to handle her effectively and move on. Similarly, leaders should never panic under any situation. It should be remembered here that the entire team looks up at the leader if there is a catastrophic situation that arises. At this point, the trust of the team is on the leader and the team members have the confidence that their leader would be able to handle this complexity and come out of it. But, if the leader panics and shows it on his/her face, the team members would start looking down and will start losing their confidence. This is why we would see Mr. Dhoni always keeping calm on the field, even if India is at the verge of losing a game! None of the team members should have the slightest doubt that the leader is panicking. Instead, they should always have the feeling that their leader still has some ideas running in his mind so as to bring the team out of the brink! This is exactly what we see in Hanuman as well – Given any complex and tricky situation he never panics. Rather, he makes a plan how to handle the situation smartly and come out of it with success! It should be remembered that if panic creeps in, the entire mission would crumble down within minutes!

Thus, Hanuman comes out through the ears of Surasa, outsmarting her completely and making her look foolish in front of him. He now talks to Surasa,

“Pravishtosmi trithe vakthram daakshaayani namosthuthe!”

Hanuman says, “Oh Daakshaayani!! I’m offering you a big salute! I’ve fulfilled your boon from Lord Brahma! Let me go now!” Thus, Hanuman moves on with the blessings of Surasa. What happened next? The action continues in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂

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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