Episode # 29 – Successful leaders never “Pass the buck” or involve themselves in “Blame-games”!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed two important characteristics of a “Panditha” as narrated by Vidura to King Dhirdhiraashtra. In that context we witnessed how an action plan is important for the success of a leader and that, a person should focus on the task in hand rather than daydreaming about the result that is going to evolve out of the task, thereby wasting precious time due to inaction.

Now moving on to the next sloka, Vidura is going to explain another extremely important attribute of a “Panditha” as follows:

“Yathaa shakthichi keershanthi yathaa shakthi cha kurvathe!!”

 Here Vidura explains that a “Panditha” is a person who analyses and knows his strengths and weaknesses. Also, he strategizes his work and tasks according to his strengths/weaknesses, rather than desiring for something that he cannot perform!

Isn’t this what we call in management terms, “Smart thinking” and “Smart way of working”? When will the world appreciate a person? The world will not appreciate a person only if he/she is super-rich and/or is a great achiever of innumerable tasks! The world would rather appreciate a person who works according to his/her strengths/weaknesses with perfection, thus achieving his mission successfully. The work might be even a small thing – But completing that work successfully is what is important! Thus here comes the significance of the term “Perfection” in whatever we do. Each and every one of us should strive to attain this quality in whatever activities we do. We should give our 100% effort wholeheartedly to the activity we perform, thus it would result in perfection! This is exactly what Vidura is explaining here – A successful “Panditha” is a person who strives to attain perfection in whatever he does, by analyzing what he can do and what he cannot! This is extremely important for our modern day life.

Nowadays we see lot of people claiming that they are great “multi-taskers”! The term “multi-tasking” has gained lot of prominence in today’s work environment. Even in HR interviews, candidates use this term as a “selling point” for them to impress the interviewer. Here a question may arise – Is “multi-tasking” a right or a wrong attribute? Should we multi-task or not? The answer to this question is that, if we are striving to attain perfection in our tasks, it is better not to multi-task, because, if we start multi-tasking, we would not have the 100% focus on one particular task. Our concentration would be diverted into so many other activities that our main task might lose track!

If there are multiple jobs to complete at the same time, the best way would be to prioritize which job requires urgent attention and which job does not! This would solve half of the problem! This is where many of us fail – Lack of prioritization of our work activities. As a result of lack of prioritization, we end up doing half of everything, thus none of the activities gain completion! Of course, at some point in time, we do need to multi-task. I’m not saying “no”. However if we’ve to multi-task and if the situation is demanding us to do so, we need to be extremely efficient in doing so! Else, it might backfire at us at some stage.

Hence, this is where we need to focus today – The important message is that, we need to prioritize, plan and give our 100% effort into our work, so as to attain that perfection. Also, we should spend time in analyzing ourselves and introspect our strengths and weaknesses, so that if at all we are required to multi-task at a certain point, we would be able to cope up with it by not compromising on our efficiency and productivity.

Now moving on to the next attribute, Vidura explains to King Dhirdhiraashtra thus:

“Na kinchith avamanyanthe naraah panditha buddhayaha!!”

Here is a very important attribute of a “Panditha” – Never underestimate anybody or anything in this world. Never look at the faults and shortcomings in a person or an object, rather look at the positives from them! How significant is this in the modern day!

Basically, how much of time do we waste in our lives, “criticizing” others? There are people today who would criticize others for anything and everything for whatever they do – These kinds of people exist in every walk of life. For instance if we’ve to look at our Indian constitution, why do we have an “Opposition party” in both Central and State government setups? The main purpose behind an “Opposition Party” is to critically analyze the activities of the ruling government, point out the government’s shortcomings along with constructive solutions to overcome the shortcomings. In the modern day, do we see this happening? If we’ve to look into the way the opposition parties behave today, it seems pathetic. There are people only to look at the negatives of the government, but none of them are prepared to offer a counter-solution for the existing problem! To be more blunt, all the opposition parties put together are only interested in propagating that, “Oh! Modi did this! Modi did that! Modi did not do this! Modi failed in that!” Fine! Let’s assume that Modi ji has failed! However, what is the corrective action that could have been taken to solve the issue that is raised? Nobody in the opposition ranks have a concrete answer! Is this the way responsible opposition parties behave?

Hence, we should understand that involving ourselves in continuous and a perpetual “blame-game” is not going to work. As a successful leader, one should come up with “constructive criticism”, that is, “Projecting an issue in hand, along with the steps that could be adopted to solve that issue!” If the leader is only interested in “blame-game”, he/she is not going to gain any respect from anybody! Thus a leader can be successful only if he/she is able to derive positives out of any problem in hand, rather than just keep blaming and “passing the buck”. Leaders in the opposition parties need to realize that the country is looking up for “constructive criticism” rather than “destructive criticism”. How many times are we seeing the Parliament is held hostage to the unwanted ruckus created by opposition parties? Is this what the people of this country had elected them for? Where is the sense of responsibility in them to honour the people’s mandate?

Thus from this episode, the message is that, criticizing is fine, but it should be done with a proper constructive agenda focusing on real improvement. Criticizing should not be done just to corner another person. This would bear no fruit. Hence for today, let’s think about it and introspect within us. We shall wait till the next episode to find out more! 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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