Episode # 123 – The idea of “Charismatic Leadership” – Vidura’s beautiful explanation!!!

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In the previous episode we had discussed another extremely important point with respect to Management science wherein Vidura explains that we should choose tasks that require easy and a minimal strain, yet we should put our 100% effort into it to make it more and more successful! We considered an example of a car manufacturing production line wherein we witnessed that the capacity of production should not be in a “touch-and-go” with minimal profits that can be earned by the company. Rather, the capacity should be designed in such a way that even if the production line runs to 50% of its capacity, the company should be able to start making profits and revenue. However the company should not relax itself with this minimal amount of profits. The production line should always be operated in full capacity so that the company can earn more and more profits. Of course as years progress by and depending on the demand for the number of cars, the production line should be periodically augmented with extra capacity. Thus the message here is that, we should be able to choose tasks that are easily executable, however we should give in our 100% effort into the tasks so that we gain maximum success out of it.

“Ruju pashyati yat sarvam chakshusaa anupibanniva!

Aaseennamapi thooshneekam anu rajyanthi tham prajaaha!!”

Here Vidura explains the next important point as to how should a king conduct himself when his people come to meet him. Vidura explains here that a king should be an embodiment of compassion and unconditional love towards his people at all times. His looks should be compassionate and so should be his words. Words once poured out, cannot be taken back! And a king should be an epitome of employing a sweet way of talking to his people. These two characteristics, Vidura explains, is a primary requirement to be a king or an administrator. Irrespective of whether the administrator is a non-performer or a performer.

Here Vidura is giving special emphasis to the looks and the words of an administrator because, he is a person who is responsible for the well being of everybody under him. If the administrator is not going to be pleasing to approach for his people, there is no point in being in that responsibility, irrespective of whether he is good at work or not. This point is not only applicable for a king (in the modern day), but also for those who are administrators at various levels – Be it at the national level or a CEO of an organization or a captain of a sports team. If the leader exhibits a dictatorship towards his employees or subjects, nobody is going to approach him for anything and eventually the leader would be isolated and thrown out!

This is why in the Ramayana, when we were exploring the sixteen different “Kalyaana Gunas” of Lord Rama during the beginning of the blog series, we laid special emphasis on the characteristic called “Gunavaan” or “Sousheelyam”. In fact, Valmiki Maharishi’s first out of the sixteen questions posed to Sage Naarada was this particular characteristic. Valmiki Maharishi asks Narada thus:

Kon vasmin saampradham lokhe gunavaan… Kasya veeryavaan..

Thus a leader’s first and foremost important characteristic is love and compassion. If this is not there, nothing else will fall in place. Through the above sloka Valmiki Maharishi also emphasizes that a king should be a combination of compassion and valor (Veeryavaan). Both of these characteristics go hand in hand. Of course it is not enough that an administrator or a leader only keeps expressing love and compassion at all situations and to everyone at the same time. When the situation demands, he should also be able to show his power through other means as well, so that people wouldn’t sit on his head! 🙂

Hence, today’s episode conveys an important message that a leader should be an epitome of compassion and love towards his employees (if it is an organization) or to his people (if it is a country or a state) and receive them with all his warmth, rather than being a dictator. This is one major reason why some leaders have a huge following while some do not. If we take instances of spiritual leaders (Mahathmas), we see scores of people coming towards them and they receive these people with all their love and compassion. This is what builds up the “Charisma” in these people and this is why they are called “Charismatic Leaders” in Organizaitonal Psychology and Behavioral sciences. This is exactly what Vidura is explaining here. The moment love and compassion comes in, people would start following their leader blindly and would be ready to even sacrifice their lives for their leader. Such is the power of love and compassion in this world.

So for today let us introspect this important point and let us appreciate the significance of love and compassion. Let us realize the change that love can bring about in this world and as leaders let us take a conscious step forward to inculcate this characteristic within us and try to create a change. We shall wait till the next episode to move on to the next point explained by Vidura. 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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