Episode # 129 – Short-term vs. Long-term orientation – Why do leaders fail???

In the previous episode, we had witnessed King Yayaati falling down from the “Svarga Lokha”, as he is having a conversation with Sage Ashtaka who was standing down on the earth. As Sage Ashtaka asks him where he was falling down, King Yayaati replies back that he was falling down into the “Bhouma-Naraka Lokha”. As King Yayaati talks about a very different “Naraka Lokha” that nobody has heard, Sage Ashtaka is puzzled! He too hasn’t heard of such a “Naraka Lokha” in the list of the fourteen forms of “Naraka Lokha” ever! What does King Yayaati mean by “Bhouma Naraka Lokha” here? The simple meaning here is that, the “Samsaara” that we are entangled into in this world is one of the biggest forms of the “Naraka Lokha”, and this is what King Yayaati is referring to here. The “Samsaara” is the one that pushes us to perform sin after sin, and the worst part here is that we might still be committing the sin, even though we know that we are doing it! We might be knowing that if we perform certain sins, we would get punished in certain ways in the “Naraka Lokha”. Even though we know this, we still keep performing them again and again! This is why the “Samsaara” is the biggest form of “Naraka Lokha”! 

Moreover, moving on further from here, King Yayaati explains how he had ascended to the “Naraka Lokha” first, how he experienced all the punishments for all whatever “Paapa-Karma” he had performed, subsequently how he was pushed into the “Svarga Lokha”, the modus-operandi that exists there, and how he was pushed back into the “Manushya Lokha” now, once the “Punya-Karma” is over! This, as we know – King Yayaati talks and narrates out of his own personal experience! Readers should note one important point here – King Yayaati was extremely interested in the “Kaama-Anubhava” (Experiencing worldly pleasures and desires) while he was ruling the kingdom. We’ve witnessed how he wasn’t satisfied with his ageing and how he borrowed the youthfulness of his son Puru to enjoy more desires in this world. After all this, King Yayaati realized that there is no point in enjoying more and more desires, as he was not getting satisfied with any of them! The more he enjoyed the desires, the more motivation he obtained to enjoy more! There was never an end to this! 

Frustrated by this beyond a point, King Yayaati thought that the only way to come out of this desire is to ascend to the “Svarga Lokha”, where he could reside permanently with all the luxuries. He thought that this worldly desires are temporary and the desires at the “Svarga Lokha” were permanent! However, even that turned futile! Once King Yayaati’s “Punya-Karma” got over, he was pushed back, thus proving to him that even this “Svarga Lokha” tenure is temporary only! Now this was something that he did not expect. What should have King Yayaati done? The moment he lost interest on the worldly “Kaama-Anubhava”, he should have focused himself on the “Bhagawan Krishna-Kaama Anubhava”, isn’t it? This “Krishna-Anubhava” would have taken him to the highest “Moksha” or “Vaikunta”, from where he is never going to be pushed back to any of the “Lokhas”! Instead of this long-term plan, King Yayaati desired for the short-term plan of reaching the “Svarga Lokha” – Only to be pushed back again into the “Manusha Lokha”! We can see here as to how King Yayaati was carried away by the “short-term” orientation of enjoyment at the “Svarga Lokha” by compromising the “long-term” goal of attaining “Moksha”!

Now this is a very important lesson for leaders and managers here – If we focus too much on the short-term goals by shunning the long-term goals, we’ve to realize that our organization is going towards the brink of failure! Focusing on the “long-term” goals and commitments are important for any organization to succeed. This is a common mistake that many leaders around the world make – They want “quick profits” and “quick fame and branding”! This is a dangerous approach, and such leaders would meet with the fate that King Yayaati met! We’ve to be extremely careful here. While there is always this trap of making quick money, name, fame and branding, leaders should focus on the long-term benefit of the organization and its employee’s. Of course I’m not saying that short-term benefits and branding aren’t important. They are necessary too. But the point here is that, we shouldn’t be obsessed with the short-term benefits by compromising on the long-term orientation. 

So for today, let us understand this important point of short-term and long-term orientations and how King Yayaati fell into this trap of “short-term orientation” and lost his plot eventually! We shall continue with this discussion further in the next episode too! Stay tuned for an upcoming interesting accord! 🙂 


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 Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, 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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