Leadership Lessons for Entrepreneurs from the life of Lord Rama Chandra
Diwali or Deepavali, the festival of light indicates the triumph of light over darkness & good over evil. It falls on the day of ‘amavasya’ or new moon in the Hindu month of Kartik. It’s celebrating in remembrance of the return of Lord Rama and Devi Sita after 14 years of exile and triumph over demon King Ravana.
Life of Lord Rama, the leader, avatar & incarnation of Lord Vishnu can provide many essential leadership lessons to today’s startup entrepreneurs. Lord Rama fondly termed as ‘maryada purushottam’. Maryada meaning the inner moral principles, ethics, customs or rules, and Purushottam relates to being the best amongst all men. He personifies the masculine way of life, a life of laws, obedience, honour & justice. He lived the highest form of human values even in the most critical situations never deviating from the virtuous path in thought or action. He has shown many qualities of a righteous king and a noble human being.
As an entrepreneur, Lord Rama along with wife Sita & brother Laksman was exiled for 14 years to forests of Dandak, an unknown, hostile territory as hermits. As Hermits, they struggled, fine-tuned lifesaving skills & learned to live lean with minimum resources. Finally, he collaborated with followers on the mission of rescuing Devi Sita & end evil dark days of demon King Ravana.
Here are five leadership lessons, an entrepreneur can learn from Lord Rama’s life:
1. Dharma Vir: A person who chooses the righteous dharma path & always upholds it. Lord Rama as unbiased true leader followed laws, rules & systems. Despite immense hardships and misfortune, he went through, he never stepped aside from his chosen path. As entrepreneur one must work on business system, bylaws & disciplines & adhere to them as other team members. Further “RAGHUKUL REET SADA CHALI AAYI, PRAN JAYE PAR VACHAN NA JAYE”, commitment to the customer must be taken with at most care & priority.
2. Tyaga Vir: A person who is strong enough to sacrifice personal interests for upholding the right values. Lord Rama as motivating leader, followed a strong code of conduct. He used to delegate works among the second line of command & was generous towards giving compliments but was also critical & honest when required. From the inception of the start-up, an entrepreneur must work on organogram & delegate works among other teammates with due authority.
3. Daya Vir: A person who is compassionate. He possessed a heart full of empathy, also called the Karunamaya, full of love and compassion. Like today’s Transformational leadership which means a mutual connection between a leader and a follower, wherein each one makes an effort to increase the other’s level of love, respect & motivation. Lord Rama as a true leader acquired love, admiration, respect, and trust of all the people of Ayodhya. As founders & entrepreneur, one must value the opinion of all stakeholders with compassion & involve them in decision making. If required, pivot rather than holding to one idea. This gives way for lean startup culture of cycle BUILD->MEASURE->LEARN.
4. Vidya Vir: A person who is full of wisdom. One who is not an egoist and would put larger interest above all. Lord Rama as a participative & learned leader inspired his followers to imbibe his values and connect with his ideologies. But He never forced his ego on the people and was a participative democrat in the true sense of the term. Further, he always followed & surrounds himself among gurus, sagas & mentors for guidance & wisdom. This helped to envisioned & strategize mission, Lanka. As an entrepreneur, we must have a strong team of differently skilled experts and along with strong board & mentors to look up to for guidance.
5. Parakaram Vir: A person full of valour, who fights for the right cause. Lord Rama always led the way ahead with a clear vision, creating a positive work atmosphere. He led by example always being fair, understanding & courteous but stern when required. Like for instance, during his time spent in the forest, he met Sugreeva who was abandoned by his own brother Bali. He then went ahead and helped Sugreeva in regaining his throne. Founders must have vision & purpose. This motivates the team in the right direction & helps to sail through tides of start-up.
On this auspicious day, Wishing my readers Happy, safe & Prosperous Diwali from team Labkafe.
Disclaimer: Views expressed here are personal & not intended to harm or disgrace any person or religion in any way.