In the previous episode we saw the context pertaining to Narada-Valmiki Samvaadham and as part of that, Valmiki initiates the conversation with Sage Naarada with a set of sixteen questions, indicating the sixteen important “Kalyaana Gunas” (Noble Qualities) of an ideal leader. We discussed the first two out of the sixteen qualities yesterday. Today let’s talk about the subsequent three important qualities.
- Dharmagnya – A person who stands by his “Dharma” (Righteous path) at all times. This is a very important characteristic of a leader – Whatever maybe the situation, a true leader is the one who stands by his righteous path in terms of ethics, morality and character. Lord Rama’s life was an epitome of this quality. It’s only because Lord Rama was an embodiment of Dharma (Righteousness) himself, he never spoke even a word or went against even one wish of his father (Lord Rama walked away from the kingdom to the forest, just because his father wanted him to do that), he stood by his Dharma when He killed Vaali in the forest, He stood by his Dharma even when He lost his beloved wife to the wickedness of Ravana and He stood by his Dharma even while the war was going on between Himself and Ravana. Thus, when we’re starting to discuss the various instances, hurdles, etc. of Lord Rama’s life from here on, we can notice that each and every instance Lord Rama followed the Dharma meticulously and lived as an example for all of us to ponder and follow.
If we see in today’s world, in any field – Be it at home, politics, corporate, etc. how many of us really follow this? Today we’re exposed to situations wherein we see many people forced to do some unethical activities just on the pretext of “survival” and “quick growth”. It is only because of this reason, in today’s world we’re exposed to numerous scams, unethical practices like manhandling human labor, misinterpreting financial reports, etc. that cause irreparable damages and huge losses to organizations and their employees. From whatever path of Dharma we see in the entire Ramayana we should realize a very important point in life – There’s no short cut to success in any field and that, the real success can be achieved only by following the righteous principles pertaining to the respective fields.
- Kritagnya – A quality where one is always thankful or grateful or indebted for even the smallest of the “upakaara” (help) that he received from others. This is one of the best ways to establish a deeper connection between the leader and his/her followers. The respect and popularity of a leader grows manifold when he/she appreciates his followers for even a small help rendered by them. If we closely examine the life incidents of Lord Rama, we can see this quality in abundance – Especially when it comes to appreciating and thanking the Vanaras (Monkeys) for their extra-ordinary help in fighting the war with Ravana successfully, Lord Rama is extremely generous and respectful in his words of gratitude. A special mention to be made in this context is that of the relationship between Lord Rama and his ardent devotee – Hanuman. Towards the end of Lord Rama’s incarnation, He proclaims with tears in his eyes that He along with Goddess Sita Devi are indebted so much to Hanuman for all his selfless service he has done to both of them. Such is the quality of a great leader in terms of making his followers happy.
Most of us would have come across this proverb in our daily lives – “Small drops make a mighty ocean”. It’s only when a person does the small things right, he/she can achieve bigger things in life. Recognising the help done by someone at a later point in time might be a small activity, but this might go a long way in establishing a stronger relationship with that person in the future. Hence, as a good leader, let’s try and follow this meticulously.
- Sathyavaakyaha – A person who always, at any given situation talks only the truth. Here’s yet another important quality for a successful leader in terms of building the trust amongst his/her followers. When would a leader be able to build the trust and confidence amongst his/her people? It can be done only when the leader is true to himself/herself and also to his/her people. If the “Truth” factor goes missing at any point in time, then people would immediately lose the faith that they posed on their leader.
We could relate numerous instances of this quality in today’s world – Employees tend to work with credibility and take pride in working for their company only when they feel that their company is true and loyal to them and to the society. This directly correlates to the modern day concept of “Employee Satisfaction” or “Job Satisfaction”. If employees come to know that their CEO or leader is trying to achieve short-term growth by compromising professional ethics, employees’ welfare and concern, they tend to leave the organisation in a jiffy!! This might also prove to be one of the greatest reasons why successful companies have failed overnight – Because, even if there’s one misdeed and the CEO tries to “cover up” his/her misdeed with lies, employees lose faith exponentially quicker and quit! It is for this reason we always keep saying that it’s very difficult to build a brand for oneself and/or a company, but it just takes a minute to bring that brand down to dust!!
What are the other important qualities that make a leader successful? Let’s discuss in the next episode!!