Tag Archives: wholesome

Gyana Marga

Gyana Marga – A road to liberation.

Gyana – Knowledge in Sanskrit has been described as one of the paths to liberation.   Most knowledge is acquired for practical benefits or for worldly success.   Either you acquire knowledge to get around in the world, like knowledge of French will help you communicate with people in France and knowledge of herbs would help know which ones are useful and which ones are poisonous.  This kind of knowledge is essential for one’s survival.

Image

Success is often also linked to amount of knowledge one acquires.  The rush for acquiring MBA and other degrees defines the value of knowledge in the scheme of things. The current era is labeled as the Knowledge era; where knowledge is prized over capital, labour, land etc.

So where does this knowledge to liberation fit in?  Is it really relevant?  Well it is relevant, if the quest for knowledge is really there. It is relevant if we find ourselves unhappy in spite of all the progress we see around.  It is relevant if your life seems meaningless in spite of the worldly success you might have.

Image

Many well learned men sought what is the ultimate knowledge which man can ever acquire.  Some scientists have explored the frontiers of space and are trying to discover the Higgs Boson particle, which supposedly gives mass to the entire universe.  And billions of dollars have gone to research the origin of the universe, where and how did it all start… On the other hand psychologists, sociologists and other philosophers have examined the issues of mankind and have explored the wellbeing of human mind and what keeps us going, and where is the human race headed.

Vedas – the knowledge created by the Ancient Seers of India have described life and its abstract nature and its relation to God.   Their focus is on the ultimate knowledge which liberates us from the trials and tribulations of life.  Same is the case with Ashtavakra Gita and Bhagawad Gita.   Gita – the song of life, describes the duality which we are all sandwiched in.  Each action of ours brings forth a result and along with it, another set of problems.   No action is flawless.   And yet we need to act and be free.   Why is this knowledge so priceless?  Simply because it liberates us.   What does this liberation mean?  It means that we as individuals have a choice – a choice to see that the entire universe is our own creation and is one being.   This choice of seeing the whole instead of parts is liberating.   It transcends conventional behavior and actions. It transcends everything one sees from the plane of logic.

Image

It doesn’t mean that logic is not important.  Logic is very important to know the cause and its effect.  Logic allows us to organize things efficiently; it helps us to run businesses, trains and organizations. But it stops at that. It doesn’t offer synthesis.

In the path of knowledge – Gyana Marga, it is all about finding this synthesis and thus happiness and liberation.  This synthesis is about the source of life, the source of everything and experiencing Oneness in spite of the duality life offers.   The ability to celebrate this Oneness over duality is what Gyana Marga is all about.

How does one start about on this path?  Most of you already are on the path.  The knowledge of life is not separated from life itself.

Image

That is what Siddhartha, the young Buddha, sought before his enlightenment.   The ability to observe, contemplate and reflect, are the skills required on this path.  And all of us have been blessed with these skills.   So put them to use, and see the beauty of the universe through the lens of Oneness, and celebrate.

By Vikas Bhatia 

SHARE

Humble Leadership – the Power of One before the Zero

I remember attending my daughter’s annual drama performance, which was very unique in the sense all the students of the school from the first standard to the tenth standard, were performing and they had spent months practicing for it. It was at a mammoth level with 1000 students performing in their colourful costumes on a larger than life stage with spectacular lighting and heart soothing music.

The show ended and the principal came on stage to thank everybody involved in making the event a success. At the end, it was time to thank the director who we knew had put in a lot of sweat and tears to coordinate with 1000 participants and present a soul stirring performance. The principal called out his name ‘Allan’ and while his name was being called out thousand of students and parents were cheering in anticipation to see him on stage; but he was nowhere in sight. He knew the job was well done and he did not want to bask in the glory of the evening and take away anything from the children who had so beautifully performed.

It has been 5 years since the drama was performed and the memory of this event still holds on to my mind of a person who took the position of insignificance while doing such a great act. Recently, when India lifted the coveted cricket world cup trophy, the captain of the team M S Dhoni allowed his team members to take centre stage while he stood on the sidelines, even though he played a crucial knock in the finals and hit the final six over midoff to seal India’s victory in the world cup finals.

In both the instances, the two people took a humble position and there are people in the business community who term this as ‘humble leadership’. Jim Collins, the author of two much-quoted works, ‘How the Mighty Fall (2009) and Good to Great (2001) has linked the performance of great companies to Level 5 leaders, who practice two distinct qualities, namely genuine personal humility and intense professional will.

The Level 5 leader is always looking outside the window to see who deserves the credit for the job well done. This kind of humble leadership attracts people and brings out the best in them as their contribution is recognized as meaningful and significant. It is not easy to practice humility as pointed by social commentator Santosh Desai who believes that such acts require supreme self-confidence and wisdom.

Radhanath Swami who has studied the wisdom literature of the world and says “A true leader practices humility and humility really means honesty. Humility is about simply being truthful. What do we have to brag about? If God does not make the sun rise, what will you do? Did you create your brain? Did you create your eyes to see? Did you create your heart to beat? Did you create your arms to act? 

As they say in British parlance, do not be proud of borrowed looms. Whatever we have is not ours. We are merely instruments of a power beyond ourselves and to recognize and access that supreme power is real humility. Imagine the power of the Lord with you! It is like adding a one to all the zeroes, suddenly the value changes.

Our vedic scriptures prescribe a simple method of adding this One to our life by establishing a relationship with the Supreme One and any relationship requires good understanding and communication.

Prayer is a powerful means of communication with the Supreme Lord and the most effective prayer in the day and age is the chanting of the Holy names of the Supreme Lord. The chanting of the Holy names will cleanse our heart of all the impurities and will bring us to our natural state of being a humble servant and this will inspire people around us to become humble leaders leading to a more cooperative and loving society.

By Deepak Bharwani

SHARE

Oh Captain! My Captain! Make me love my job!

Manager, Team Lead, VP, CXO – whatever the role of the captain in question, there’s only one thing that the team craves for irrespective of their roles and that is Job Satisfaction. Mind you, these are highly driven people we’re talking about. Professionals who have worked their way up to their current positions and are more than capable of excellence. Yet they crave for that new challenge, that ‘AHA moment’, that little excitement every now and then or that unexpected pat on the back – all contributing in some small way to their love for the job. Are you as a leader aware of this small but significant need to boost employee morale?

It is all about encouragement and inspiration more than simple direction. Especially so when managing knowledge workers – those who know more about a particular job than you do as their leader. In leading today’s knowledge workers, it is important to invert the pyramid and look at leadership vis-à-vis the wants and needs of the professional—as opposed to the skills of the leader. Sample this truth – leaders may be judged more by the gifts they provide than the gifts that they possess. That’s when you will lead teams that love their jobs and actually display genuine desire for excellence. Here are some tips for successfully managing knowledge workers:

•Encourage their passion

Gone are the days when professionals worked 35-40 hours per week and took four to five weeks of vacation – then it was not so important that they loved what they did. But when professionals are working as many hours as they do today, it’s crucial that they love their work. Professionals need to look forward to going to work in the morning. That’s why today’s leaders need to look for, support, and encourage passion in their professional employees. Leaders also need to “lead by example” and demonstrate this same passion.

•Enhance their ability

Help them update and refine their skills. Job security has decreased and global competition has increased so it is critical for your team members in maintaining professional careers. Help them look beyond the skills needed for today and learn the skills that will be needed for tomorrow. That is when they will feel that they have a leader who cares for their overall growth and not just about meeting deadlines and numbers. After all, top professionals will often be willing to accept less money for more growth and loyalty will be gained through learning—not just earning.

•Value their time

In today’ fast paced world, we as professionals have less disposable time and therefore the value of time increases. As leaders, it is imperative that we do not waste our team’s time and create bitterness or irritability. It is hard enough working 50-80 hours a week and doing what does matter but it is incredibly painful to work that much and then end up wasting time on things that don’t. Leaders will need to increase skills in protecting professionals from things that neither encourage their passion nor enhance their ability.

•Build their networks

Easier said than done you might think but leaders benefit from expanding their team members’ networks and ensuring a feeling of security. By enabling professionals to establish strong networks both inside and outside the company, organizations can gain a huge competitive advantage and the loyalty of their workers. Besides, professional networking enables people to expand their knowledge and bring back new knowledge to the organization. More importantly, their loyalty to former employees helps lead to loyalty from future customers.

•Support their dreams

The best professionals are working for far more than money. They have a dream of making a meaningful contribution in their field. Give them the support they need and you will have their unflinching support and loyalty. So ask yourself what you can do to help your team members achieve their dreams starting today.

•Expand their contributions

Two of the most important needs of hard-working professionals are happiness and meaning. Leaders need to encourage passion to create an environment where people are happy and want to come to work. Leaders will also need to show how the organization can help the professional make a larger contribution to the world. Remember that is the individuals that make a team, the team contributes to the organization, the organization shapes society and society transforms the nation. Many of us seek out opportunities to make a contribution outside of work. Why should this be the case? Why can’t professionals make a positive difference from inside of work?  No one wants to put in endless hours on trivia. That’s why wholesome and inclusive work systems are the need of the hour.

Before we sign off, here’s something every leader would love to see from his team members – until next time, happy leading by loving your job!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D11e424M_Q

SHARE

Leaders by example Vs Leaders by default

‘I have a dream’ – such a simple line, yet it moved millions to act like never before. When Martin Luther King uttered these famous words, he announced to the world that he was their visionary leader who saw a better future and would therefore lead by example to that end. He inspired his followers to dream with him and turned them into believers who would go on to realise this dream collectively. He didn’t say ‘I have a plan’ – to quote Simon Sinek. Think about it. How many leaders can you recollect coming across who have ‘led by example’ and were not leaders ‘by default’?

What then goes into making a good leader? There are some traits that a leader must have to be able to lead his/her team effectively towards success. Let’s look at these qualities as personal and professional traits.

Personal traits

Confidence: A must-have since only a person who has confidence in his/her abilities can help others know their true worth and perform well. It’s the confidence that helps a leader fight problems and come out of them successfully.

Honesty: A good leader will always be honest and straightforward. It’s this honesty that gains the respect and trust of others. Success is always a team effort and it cannot be possible if the team members do not trust the leader’s abilities and respect his/her judgment.

Will power: Resilience or will power is what makes or breaks a leader. A true leader will always have that extra source of will power to dig in and never give up in spite of troubles.

Professional traits

Person-focus: No two ways about it – it is the team that gets the work done and a lot depends on them. Team members look up to a leader who has a person-focus and not only goal-focus. A leader needs to be able to be a part of the team progress, understand problems and give solutions.

Motivating: A good leader is one who constantly keeps the team motivated in spite of all the troubles and is able to derive performance out of them. But for that, one needs to be motivated oneself in order to lead form the front.

Visionary: A good leader must be able to see the future and decide what needs to be done to realise that vision. This leader thinks out of the box and sees opportunities that others do not. He/she creates plans that work and makes everyone believe in the power of cohesive-thinking.

Disciplined: A true leader will always be disciplined and will know what has to be done and how it has to be done, be it personal or professional. This is what makes him/ her stand out – being equipped with the right mixture of personal qualities and professional skills that are hallmarks of a true leader.

Wanted: Inspirational Leaders

Now more than ever, employees are starving for a sense of feeling connected to a higher purpose than just meeting this month’s sales and profit figures. An inspirational leader can really make the difference in improving the confidence of people, who will in turn enhance the organization’s performance.

This seems to be the perfect time to bring more personal meaning to the team’s work and inspire to shine, despite difficult business conditions. This effort doesn’t cost money and will certainly lead to better long-term results. So how can one become an inspirational leader?

The key is to look within. Inspirational leadership is a fundamental shift in one’s state of mind. It is not a cheerleading exercise but an effort to activate the inner passion of people. Everyone has something within them that serves as a personal motivation for their own level of success and satisfaction. Inspirational Leaders can tap into that source of energy and unleash the full potential of individuals and teams.

We must constantly remind ourselves that everybody wants to feel like they are part of a movement, rather than merely cogs in a wheel. Whether they are in accounting, information systems, human resources, sales, or operations, people who understand the holistic goal of the organization can quickly see how their work is connected to the ultimate outcome. It is not difficult to see that leaders who can establish this type of emotional connection to goals are invaluable to the organization.

Last but not the least, as a leader, it is imperative that one encourages full participation and ensures that all voices are heard. Traditionally there are a handful of people who are comfortable with being very outgoing and such individuals will clearly contribute. Yet the quietest people often have some of the most insightful suggestions. Inspirational leaders have the ability to bring out the best from all types of people. Yes – the old debate about extroverts and introverts resurfaces again! But we must remember that everyone is different and as leaders we must be the ones to adapt styles to produce the best results.

Now comes the best part – celebration and recognition! People need to understand how they are doing. Recognition is very important because once people are inspired towards a common goal they will want to be informed about progress. Inspirational leaders know how important personal appreciation and recognition is to maintaining a motivated work force. Small celebrations when key milestones are achieved are great tools to help them team reflect on the journey and correct the course where necessary. These celebrations allow leaders to not only acknowledge the people who have crossed another great hurdle, but to share best practices so others may benefit from the learning along the way.

That also brings setbacks into the picture. Inspirational Leaders who motivate teams also know how to deal with setbacks. They use such situations to show visible support for team members who may have taken a large risk and fallen a bit short. More importantly, they use setbacks for key teaching moments so as to minimize future shortcomings.

In the end it comes down to a few choices that separates leaders from inspirational leaders. Can we embrace the mind-set that we will bring out the best in people? Can we take the disparate actions of many and create a common cause greater than the sum of the parts? Only then will the organization benefit in a truly wholesome manner thanks to a culture committed to developing people who will accelerate performance.

So go ahead – Lead by example by choosing to be an inspirational leader and converting work into purpose.

Source: Article by Jerry S.Wilson, senior vice-president of the Coca-Cola Co., where he serves as chief customer and commercial officer. He is a personal branding expert and co-author of Managing Brand YOU: 7 Steps to Creating Your Most Successful Self.

Before we sign off, here’s something that is straight out of our dreams of an ideal leader! Till next time, happy reading and happy leading!

SHARE
1