“In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.” – Henry David Thoreau
Bhagavad-Gita teaches us management, of everything, most importantly, of the self.
The key to build great businesses is, without any doubt, great people. People, who can lead, inspire, innovate and achieve. The creation of or a transformation into a great business starts with its people. Gita can be used to achieve harmony among the employees in an organization and to enable them to connect themselves with the organization. Many organizations suffer from the malady of being disconnected with its employees and many employees find it difficult to tune themselves to a higher goal and to resonate with the organization. Any cure, of any entity, should start with its people. One must strive to correct and fine tune his/her way of life, its purpose, its focus and its goal through an ardent study of the Gita.
Gita on the way of life:
Gita prescribes knowledge as the way of life.
Many of today’s modern educational institutions, even though are quite competent in imparting education, leave a lot to be desired when it comes to shaping the students as true champions of knowledge who have mastered themselves. Gita teaches this greatest science of knowing thyself. Men who have mastered themselves are the most fit to serve the society for its upliftment and will prove a great boon to this world’s well-being. The essential parts of Gita are those which impart us this knowledge.
Gita prescribes purpose instead of self-profit:
When we have a purpose to which we are passionately dedicated, it helps us to focus our mind with extraordinary sharpness and achieve great results. This cannot normally happen if we keep worrying about the results and satisfaction of our desires. It’s the science which deals with the right attitude towards action and how to achieve great results from any of our actions.
In the context of a team, if everyone is motivated towards a purpose and if the leader can light that fire in them, which is good enough to burn their narrow desires and to enable them to see a higher goal, then everyone will work in unison. This results in true teamwork. And when motivated by a single purpose, which is communicated well to have penetrated into their hearts, the achievement will be far greater than the sum of the individual achievements.
From the perspective of businesses, moving from a profit-oriented approach to the purpose-oriented approach will do a world of good. Businesses would then cease to be short-term in their motives and gain a vision. The motivation of the ideas like inclusive capitalism, co-creation, etc should have stemmed from these principles.
Once we know the purpose of our existence, it becomes a lot easier for us to define and streamline our goals. It’s much the same as, if there is a known direction to the destination, the travel would be much smoother and quicker.
Gita prescribes focus on the present rather than the future:
Gita urges us to focus on the present and give it whatever we have. This always yields extraordinary results. It’s a simple logic that future is nothing but the effect of our present actions. And if we take care of the present, future should take care of itself. And past is a bunch of dead experiences from which we can only learn and move on. It does not help to worry about the past or to plan for the future too much, so much so that it affects our present.
To quote the meaning of the most important and immortal verse, to this effect, from the Gita
“Thy right is only to work;
But never to its fruits;
Let not the fruit of action be thy motive;
Nor let thy attachment be to inaction.”
These few lines, when realized in their whole, will prove to be great wisdom, the light of which will guide us all through our life.
All enjoyment that we ever have, all happiness that we can ever have, should come from the present, neither from the future nor from the past. Otherwise the being can be called as deluded. This principle works great to bring out people from dejection and hopelessness into the state of clarity, understanding and vital activity. It helps us to endure the vagaries of life very effectively.
This principle has far-reaching implications in the field of business too. It teaches the executives how to manage things, inasmuch as, to focus on the management of the current situation than doing paranoiac planning on the future or deriving data from the past. It teaches them on how to strategize or envision the future goals without losing touch with the present realities or the present health of the business. It teaches anybody on how to overcome failures to step into effective action as soon as possible and it teaches on how not to waste time basking in the warmth of our previous successes. It’s the most efficacious piece of learning one can ever have.
Happiness and peace as the ultimate goal:
What is life if we are not happy? Gita teaches us to identify what are the characteristics that we should develop to attain peace and happiness in life. The same principles in all their vigor and efficacy can be applied to the well-being of an organization.
What is the one measure that can measure the success of a company or a business, the success of a man, the success of a society, the success of a culture, the success of a country? It’s nothing but the happiness of the people associated with it. Success of a business should be known from not from its balance sheet, not from the revenues or profits that it’s posting, not from its size, not from its reputation, not from anything else other than the happiness of its employees, customers and other stakeholders. After all what are we living for!
There’s a lot that could and should be taken from the Gita and be applied to self-management and to business management. It is a knowledge treasure-trove, a panacea of ethical conundrums, an intellectual and moral miracle.