Leadership lessons from mythology

by | Jun 26, 2015 | W3 Blog | 20 comments

What’s your managerial style: like Lord Ram or Lord Krishna?

In Hindu mythology there are two great epics. One is called Ramayan and other is called Mahabharata.

The centre story of both these books is around victory of good on evil. In one story Lord Ram leads his army to defeat Ravana in his land while in the second Lord Krishna oversees Pandavas defeat Kauravas in the battle at Kurushektra.


In Ramayan, Lord Ram is the best yodhaa of his side. He leads his army from the front. Strategies and directs different people to do things which will meet the objectives. His people are happy to follow orders and want to get all the appreciation for being the best executors. Lord Ram set direction and also tells people what to do during difficult times.

Ultimately they won the war and final outcome was achieved.


On the other hand Lord Krishna told Arjuna, I won’t fight the battle. I won’t pick up any weapon; I would only be there on your chariot as a charioteer. And he did what he said. He never picked up the weapon and he never fought.

Still, Pandavs won the war and final outcome was achieved.


So, what was different? It was their managerial style and it was also the type of people who were being lead. Lord Ram was leading an army of ‘MONKEYS’ who were not skilled fighters and they were looking for direction. While on other hand, Lord Krishna was leading Arjuna who was one of the best archer of his time. While Lord Ram’s role was to show it and lead from the front, Krishna played the role of a coach whose job was to remove cobwebs from his protégée’s mind. Krishna couldn’t teach Arjuna archery but he could definitely help him see things from a very different perspective.

Here are some of the basic differences in two styles: Lord Ram- skilled warrior, lead monkeys, was emotional, gave precise roles and instructions, motivated the army to fight for his cause: Lord krishna- works with best professionals, provides strategic clarity, allows team members to take lead, fights for the cause of the team, did not depict true emotions

Look at your team and reflect what type of leader you are, one who keep answering/solving problems for people or who asks relevant questions from their people so that they can find their own solution. Are you someone who tells/direct all the time or someone who clarifies doubts and allows their people to find their own ways. Are you someone who has monkeys in the team and the way you deal with it Or you have brightest experts in their area getting stuck with issues?

Younger generation doesn’t want you to tell or show how things are done, they want to know the meaning of their task and how it makes difference in this world. They are Arjuna’s who don’t necessarily seek more skill/knowledge but they need someone to clarify the cobwebs in their mind, if you still apply Lord Ram’s style on them, you are bound to fail as a manager on the other hand if there are people who aren’t skilled enough but rely on your expertise to sail you through Lord Ram’s style is appropriate.

Isn’t it good for us to reflect and think what managerial style will bring the best result for you and your team?

Is it Lord Ram or Lord Krishna? Or Combination of both?



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