The Relevance of Ram in Post-modern Leadership

The inspiring life of Ram, the main protagonist of the timeless epic of Ramayana, and the values enshrined in his work have much relevance, even in our post-modern era, across innumerable facets of life. In fact, the universal values reflected through his actions are expected to continue having their influence further into the realms of the future. For example, the leadership lessons from Ram’s actions in Ramayana have the potential to inspire and influence the corporate leadership of our times. 

Despite being a prince, the calm manner in which Ram accepted 14 years of exile and adopted to live a simple life in the forest with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman can inspire today’s corporate leaders to remain calm and clear-headed even in adverse and trying circumstances. This attitude of adapting to adverse circumstances can greatly help the leader/CEO of the team/company to effectively lead her/his team/company through the turbulence of today’s highly competitive and fast-changing business environment.

Developing Allies 

Similarly, when Ravan abducted Sita, he had no one except Lakshman by his side. But he didn’t despair and instead developed a clear vision to get his wife back from Lanka’s demon king Ravana. He also went about developing allies with Sugriva, the exiled king of Kishkindha, by helping Sugriva win his kingdom from his elder brother Bali by slaying Bali. This, in turn, induced Sugriva to help Ram by giving support to his military strength of vanar sena, which in turn proved to be a crucial factor in Ram’s victory in the war with Ravan. 

In the post-modern corporate world, to leaders should take inspiration from Ram by not despairing despite facing severe adversity, by developing a clear-cut vision towards one’s goal, however insurmountable it may seem apparent, and by forming the right strategic alliance to succeed in one’s professional endeavour or target. 

Reposing Complete Trust 

Then, when Ram and Lakshman were kidnapped by Ravan’s brother Ahiravan, the ruler of the mythical Patal Lok, Hanuman decided to rescue Ram and Lakshman from Ahiravan’s clutches. This was possible because of Ram’s unwavering trust in Hanuman, which perhaps gave Hanuman the confidence to take an independent call to rescue his master (Ram) and Lakshman. From this incident, today’s corporate leaders can be inspired by Ram to empower their crucial team members to take critical decisions independently. This can increase the skills and sense of responsibility of those team members and reduce the workload and tension of the concerned leaders/managers.

The complete trust of the team leader/manager for her/his teammates can assume critical importance for the success of an enterprise or mission or a company for that matter, in some critical situations.

Team Engagement

Ram took the opinion of his council of elders before accepting Vibhishan in his group, which showed that he respected their input and valued them. That gesture by Ram can urge managers or corporate leaders in today’s time to respect their team members’ opinions and perspectives and make them feel valued. In fact, this wise act of Ram can be translated into post-modern employee/team engagement without much difficulty. 

A leader can grow quickly and holistically by engaging and valuing one’s employees/team members and respecting their input. If employees/team members feel valued and respected they would be urged to deliver their best for the company. Moreover, the leader may get fresh perspectives to solve a problem from some of her/his team members. 

Right Allocation of Human Resource 

Ram showed considerable astuteness in delegating the right task to the right man for his mission to rescue Sita, which is a hallmark of a great leader. For example, assigning Vanar Sena to build a bridge over the ocean to reach Lanka and sending Angada as a peace messenger to Ravan’s court can be construed as examples of great human resource management. Like Ayodhya’s King Ram, today’s business leaders should know how to delegate the right tasks to the right persons, which would simplify the enormity of their challenges.

Also, Ram’s idea of sending someone to Lanka to confirm Sita’s presence there, a responsibility which was eventually placed on Hanuman due to Jamwant’s inspiration, before undertaking the mammoth project of building a bridge over the ocean shows his pragmatic wisdom towards better utilisation of limited resources. That act can encourage today’s business leaders to exercise extreme prudence or double-check before embarking on any ambitious project involving lots of money, time or both.

Gleaning Relevant Information 

Ram’s intelligent act of including Vibhishan in his team helped him win the war against Ravan. Vibhishan divulged many crucial secrets (including cracking the seeming invincibility of Ravan), which proved decisive in the war. This should inspire modern-day leaders to take help from outside sources/human resources, even from a rival company, to gain those trade secrets that will contribute to their company’s progress. 

Humility to Learn

When Ram vanquished Ravan and was nearing his death, Ram instructed Lakshman to go to Ravan, who was a revered scholar and request him (Ravan) to share some wisdom and knowledge with Lakshman. 

This lesson shows Ram’s character’s ingrained humility and inquisitiveness to learn. Modern-day business leaders and managers should also follow Ram in imbibing relevant knowledge, even if it is from one’s rival or fierce competitor, to further their company’s growth. 

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