The Lord, The Father & The Pradhan Sevak

>>>Leadership lessons from Krishna, Gandhi & Narendra Modi<<<

By Dr. Arindam Chaudhuri

Understand the super successful leadership styles of Krishna, Gandhi and Modi and Discover The Diamond in You!

We introduced Krishna and Gandhi into Leadership lessons for India Inc. before everyone else.

Now introducing Leadership Style of Narendra Modi for Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders!!

Very few countries can boast of having leadership traits and theories ingrained in their culture like the Indians can- and realisation is specially so when one reads the Gita. And while in the mythological book Gita, Lord Krishna himself was the first one to use his own style of leadership, in my opinion India has only seen two leaders of prominence – in the times we and our immediate forefathers have lived in- who have been genius implementers of Krishnas style of Leadership that I have elaborated in my “Theory I Leadership” that was presented in Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch way back in 2001. ( )

Let me try to present a short synopsis of the leadership styles of three of the greatest leaders that today’s Indians can easily identify with, one mythological, one from India’s days of freedom struggle and one from right between us, today.

Lord Krishna

A man standing on one leg with the other crossed over it; a flute in his hand; Long locks of hair and a mysterious look in his eyes. Every time I close my eyes and try to think of him, this is the picture that keeps coming back. The picture doesn’t remind you of a dynamic corporate leader, nor does it remind you of a tough taskmaster. Yet, he happens to be the greatest of all leaders that I can think of. And as my professor: Dr. N.R.Chatterjee (my Guru and inspiration behind Theory i Management) used to jokingly say, “this man had two great qualities which leaders in general don’t – he knew how to dance and how to make others dance!” Every time invariably, whatever the situation this man used to be a winner.

Lord Krishna knew how to be effective. He knew when to use Management by Direction with Arjun (Bhagawat Gita is the ultimate book of directions!!) and when to delegate him the complete responsibility (during the war). He knew exactly how to make even Yudhisthir mis-lead Dronacharya and he knew exactly how to handle the other extreme ideas of Duryodhan. Like a specialist conductor he orchestrated the whole war of Mahabharat, from managing Bhishma’s temper to Bhim’s lack of intelligence, from managing the illusion of the sun being still there to managing the end of Karna, from managing the guile of Shakuni to managing the anger of Dhritrashtra. He did it all with amazing smoothness. When it was required he used Dand/Management by Direction/negative psychological KITA (Kick In The Ass) to manage some one like Shishupal. When Gandhari called upon Duryodhan and there was a fear that he might become immortal, Lord Krishna used his intelligence through Management by Seduction (Daam) and saw to it that it was not to be. Exactly as effectively he used Saam (Management by Association) and Bhed (Management by Division) with different individuals to achieve his almost impossible goal of taking 5 brothers with a weaker army to victory against a team of 100 brothers with a far stronger army.

Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi

In a different age another great leader, known to the public as a true devout of Lord Ram (Hey Ram!) actually put the leanings from Lord Krishna to practice to do the impossible- lead a nation from the shackles of the British Raj towards independence. Mahatma Gandhi. (My elaboration of Gandhi as a management Guru years back and )

He is said to have the habit of reading the Gita regularly. Having been ruled for so many years by one foreign power or the other, the Indian populace had been accustomed and acclimatized to exploitation. There were a few raised voices here and there, a few bombs hurled around but never did a revolt of the types of 1857 end up having a nationwide impact like it happened all over the world viz France, Scottland, USA, Russia, China, etc. India was a different nation, which needed “Lord Krishna’s Leadership”.

What succeeded everywhere else failed in India and what was never tried anywhere else succeeded with the Indians. The success of this nonviolent revolution is perhaps, thus, the biggest lesson for the Indian managers. It should make them realize the importance of coming out with unique management concepts for Indians… because it seems we are actually an unique combination of values, cultures and lethargy (if I am permitted to use this word!).

World over bloody revolutions have led to independence but we attained it through “ahimsa (non-violence movement)”. Whether it was more by default than choice could be another story, though! (If Mike Tyson were to challenge me for boxing about I would tell him straight that I belonged to the land of Gandhi and ahimsa is what I believed in!)

Mahatma Gandhi’s example to me is a perfect case of adopting styles to suit the culture. The country today stands divided on whether what he did was good or bad… I just know one thing. There was never a leader before him or never one after him who could unite us all and bring us out in the streets to demand for what was rightfully ours. To me he is the greatest leader our land has ever seen. And to me it is “Theory ‘i’ Management” at its practical best – productively and intelligently utilizing whatever the resource you are endowed with (have said this for years

Pradhan Sevak Narendra Modi

Another era another leader who doesn’t hide his love for the Gita. He almost makes it his official gift to foreign delegates. He catches the national imagination and takes the country by storm. In July 2012 I had suggested that this was his golden chance ( ) and even before he won in 2014 I wrote in various papers on 12 reasons why he could be the best PM India has ever had (

It was a fight between Old Money versus vs New aspirations and the Victor was The latter (I had written long back in 2013 ). It was a fight between the elitist English media’s India vs the media from the hinterland’s Bharat and Bharat won (I had written way back in 2012 ). Everyone in the mainstream media was against him and yet he came out victorious. They thought here is a Hindu fanatic who will whip up religious frenzy and rule India (I knew that was the creation of media and wrote in 2014 But he rode to power by saying “toilets before temples”. No Indian leader would have ever had the courage to say such a thing. Everyone thought that he would swear by religious books but he said the most important book of religion for him was the constitution of India. Everyone thought his presence would start riots but riots have practically disappeared (

Everyone criticised his demonetisation (of course I believed in it ) and the fact is to a large extent that’s what brought him back to power the second time – because the poor in india believed that he had taken away the black money of the rich. They said Chowkidar Chor Hai, he made the entire nation add Chowkidar word after their names and rode to victory. People said Modi was bad for the economy and he came up with his extremely achievable 5 trillion dollar economy plan (I will be writing soon on how that’s not a bogus plan but extremely achievable along with a roadmap on how to achieve it). They say it’s scary that BJP might be in power for 20 years and more, I say, I see no harm. If the poor get bank accounts, electricity connections, direct account transfer, LPG connection, great health insurance scheme, toilets after 70 years of independence in the very first term, I don’t mind waiting to see the results at the end of the next term and more. After all how much better would the opposition have done?

People said much later that he was competing with Nehru, the truth is as I wrote in my editorial after he completed his first 30 days way back in 2014 that he was showing qualities of leadership “beyond Nehru” ( And now as people try to joke about him as trying to replace the father of the nation, I can confidently say, if he lives another ten years -which I am sure he will- he will leave a mark on Indian politics that only Gandhi left in the last hundred years. Just like Gandhi was a follower of Krishna and had no plans to replace him in the minds of people, I am certain Modi is a follower of Gandhi and has no plans of replacing him in people’s minds.

Yet all the three are bound together by their origins of hardships leading to pathbreaking leadership qualities that have the unique quality of being able to take on the impossible and come out victorious. According to their times, they all excelled in their way of reaching out to the masses- be it through the melodious pull of the flute, the revolutionary spirit of non-violent padyatras or the addictive attraction of social media. They all based their leadership style on an India centric approach outlined in the Gita. Krishna helped a small team of five brothers defeat a massive army of hundred brothers. Gandhi helped seemingly weak Indians take on the mighty British empire and come out victorious. Modi took on the elitist India head on and destroyed their stranglehold over Indian politics and decimated them completely.


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