Guest Column What the Bhagavad Gita can teach IFAs about motivation

What the Bhagavad Gita can teach IFAs about motivation

Shifali Satsangee of Funds Vedaa digs deep into the Bhagavad Gita and finds that it can be a great guide for motivation.
Shifali Satsangee Jun 25, 2012

Shifali Satsangee of Funds Vedaa digs deep into the Bhagavad Gita and finds that it can be a great guide for motivation.

At the outset, let me tell you that I am no HR expert; I am just another person around the block who believes in developing and nurturing employees in such a way that we get the best out of everyone.

I do not know the nitty-gritties of how successful leaders could inspire their people, but I got my share of learning from one of India’s greatest contributions to the world—the Bhagavad Gita.

While the regulatory changes were in full steam, I realized that there was so much we could imbibe from the Gita.The epichas standards of behavior and values addressed to each individual to help him/her to tide over difficult times.

The hopelessness and despair of Arjuna in theGitais typically that of a vulnerable human. Sri Krishna, by sheer power of his inspiring words, changes Arjuna’s mind from a state of inaction to one of righteous action and to a state of self-confidence. So the question is what can we learn from the book that would help us motivate our team and sail through tough times.

Lead by example:“Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow,” says Sri Krishna in the Gita.Stick to basics,lead by example and set anexample. When the team sees the leader work hard, it motivates them to keep pace with him.

Clarity of goals: Each person has perspectives and attitudes towards his work. What theGita tells us is to develop the visionary perspective—to develop a sense of larger vision in our work for the common purpose. Clarify the purpose and goals so that people can focus on attainment of those goals. Involve people in the communication process to create the goals to be achieved. If people are involved in the process, they psychologically own it and you create a situation where people are on the same page about what is really important—mission, vision, values, and goals.

Trust your team: Lord Krishna had complete faith in Arjuna’s ability, which in turn motivated him to take on the battle. You should show others that you believe in their capacity to live up to certain expectations, to deliver on promises, and to achieve key goals.Consider everyone a leader and they will have asense of mutual accountability automatically. If you force someone to do some work you get what you desire, but if you set him free and make him accountable or own that task you will get more than you wanted.

Stand by your team, come what may:Recognize that everyone is afraid when things get uncertain. Instead of allowing themselves to be insecure and fearful, try convertingtheir anxiety into results. This is what Sri Krishna did when Arjun was full of despondency and fear.Be available for your employee when he needs you the most and be accessible, and you land up creating a very strong bond. The point you ought to make clear is “I am your leader and I am always there for you.” Krishna set an apt example by driving Arjuna’s chariot and being there with him in spite of facing a huge army.

When the going gets rough…The Gita teaches us to be balanced or equipoised during good times and bad times. The skill necessary in the performance of one’s duty is that of maintaining evenness of mind in face of success and failure. The calm mind in the face of failure will lead to deeper introspection and you see clearly where the process went wrong so that corrective steps can be taken to avoid shortcomings in the future.

The Gita helped Arjuna win the Great War—the epic can inspire you to tide over the many battles that you will face while motivating your employees.


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