An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Management Philosophy of Mahabharata

This is a rather interesting take on the personalities in Mahabharata.  I do agree that the stories in this epic are very interesting and work of some great poet – even if they were not a reality (although given the detail, that would be tough to imagine). 

The IIMB professor starts off by saying that these epics make you realize that life is all “greys” not just black-and-white.  Yet, he goes on to define the personalities of the various protagonists in a one-dimensional way.. which I found rather contradictory.  According to me, the personalities are as much multi-dimensional as the stories coming out of them are.  Here are Narayanaswamy’s characterizations.

“Yudhishtir is the mentor whose strengths are his values and beliefs. He stands for propriety but he is blinded by his code of honour.

Similarly, Bhima is an ‘executor’ manager. For him, the outcome is supremely important, the bottomline matters — his weakness is he can be blinded by rage.

“Nakul, points out the IIM-B professor, is the enabler — the service hero of today.”He’s driven by process, but there’s no active leadership.

Sahadeva is the visionary, but he is like the manager who stands for thought and no action. Karna’s strength is personal loyalty, it also brings about his doom. He’s like the manager of today who’d buy vegetables for his bosses,” says Narayanaswamy.

Arjun stands for flawless perfection. His strength is that he’s assailed by doubt, but he’s willing to learn.”Today’s young managers are Arjuns, in search of their own heroism — they want to discover their own meaning in life,” says Narayanaswamy.

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