We have read Ramayana as a religious epic. Its characters inspire us even after ages. We know how Rama, its hero defeated demon king Ravana. His human pqualities like compassion, commitment, patience, ethics, wisdom, humility, righteousness, sagacity etc are reflected in his acts throughout his life that made Rama Maryada Purushottam (Perfect Man), a guiding God.
But here, I’m going to talk of Rama as a leader. His qualities have a vast potential to change our every-day human life, even in the management. What set him apart were his leadership qualities, some of which are enumerated hereunder:
He fulfilled his commitment to spend 14 years in exile in woods due to his father’s vows. He didn’t take help from any neighbouring kingdom, though he could have easily approached them.
2. Patience and Humility
Rama didn’t get provoked when he was deprived of coronation and sent to exile or when his wife Sita was abducted by Ravana. He maintained his cool and decided for further course of action. He befriended Kevat and Shabari from the suppressed communities on his way to woods.
3. Vision and Planning
He had a clear vision what he had to do for bringing Sita back, and also for duties as an obedient son, a caring brother, a faithful husband and a virtuous king for his empire. He laid out his plans accordingly and slowly worked towards executing them.
Hanuman himself could have brought Sita, but means were more important for Rama than the outcome. He didn’t use unscrupulous ways to achieve his goals. He lived his whole life by the rules of dharma.
5. Team building
He made his allies on ethical grounds. Though Bali had already defeated Ravana, he chose his younger brother Sugriv as his one of allies, as Bali was not on righteous path and had deprived Sugriv of his kingdom.
Rama knew and ensured optimal utilisation of available resources. For building a bridge over sea to reach Lanka, he imposed faith in his two expert armymen, Nala and Nila, gathered local tribals and Vanars (apemen) and trained them for the job. The bridge was completed within a few days as he picked right people for the right job.
7. Leading from the front
He didn’t hesitate to take on the opposition in war, as he was at the head of the army inspiring his soldiers to put the enemy to flight.
Rama had sent Hanuman to Lanka with a small hint, just to see how and where Sita was and to assure her that Rama would come to liberate her. But what Hanuman did in Lanka including destruction of gardens and putting Lanka on fire was a different story altogether. He inspired people and gave full freedom to them to act. Rama believed in creating leaders, whether it was Hanuman, Sugriv or Vibhishan.
9. Participative Style
He didn’t impose his decisions and always involved his siblings, and lieutenants in all his decision making process. In this way he sought their commitment too for a particular task. He treated everybody as equal and with respect.
The story of Rama as a visionary leader goes to prove that education is not that important for leadership that actually comes through the purity of soul. Ramayana may, therefore, be considered as a social book that gives the threads of all the aspects of human life.