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Management Lessons from Mahabharata

Written By Franklin V on Friday, July 22, 2011 | 7:46 AM

The second longest epic of the world, Mahabharata is not just an epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War or a book of philosophy; rather it's a comprehensive manual on management strategy. Mahabharata encompasses many lessons on management which can potentially be applied to modern business practices. Vyasa's epic poem is considered to be a pertinent handbook on management and these management insights are being practiced by many today. Take a look at some of the best practices from India's great epic of knowledge and inspiration. 

1. Transform your weakness into strength


Like how Pandavas transformed their weaknesses to strengths during the years of exile, you need to have the urge to improve on your weakness. Mahabarata gives many an examples to highlight the importance of utilizing time to overcoming your skills like how Arjuna went on a mission to attain the Divyastras or Yudhisthira mastered the Game of Dice. You need to have the passion to dedicate adequate time to learn those skills that can help you overcome your weakness only by which you can be a great manager. 

2. Share your responsibilities


Efficiently sharing responsibilities is the mark of a good manager and the great Indian epic gives the best example for this. Pandavas fought the war as one 
team with one goal in mind while Kauravas lacked the team spirit and they all fought individual wars. It advises the managers not to make the decision-making process a dictatorial one, rather involve everyone so that the best of ideas will pop up.

3. Learn the art of teamwork


It was not a common war for Kauravas as they never showed the unity. But the way Pandavas fought is a lesson for managers as it highlights the significance of sticki 
ng on to the common goal while meeting the individual targets. The great story teaches the golden lesson that only a combined effort can bring in success.

4. Know the ground realities


Pandavas spent one year in exile with the poor people and the years of exile helped them to reach out to people from various strata of the society while Kaur 
ava's had no experience of the ground reality as they lived a royal life. Managers need to understand the realities to lead their team in the right direction. They need to break the barriers to get in touch with their subordinates to understand their problems and identify ways to make their work easier.

5. Take calculated risks


Krishna has acted as a greatest crisis manager showing how to take calculated risks at the time of crisis. Management is all about taking calculated risks. Shying 
away from challenges is not a sign of management, rather well-assessed decisions to on facing the challenges is the trademark of good management.


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