Father of nation- Mahatma Gandhi is generally considered as a freedom fighter. However many scholars have tried to dig up his work ethics and have presented his several other avatars such as, journalist, leader, strategist etc. One of such avatars is of “a management guru”.
There is no second thought that Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader. It is a matter of fact that leadership is actually an essence of Managerial qualities. Mahatma Gandhi always had faith in himself and his followers.
He was confident that whatever he would do, his followers will agree to it. However, keeping that in mind he never let his thoughts rule over his mind, rather he truly had a sense of responsibility.
Clearly, a lesson that any manager can learn is that he should have faith in himself and his team and at the same time being aware of his/her powers should also have a sense of responsibility.
Mahatma Gandhi was a smart manager, and a wonderful strategist. He possessed amazing public relations skills and also had very good relationship with the press.
For instance, having a look at the Dandi march, if Mahatma Gandhi would have had gone quietly to Dandi, his efforts would have had gone in drain.
He very well knew that he must create an event using his sheer PR skills in order to make an impact catch the eyeballs. So he took his followers along with him for the march, dragging attention of the press.
He had a thorough understanding of human psychology and used it in amalgamation with his public relation skills.
Mahatma’s Great Grandson, Tushar Gandhi, said that Mahatma Gandhi was an idol management Guru and he created brands.
The Swadeshi movement lead by him created brand awareness for Khadi, and similarly for every videshi goods burnt he provided options symbolizing “a solution for every problem”.
He had an approach of first creating platforms for the public so that they can connect to each other and later using their talents for their own benefits. Swadeshi, Champaran and the Dandi March are examples of events led by Mahatma Gandhi that created huge brand awareness.
Mahatma Gandhi is an inspirational personality and a role model for many struggling managers. Mahatma Gandhi has taught us that a manager should never have low confidence even at the toughest times.
Resource constraint never bothered him. He understood the Bruisers were powerful with technological armors. So, he changed the game fundamentally in order to deal with the situation. He gathered his power through the support of common people rather than weapons. He kept on reinventing his strategies.
Just like how managers face problems not only from outside the company but also from within, Gandhi ji also faced rejections and hindrance from people within the Congress.
There were many who did not go along with the plan all the time. One of these was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s father Motilal Nehru who wrote him a long letter asking him to drop out the idea of Dandi March.
Motilal Nehru doubted that the plan would not succeed and may cause embarrassment to the party. Mahatma Gandhi wrote back a single line in reply- “Kar ke dekho” (do it and see).
This signifies not only his sheer management skills but also his boldness in experimenting. It is known to everyone that how successful his experiment of Dandi March was.
In contrast with those who look up to Gandhi as a great Management Guru there are many people who concede that all his ideas would not be applicable in today’s scenario. They say that Mahatma Gandhi was against industrialization and he felt that it would have a highly negative impact on society.
But to say that Gandhi was completely against industrialization would be wrong. He was not even an enemy of the capitalists. Gandhi ji offered his exclusive theory of Trusteeship.
This theory guides capitalists to consider the wealth they have in their hand as being held with a responsibility for the up gradation of the poor. The trusteeship is nothing but a mid way path between core capitalism and core communism.
Gandhi ji felt that the rich were the custodians of the wealth they earn and it should be used for the welfare of the society which constitutes the less-fortunate ones. This is the essence of Corporate Social Responsibility which is popularly practiced now-a-days.
Arun Maira, of Boston Consulting Group and member Planning Commission , Government Of India is of the thought that we keep feeling that models of people in the West are the ones we should follow.
However, since the last two to three years these models are in a dubious state even in the West, and so it is time for India to peep within itself for leadership examples.
Mahatma Gandhi’s style of leadership as applied to corporate India would make even the lowest person in the organization believe in himself and the significance of his contribution towards the organization. Gandhi ji had a way of doing things so that everyone in the cause is connected to the goal.
Mahatma Gandhi’s role as a manager is truly extraordinary. He taught the world that the company goal is above the individual merits. Very few people realize that while Gandhi ji was leading India towards freedom, he put forth exceptional Management skills.
People who have realized this and adopted his management methods have tasted the glory and touched zenith.