“Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” Albert Einstein
The famous quote of Albert Einstein on Mahatma Gandhi is all sufficient to describe the greatness of a noble soul who inspired lives of millions. One of the most influential leaders of the 20th Century, his teachings on self-leadership are studied as powerful tools to enhance the experience of management studies. Alan Axelrod in his book, “Gandhi, CEO: 14 Principles to Guide & Inspire Modern Leaders” has hailed Gandhiji not only as a moral and spiritual man but also as a pragmatic manager and an agent for change. According to him the leadership style of Gandhiji would work for a business enterprise even today. Many global management schools like Harvard, MIT, Oxford, also take look at some of his leadership skill to enhance the experience of management studies. Though there are many lessons on self-leadership, still the main three that can be the guiding force for all CEO’s are discussed below for reference.
Lesson of Persistence
Mahatma Gandhi through his way of living taught us innumerable lessons. The persistence and determination shown by him helped in shaping the future of the country. He through gentle persistence and policy of ahimsa (non-violence) led India to independence. His persistence in following non-violence is best epitomized by his march to Dandi to protest against the tax on salt.
Modern-day CEOs can learn his level of persistence which is required to run a business successfully. Building a successful business is an uphill task which warrants persistence. As a CEO one should not be side-tracked by the challenges they face in doing business but remain focused and persistent in order to achieve their set goals. You need to stay faithful to your purpose and always keep fighting with the obstacles. Additionally, persistence makes it much easier to face the challenges and improves work.
Lesson of Change
“Be the change you want to see in the world” This great mantra by Mahatma Gandhi holds great relevance in the corporate world. As a leader, you must first change so that others can follow. Spend time improving yourself so that others don’t point out at your decision-making abilities. Collaborate and celebrate every small win in business with the team. By developing the right attitude you can definitely overcome the challenges and achieve success.
Lesson on Brand building
Mahatma Gandhi through his Satyagraha and Non-Violent form of protest popularized ‘Brand India’ across the globe. His form of passive resistance continued to inspire others including Martin Luther King Jr. who in his autobiography credited Gandhi’s influence on his developing ideas regarding the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Modern-day CEO can learn a lot from the way Mahatma Gandhi diverted the attention of world leaders and masses towards Indian struggle for Independence.
If corporate CEOs are able to encompass some of these lessons of Gandhiji, they would be able to gain more respect and have more loyal followers.