Category Archives: Leadership

Embracing Tranquility in Leadership: Insights from Thyagaraja’s “Saantamu Leka”

image generated by the author and DALL.E-3

In the symphony of leadership, the notes of tranquility often get overshadowed by the crescendos of decision-making and the fortissimos of innovation. Yet, it is in the quietude of a leader’s mind that the most profound strategies are composed. Thyagaraja’s “Saantamu Leka,” a kriti in Raga Sama, resonates with this truth, harmonizing the ancient wisdom of spirituality with the modern cadences of leadership.

The Essence of “Saantamu Leka”

Thyagaraja, in his kriti, articulates a fundamental principle: without inner peace, there is no true comfort. This message is not just a spiritual axiom but a strategic imperative for leaders. The kriti unfolds this theme through its verses, emphasizing that wealth, family, knowledge, and rituals are but dissonant chords without the melody of tranquility.

Leadership Lessons from the Kriti

The blog “Thyagaraja Vaibhavam” delves deeper into the kriti, offering insights that are particularly pertinent for leaders. It speaks of “upasantamu,” a state of calm that is essential for liberation from the cyclicality of action and reaction—a concept that leaders can apply to break free from reactive patterns and cultivate a proactive mindset.

The Confluence of Music and Message

Raga Sama, known for its soothing quality, underscores the kriti’s message musically. For leaders, this serves as a metaphor for the harmony that arises from a tranquil mind—a state from which vision and clarity emerge.

In Conclusion: The Leader’s Quest for Peace

“Santamu Leka” is a timeless ode to the power of peace. It teaches leaders that the true measure of success is not just in outcomes but in the serenity with which one navigates the complex dynamics of business and life.

A Cinematic Parallel

In the spirit of movies and management, consider the calm demeanor of Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” or the composed resolve of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek.” Their tranquility in the face of turmoil is their strength, much like the peace Thyagaraja espouses.

As you lead, let the tranquility that “Saantamu Leka” advocates be your guide. It is in the silent beats of reflection that the true rhythm of leadership is found.

The Invaluable Essence of Time Management: Lessons from Azim Premji

@Hyderabad Airport- 1999

In our pursuit of progress and success, we often prioritize the accumulation of wealth, inadvertently relegating time to a secondary role. However, it is essential to recognize that while money can be earned or regained, time is an irretrievable asset. This article delves into the significance of effective time management, highlighting a personal encounter with the renowned business tycoon, Azim Premji, and the valuable lessons gleaned from his exemplary approach to handling time.

Most of the times we associate our progress with money and relegate time to background. But the truth of life is, one can earn money at any time, or even make up for lost money, but one cannot earn back time or make up for lost time.

Sometime in 1999, I had the opportunity to meet Sri Azim Premji in the airport. There was some delay in the regular flights, due to some cancellation and Indian Airlines offered a complementary breakfast spread. I spotted him with a couple of his colleagues, in apparent serious discussion, while sampling a few food items. One could immediately guess that there was something important planned ahead and the flights issue, put a dampener on it, and he was doing his best to compensate and most importantly manage time effectively.

Time, the elusive constant that we often take for granted, holds a profound significance in our lives. As I reflect on my interaction with Azim Premji back in 1999, the airport encounter painted a vivid picture of a man who valued time above all else. Amidst flight delays and disrupted schedules, Premji’s unwavering focus on managing time efficiently was palpable. Even as I approached him seeking an autograph, his initial reaction conveyed the urgency and importance he placed on his time. Nevertheless, upon discovering my professional aspirations, his demeanor softened, and he graciously obliged, leaving little room for small talk. It was evident that individuals like Azim Premji regard time management as paramount, proactively taking charge of their schedules instead of allowing time to dictate their lives.

Observing Azim Premji engrossed in earnest discussions with his colleagues, his unwavering commitment to optimizing time became increasingly evident. With every nibble of food and every exchange of ideas, he exuded an aura of purposeful efficiency, unaffected by the curious gazes of onlookers. Premji’s approach to time management exemplified a cardinal rule: by projecting oneself as someone prepared and ready for any challenge, the schedule inevitably becomes packed with meaningful tasks. It was an unspoken lesson in conveying priorities through actions, ensuring that each moment is allocated to the most significant endeavors. The encounter left an indelible impression, emphasizing the importance of proactive time management as a crucial aspect of achieving success.

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This quote from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty encapsulates the essence of effective time management discussed in this article. The protagonist embarks on an extraordinary journey, driven by the realization that life is about experiencing moments, connecting with others, and truly feeling. Similarly, Azim Premji’s relentless pursuit of time management reflects a deeper understanding of life’s purpose. By efficiently managing time, we create opportunities to explore, grow, and connect with the world around us. Premji’s dedication to optimizing time serves as a powerful reminder that time is not merely a resource to be consumed but a catalyst for meaningful experiences and personal growth.

In a world often preoccupied with financial gains, it is crucial to reorient our perspective and recognize the true value of time.

Three movies and three lessons.

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Three movies and three lessons.

The Magnificent Seven (2016):

  1. Diverse Teams: The seven gunslingers come from different backgrounds and bring unique skills to the table, demonstrating the value of having a diverse team when tackling complex problems.
  2. Leadership: Denzel Washington’s character takes charge and leads the group with integrity, showing the importance of having strong leadership in times of crisis.
  3. Effective Communication: The seven gunslingers learn to work together effectively and communicate with one another, demonstrating the importance of clear communication in teamwork.

The Magnificent Seven (1960):

  1. Adaptability: The seven gunslingers are faced with unexpected challenges and must be able to adapt to changing circumstances, demonstrating the importance of being adaptable in the face of adversity.
  2. Strategic Planning: The seven gunslingers come up with a plan to defend the town, demonstrating the importance of careful and strategic planning.
  3. Collaboration: The seven gunslingers work together and rely on one another to achieve their goal, demonstrating the importance of collaboration in achieving success.

Seven Samurai:

  1. Skill Development: The samurai learn and hone their skills over time, demonstrating the importance of continuous skill development in achieving success.
  2. Mentorship: The veteran samurai pass on their knowledge and experience to the younger members, demonstrating the value of mentorship in professional growth.
  3. Risk Management: The samurai face many risks and make calculated decisions to minimize them, demonstrating the importance of risk management in decision making.