Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of Indian independence movement, father of nation, pioneer of civil disobedience and nonviolent struggle. A man who has influenced influential personalities across the globe and who remains, by a distance one of the most popular statesmen of the past century. His quotes are still widely read and shared all over internet.
There is a common perception that Gandhian philosophy might not have practical implications in real world, especially in the corporate world. One can argue that Gandhi’s ideas are based on idealism and don’t always consider the pragmatic nature of our world. Even his most famous follower and India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru didn’t agree with all his economic policies.
However some of Gandhiji’s ideas serve as excellent principles for modern managers. You may argue against his philosophy but you can’t refute the fact that he was a great leader; someone who united hundreds and millions of people towards a common goal. Here are 6 quotes by Mahatma Gandhi for aspiring managers:
1. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony
As a manager your thoughts, words and action should be in harmony. This not only leads to clarity in vision but also builds trust in the employees. No matter what organization or industry you work in, the ultimate goal of your actions is always happiness; for yourself, your team and the stakeholders. Embrace this thought in your management style and success will show up in more ways than one.
2. Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes
Being a manager means making decisions that will influence your entire team. This can make some managers too prudent and scared of taking risks. You should understand that despite the responsibility of other people on your shoulders, you will not be immune to failure. If you make mistakes, communicate it to your team. Fear of making mistakes shouldn’t stop you from trying novel ideas.
3. Nobody can hurt me without my permission
Everyone knows about the age old saying, you only fail when you give up. There will be times when things won’t go as planned, hypothesis will fall apart and targets will seem unrealistic. However it is entirely up to you if you choose to accept failure or try harder. As strange as it sounds, failure doesn’t make you a failure, it’s your attitude.
4. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others
A manager’s actions are representative of his entire team. You are as good as your team. The best way to manage people is to see things from their perspective. Understanding what motivates people and what puts them off is incredibly crucial. Work on ways to enhance the skills of your employees. That’s the reason why the best manager is not necessarily the most experienced or skilled but those who can inspire people to work towards a common goal.
5. Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn
Businesses thrive on ambiguity. No matter how big a corporation is, how well researched its estimates are; they can never be certain of what lies in future. Even a juggernaut investment bank like Lehman Brothers couldn't sense the impending crisis and went bankrupt. As a manager you should understand the uncertainty that lies at the heart of business. Concentrate on living in the moment and make the most of every day. This doesn't mean you should not possess a long term vision but that should not translate into complacency in routine activities.
6. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
You will always find yourself in situations when you will face competitors who have more resources and experience. Success lies in the intent to succeed. Trust your vision and have faith in your team. Understand that everyone has weaknesses, even the most formidable opponents. Don’t let failures take toll on your will to succeed.
We’ll bring you management quotes from more renowned personalities this week. We are always looking for feedback from our readers, so if you have any recommendations, feel free to let us know.