Can leadership lessons be learnt from the Mahabharata? Demystifying Leadership positively asserts that we can and probes inquiry in the lives of six characters-Bhishma, Ashvatthama, Karna, Shakuni, Kunti and Krishna. It studies these characters in inescapable situations as they navigate through life by demonstrating values, decision-making ability, integrity and principles. Within the given constraints, some of these characters swim and rise, while others sink in moral turpitude. Extrapolating these successful and not-so-successful character traits to corporate leaders and linking them to scholarship, the authors provide lessons for leaders and managers operating in diverse situations.
Borrowing from different disciplines, such as literature, philosophy, politics and psychology, Demystifying Leadership proposes to link essentials of leadership in the form of a Leadership Triangle comprising six levels: positive personality, peace with personal identity, purpose, positive use of power and politics, paradoxical leadership and principled pragmatism. It takes a grounded approach in amalgamating mythology and leadership through scholarship and practice.
Using examples from the actions of the pantheon of personalities of the Mahabharata, Professor Gupta and Professor Kaul develop a sound framework for the contemporary leaders from all walks of life to become better leaders. ― N.R. Narayana Murthy Founder, Infosys Limited, Recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan
The Mahabharata is an epic story whose learnings are at the heart of Hinduism. It highlights the complexities and challenges of everyday life which everyone faces. Out of this come learnings that can be very relevant for leadership-a theme which the authors have intelligently explored in this book. There are interesting insights for leaders in every sphere. ― Lakshmi N. Mittal Chairman and CEO, ArcelorMittal, Recipient of Padma Vibhushan
Making choices is hard. Doing the right thing is hard. Leaders have to do both. This book uses familiar stories of the Mahabharata to bring out the complexity and frailty in human beings and the lessons of good and bad leadership choices. An easy and worthwhile read. ― Manvinder Singh (Vindi) Banga Former Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Partner, CD&R LLP, Recipient of Padma Bhushan
The book, Demystifying Leadership: Unveiling the Mahabharata Code, by Professor Asha Kaul and Professor Vishal Gupta uses the events and characters from the Mahabharata to gain deep insights about management and leadership. They take six key characters from the epic and delve into their personality, character, triumphs and failings, drawing insightful parallels to situations we encounter at the workplace. Their observations allow the reader to reflect and improve on their own leadership style. The learnings are applicable across a variety of contexts and situations that require the exercise of leadership principles. I found the book a very refreshing and innovative take on the Mahabharata and apart from being an engaging read, I find it extremely relevant for anyone looking to hone one's management and leadership acumen. ― Sanjay S. Lalbhai Chairman and Managing Director, Arvind Ltd.
Demystifying Leadership: Unveiling the Mahabharata Code is a fascinating and deeply engaging study of leadership through a careful analysis of the dilemmas, paradoxes and challenges faced by key figures in the Mahabharata. The authors develop a rich and textured account of key elements of the Mahabharata and identify insights on purpose, values, leadership and ethics highly germane to the modern world. The book has wide appeal to students of leadership as well as scholars and executives. ― Harbir Singh Professor of Management and Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Insightful and incisive analyses of the Mahabharata's lead characters. In-depth, critical scrutiny of circumstances and compulsions, as also their dilemmas and conduct during the eighteen-day battle. Leadership styles, principles, values and ethics displayed (or the lack of these) are carefully examined and sagaciously compared with those of contemporary modern-day leaders and industry captains, reiterating evermore the epic's eternal and timeless relevance. An enrapturing and absorbing work, indeed a requisite for leaders across all walks of life including militaries, both practising and aspiring. ― Rear Admiral Mukul Asthana, NM Indian Navy (Retd.)
The Mahabharata is said to be a repository of all that is Indian, and its wisdom has been guiding Indians for aeons. This is a seminal book that brings alive its wisdom for contemporary managers, and will inspire and guide other researchers to delve deeper in the text to decode management and leadership principles. ― Dharm P.S. Bhawuk Professor of Management and Culture and Community Psychology, University of Hawai?i at Manoa, USA
For managers seeking guidance on how to lead in a turbulent world where ethical challenges are commonplace and the right choice is not always obvious, Gupta and Kaul's book offers a novel perspective based on the central characters from the ancient-and world's longest-epic, the Mahabharata. The use of contemporary examples, such as Nelson Mandela, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Satya Nadella, Jacinda Ardern and Ratan Tata, to illustrate leadership concepts and insights adds to the value of the book. I personally enjoyed reading the book, and whole-heartedly recommend it for managers and students of business and leadership. ― Vishal K. Gupta Professor and the Fred and Martha Bostick Faculty Fellow, Culverhouse College of Business, The University of Alabama, USA
Demystifying Leadership helps readers understand key leadership principles through a holistic and unbiased portrayal of situations and characters from the Mahabharata.
About the Author
Asha Kaul is Professor in the Communication Area at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA). Her current areas of interest include leadership through mythology, reputation management, and managerial, corporate and digital communication. She has published many books and papers in related areas. Currently, she is working on Indian cases to comprehend the intricacies involved in corporate decision-making for enhancing reputation.
Vishal Gupta is Associate Professor in the Organisational Behaviour Area and the Chairperson of the Ashank Desai Centre for Leadership and Organisational Development at IIMA. He has been training professionals in the areas of leadership and organisational development for more than 10 years. His research has been published in international and national journals of repute and has been covered by national dailies.