10 Management Lessons from Mahabharata- Xenelsoft
April 29, 2020

10 Management Lessons From Mahabharata

Long ago, there was a battle named Mahabharata that was fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. They were cousins. It was fought for the Kingdom. The Pandavas were known for following ethics and the Kauravas were shrewd. The Kauravas snatched everything of the Pandavas by playing a dice game. They misbehaved with the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi gave them punishment for losing the game to remain in exile and live in disguise, tried to kill them and made them suffer a lot. As a result, the Pandavas and the Kauravas got into the battle called the Mahabharat. It was massively destructive. Both sides were very powerful and intellectual. Many smart tricks were used by the Pandavas under the leadership of Krishna to win the battle. There are various management lessons that can be learned from the Mahabharat. The Pandavas were Yudhishthir, Bheem, Arjun, Nakul, and Sahadev. Kunti was their mother and Pandu was their father. The Kauravas were Duryodhan, Dushasan, and 98 more brothers along with a sister, Dushala. Their parents were Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, who were blind.


1. Innovative Thinking

Innovative Thinking

There were 100 Kauravas. They were not naturally born but made with the help of test tube technology. It is said that Duryodhan was the first test-tube baby in the world. There were no Laboratories at that time. It was done with the help of mud pots. Mud pots provided the required temperature for the growth of an embryo and worked as test tubes. It was basically an invention but the result of innovative thinking. Gandhari wanted to give birth to more number of sons with the vision to build the foundation of a stronger kingdom. It is easy to create a brand name when a business start-up, a new product or service is launched with an innovation.


2. Selection of Resources

When the battle was going to begin, most of the other armies were also involved by the Kauravas and the Pandavas; Arjun and Duryodhan went to ask for favors from king Krishna also. Arjun asked Krishna himself to work as the driver of his Chariot. On the other hand, Duryodhan asked for his army. Krishna and his leadership with the Pandavas were one of the major reasons behind the victory of the Pandavas. He guided them at every step. He played the role of the most important human resource. When it comes to management, it is very necessary to select the right resources. Resources are not only raw material and other non-living things, but employees are also human resources. The selection of the right resources is therefore significant.


3. Following the Learning of Management Books

Before the beginning of the battle, Arjun lost his confidence and passion to win the battle because of the presence of relatives against him. He was not willing to fight against them. Lord Krishna gave an insight into the realities of life with the help of Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta. It is believed to be the solution to all the problems in the world. The solution to all the problems related to the challenges can be easily found in the most valuable management books. It is important for all the managers to understand the importance of the learnings of Management and to follow them.


4. Ethics

The Kauravas always followed the path of dishonesty. They fixed the game with the help of their uncle Shakuni. When the battle took place, they killed the sons of the Pandavas at night. Attacking anyone at night was strictly not allowed at that time because the time to fight was in the day. On the other hand, the Pandavas always followed ethical principles since their birth. They played the game with honesty. When they lost everything in the game, the Pandavas gave everything to the Kauravas and went to the forest to stay in exile. They bore the punishment even when they knew that it was given to them by unethical means. Therefore, they came back and asked for their kingdom back but Duryodhan refused and therefore the Mahabharat took place. The companies that don’t follow the ethical path don’t survive in the long run.


5. Commitment

Most of the leaders like Bhishma Pitamah and Dronacharya fought on behalf of the Kauravas even when they knew that they would lose the battle and their lives. They had their chances of disrespecting the kingdom of Hastinapur which was under the Kauravas and moving to the Pandavas but they did not. This is a management lesson because it should be followed by all the employees that they should not keep hopping from one company to another for a little increment in the salary. They should remain loyal to a company if they find the work culture suitable. None of the fighters from the Kauravas cheated, this also teaches the management lesson of being loyal to the customer and the company.


6. More People, More Work

Sometimes the companies tend to lay people off to maximize profits. However, if the value addition is done to a maximum number of people there are more chances of getting success and building a great brand image with mouth publicity because employees and their families are the effortless loyal customers to the company. The Kauravas and the Pandavas understood the importance of manpower and tried to increase the size of their armies as much as possible.


7. Diplomacy

Dronacharya was the teacher of the Kauravas and Pandavas. He was extremely powerful and knowledgeable. It was necessary for the Pandavas to kill him to make the Kauravas weak. He made an oath that he would discontinue fighting if he lost his son Ashwathama. The Pandavas played a trick by spreading the rumor that Ashvathama had died. Since Dronacharya was very intelligent, he sensed the trick and therefore decided to ask Yudhisthir because Yudhishthir was the most righteous among all the Pandavas who was determined to not speak a lie ever in his life. However, the Pandavas had to kill Dronacharya; Yudhishthir answered for an elephant named Ashwathama who was killed by Bheem. His answer was- Ashwathama has died’. This is how Yudhishthir spoke to Dronacharya diplomatically without speaking a lie and Dronacharya was killed. Diplomacy plays an important role in getting products sold. It is an important part of marketing communication and influencing customers through advertisements. It is the art of presentation to appeal to the customers.


8. PR Maintenance

Maintaining Public Relations is one of the most accurate keys to success. It helps in getting the right quality support from the right people at the right time. It was a result of the public relations maintained by Dhritarashtra with Bhishma Pitamah, Dronacharya, and other important leaders who were willing to support the Kauravas even when they knew the result. This can be applied to management as good Public Relations must be maintained with the employees, suppliers, wholesalers, and other entities of the external environment. It is very helpful in surviving in the hard times of the business cycle.


9. Division of Work

Mahabharata is an excellent example of the principle of division of work. Bheem, the strongest of all the Pandavas, with the power of a hundred elephants; killed all the hundred Kauravas alone with his strength. Nakul was given the role of assisting Bheem. He also played a prominent role in healing the wounds of the Kauravas because of his command over Ayurved.  He also killed the two sons of Karan, the dearest friend of Duryodhan. Sahadev defeated 40 brothers of Duryodhana.  Sahadev was an expert with swords who killed Shakuni. Shakuni was the mastermind of the dice game. Arjun was a great warrior and the best archer of the world and he killed Bhishma Pitamah, Jaydrath, and many other fighters of the Kauravas.

Arjun selected Krishna to become his driver so that he could be guided at every point of time. Shikhandi, stood before Bheeshma to shield Arjun because Bhishma had taken an oath to never raise his weapons against women and a eunuch was not believed to be a man according to the norms of society at the time. Yudhishthir was the king after the battle and he was responsible for twisting various rules so that the victory of the ethics took place. He was excellent in spear fighting and he killed Shalya and his brother on the 18th day of the battle. Shalya was his uncle and the commander-in-chief of the Kauravas. This is how it is important to give the right work to the employees according to their skills and talent.


10. Women Empowerment

Last but not the least, women empowerment is one of the most important management lessons to be learned by the Mahabharat. The sheer misbehavior done by Draupadi became the foundation of the Mahabharat. The respect for women was to be imparted to the coming generations through the battle. After years of ignorance, Fair Sex has now been recognized as an important part of society and the Corporate World. Many companies have made sure that 50% of the employees are women in all positions. The Mahabharat taught the same long back!

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