Father of the Nation: Mahatma Gandhi was India’s greatest leader. His firm belief in non-violence and ‘Swaraj’ movement uprooted the Britishers from India, and made us free.
Today, on the occasion of his 140th birth anniversary, we try to extract some leadership lessons from the great man, and his mission.
Lesson #1: The Mission
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”
The first step in becoming a leader is, finding your mission. Once your mission exists, then your followers and fans will also exist. For Mahatma Gandhi, the biggest mission was serving others, and this is the reason he was able to attract millions of followers, who trusted him, and believed him.
If you want to become a leader, then first, find your mission.
Lesson #2: Persistence
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Mahatma Gandhi was insulted, jailed, beaten and what not. But still, the biggest weapon he possessed was of persistence. He just refused to give in, and continued his fight against the Britishers. Historians are still baffled, as to now a dhoti-clad man could defeat World’s mightiest army.
If you want to become a leader, then persistence holds the key to success.
Lesson #3: Honesty
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory”
Like a true leader, Mahatma Gandhi was always, always honest to his actions, and thoughts. As per him, the true success lies in honesty, and this is the Golden rule for any leader.
If you are not honest with your actions, then nothing can be achieved.
Lesson #4: Non-Violence
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind..”
Mahatma Gandhi’s USP was his non-violence pledge and thoughts. He was able to mobilize millions of Indians, but never incited them to become violent.
The true leader will always shun violence, and adopt non-violent ways to achieve the goals.
Lesson #5: Strength
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”
Leadership’s one of the most prominent qualities is forgiveness. And that, becomes your true strength. Mahatma Gandhi always advocated forgiveness, and this is where his true strength lied.
Lesson #6: Change
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Leaders become leaders because they are the harbinger of change. Mahatma Gandhi always believed that you need to become the change which you wish to bring in this world.
Lesson #7: Happiness
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
The true leader will place happiness above all. And happiness is when your actions and your thoughts are in sync. If you say something else, and do something else, then you won’t be ever happy.
And you won’t be able to become a true leader.
Lesson #8: Health
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
Mahatma Gandhi attributed health as a major factor for success. And herein lies a great success mantra for the leader: Unless you focus on your health, you cannot achieve much.
And by health, he meant both physical and mental health and well-being.
Lesson #9: Thoughts & Action
“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.”
Mahatma Gandhi was no doubt influenced by Buddha, and he believed that both thoughts and actions has to be in harmony. Any person, any leader will become what he think can become.
The leader will have to purify his thoughts, and then only he or she can become a true leader.
Lesson #10: Will Power
“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
The true power for any leader comes from within – Because that internal power is what makes them the leader.
Mahatma Gandhi famously said that no one can hurt him unless he decides so, and herein lies the great teaching for the leader.
Lesson #11: Anger & Negativity
“Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”
Mahatma Gandhi shared a great leadership thought here: About controlling your emotions and sentiments. Both anger and intolerance are the greatest negative forces, and they can destroy a person.
The true leader will never allow these negative emotions to control oneself.
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