Duties of a Manager – lessons from Mahabharata

Posted by Venu Payyanur     Category: Pearls of Wisdom from Mahabharata

Duties of a Manager – lessons from Mahabharata

The Manager should always put in serious efforts with promptness, because without promptness of action, mere destiny or fate alone never accomplishes the objectives set forth. Though hard-work and destiny are equal in their operation hard-work alone is superior. Do not indulge in grief if what are commenced ends disastrously, for you should then exert yourself in the same act with redoubled attention.

There is nothing which contributes so much to the success of managers as Truth and honesty. The manager who is devoted to Truth remains happy. There is nothing that so much inspires confidence in them as Truth and honesty. The manager, who is possessed of every accomplishment and good behaviour, who is self-restrained, humble, and righteous, his passions under control and not too enquiring, never loses wealth and prosperity.

By administering proper justice, as also by the observance of conduct that is straightforward, the manager, obtains success and prosperity. If the manager becomes mild, everybody disregards him. On the other hand, if he becomes fierce, his employees then become troubled.

There is no treasure more valuable to the managers than that which consists in the selection and assemblage of teammates. Among the six kinds of citadels indicated in the scriptures, that which consists of the team who are committed, dedicated and hardworking is the most impregnable. Therefore, the wise manager should always show compassion towards all his subordinates. The manager who is of righteous soul and truthful speech succeeds in gratifying his team members. However one must not behave with forgiveness towards everybody, for the manager that is mild is regarded as the worst of his kind like an elephant that is bereft of fierceness. If the manager happens to be always forgiving, the lowest of persons prevails over him, including his driver. The manager, therefore, should not always be mild. Nor should he always be fierce. He should be like the morning Sun, neither cold nor so hot as to produce perspiration.

A Manager should not be addicted to things like alcoholism, drugs, smoking, etc. It is not necessary that one should never indulge in them but never be attached to them.  The manager who cherishes no love for his people inspires the latter with anxiety. The manager should always bear himself towards his team as a mother towards the child of her womb.

The Manager should never abandon fortitude. The manager that is possessed of fortitude and who is known to inflict punishment on wrong-doers has no cause of fear. The manager should not overindulge in jokes with subordinates. If you mingle too freely, some of them might start disregarding you. They forget their own position and most truly transcend that of the boss. Ordered to do a thing, they hesitate, and may ask for things that should not be asked for. They go to the length of displaying their wrath and seek to outshine the leader. They even seek to predominate over the manager, and by accepting bribes and practising deceit can obstruct the business of the company. They can cause the organization to rot with abuses by falsifications and forgeries. Some of them can become so shameless as to gossip about the manager with flippancy before others. If the manager becomes angry, they laugh; nor are they gladdened if favours be bestowed upon them, though they may express joy for other reasons. They disclose the secret counsels of their boss and murmur his evil acts and at times openly defy the orders of the Manager.

The manager should always be ready for action. Must always focus on the betterment of the organization and the team members and do everything at his command to achieve that objective.  The happiness of their team, observance of truth, and sincerity of behaviour are the eternal duty of managers. The manager should always credit others for the success and take responsibility for the failures. If the manager is competent, honest, and forgiving he would always be successful. He should always pursue business with morality and ethics. It is the eternal duty of managers to prevent confusion of duties and reporting structures in organizations. He should, by his own intelligence, look after the merits and defects of the six essential requisites of the company. The manager, who is observant of the strategies of competitors and judicious in the pursuit of business with morality, has excellent market intelligence and seeks to wean away the officers of major competitors, deserves applause. The manager should administer justice like Yama and amass wealth like Kubera. He should also be observant of the merits and defects of his own operations and team members. Manager should take care of all his team members in good and bad times without delay or procrastination. The manager should himself be skilful in the main function of the organization and should have his emotions under control. He should dress himself properly and elegantly and be of good behaviour. The manager desirous of achieving success should always hire men who are qualified, knowledgeable, experienced, competent, committed, dedicated and always observant of their duties, honest, and steadfast like mountains. His conduct towards his team, before or behind, should always be the same. The manager who behaves in this way never comes to grief. That crooked and covetous manager who suspects everybody is soon deprived of position by his own subordinates. That manager, however, who is of righteous behaviour and who is ever engaged in attracting the hearts of his people, never sinks when situation turns bad. If overcome, he soon regains his position. If the manager is not wrathful, if he is not addicted to evil practices and not severe in his punishments, if he succeeds in keeping his passions under control, he then becomes an object of confidence. He is the best of managers who has wisdom, who is possessed of liberality, who is ready to take advantage of the weakness of his competitors, who has agreeable features, who is prompt in action, who has his anger under control, who is not vindictive, who is high-minded, who is not short-tempered by disposition, who is righteous and spiritual, who is not given to boasting, and who vigorously pursues all works commenced by him to completion. He, indeed, is an excellent manager whose team-members are engaged in their respective duties and do not hesitate to work 24×7 when duty calls for it; whose people, protected duly, are all of peaceful behaviour, obedient, docile, compliant, unwilling to be engaged in disputes, and inclined to liberality. That manager truly deserves respect who honours knowledge, who is devoted to the good of his people, who tread in the path of the righteous, and who is liberal.

By all means the Manager must employ the best talent available for a given function by offering market determined salaries and benefits taking due consideration internal and external equity.

The manager should never disregard any competitors even if they are small or weak. In this age industrial espionage one should be extremely careful about moles within the organization. A spark of fire can produce a conflagration and a particle of poison can kill. Keep one’s eyes and ears open to detect any leak of confidential information, business secrets or strategic and tactical initiatives of the company. However he should act righteously while conducting internal inquiry to ensure sincere and committed employees are not subjected to undue harassment. Managers, therefore, should always conduct with both candour and crookedness to ensure his organizations interests are always protected.

‘There are these twenty-six virtues (which a manager should observe).

  1. The manager should manage his team without anger and malice.
  2. He should never abandon kindness.
  3. He should have faith in his team.
  4. He should achieve success without harassment and cruelty.
  5. He should lead from the front.
  6. His words should be measured and not hurtful to others.
  7. He should be liberal but should not make gifts to persons who are undeserving.
  8. He should exercise his authority with kindness.
  9. He should hire, train and retain the best for any given function.

10. He should not act with hostility towards teammates.

11. He should always employ persons who are competent or committed and not for any other reasons.

12. He should never accomplish his objectives by harassment.

13. He should never, discuss strategies before persons with suspected loyalty.

14. He should speak of the merits of others but never his own.

15. He should reward those who deserve as soon as such acts are noticed.

16. He should never employ or take the assistance of persons that are immoral.

17. He should never inflict punishment without careful enquiry.

18. He should repose confidence on others but never on those that have injured or deserted him in the past.

19. He should not cherish malice.

20. He should be pure and should not always be melted by compassion.

21. He should take good care of his body by proper food, exercise and rest.

22. He should without pride pay regards to those that deserve them, and serve his seniors with sincerity.

23. He should seek success, but never do anything that brings infamy to the company, team or self.

24. He should be clever in business but should always wait for the right opportunity.

25. He should comfort men and never send them away with empty speeches or false promises.

26. Avoid nepotism and favouritism, only performance and commitment should be the guiding factor.

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