A vast majority of the problems the world is facing today are results of the failure of our soft skills: relationship skills, communication skills, persuasion skills, conflict management skills, assertiveness skills and so on. The Mahabharata, which is the story of how the Bharatas failed in managing a conflict among themselves, leading to an all-destroying war, gives us several beautiful lessons in these skills.
Benefits of Networking – in todays connected world, networking means facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn, twitter, blog etc. There are many benefits of such networking activities if used properly and carefully. There are also stories where youngsters got trapped into undesirable relationships and activities with disastrous impact on their mental and emotional well being. How did the Pandavas manage to assemble a large army of 7 divisions, even though they were not in power for 13 years and were also living in exile in the forest for 12 years and incognito for a year? Through networking, though not by the modern ways but through building relationships through marriages, friendships and by identifying themselves as proponents of Dharma and aligning with such persons are morally good!. Alliances were formed through the marriages of all the five Pandavas and their children that included the kingdoms of Madra, Magadh, Chedi, Kasi, Kekaya, Matsya, Nagas, Rakshasas and many more. Kingdoms from the Southern part of Bharat such as Chera, Chola, Kerala, etc joined as they felt that the Pandavas are more righteous and Dharma abiding compared to the Kauravas. At the same time, the Kauravas collected unlimited wealth by invading kingdoms across the country but created powerful enemies. This teaches us the lesson that to be successful, either in business or politics, build powerful allies or never create enemies.
Active networking is vital to career growth. Networking is actually about building long-term relationships and a good reputation over time. It involves meeting and getting to know people who you can assist, and who can potentially help you in return. Your network includes everyone from friends and family to work colleagues and members of groups to which you belong. Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you in your role. Exchanging information on challenges, experiences and goals is a key benefit of networking. Regularly attending professional and social events will help you expand your contacts and open doors to new opportunities for business, career advancement, personal growth, or simply new knowledge. A wide network of informed, interconnected contacts means broader access to new and valuable information.
Logistics and organizational challenges of the war – Have you ever thought of the challenges faced by the Manager of a circus company in the movement of all the artists, animals, tents, etc from place to place? Have you ever involved in the management of a large company meeting, with people participating from different locations and travelling by different means? Then you will understand the challenges involved in organizing and conducting such an event. With plenty of travel agents and event managers, modern communication and transportation systems, hotels and other facilities, managing such an event where even a thousand persons are participating is a huge challenge. Then think of making arrangements for bringing together 20 lakh soldiers, 20 lakh support personals, 4 lakh chariots, 4 lakh elephants and 12 lakh horses from across the world, starting from Greece to Cambodia. The map given below gives an indication of the kings and kingdoms that participated in the war along with their troupes. Think of the number of tents needed to accommodate every one of them in one location, with specially built tents for kings, generals, princes, their wives, etc. Think of the food arrangements for the soldiers and support staff along with water, fodder and grass requirement for all the animals. Think of the medical support systems and repair arrangements for the chariots and other weapon systems. The challenge is unimaginable. Even today, wars are won or lost not due to military superiority but because of their logistical ability in transporting men and material to the required place at the required time. The defeat of the British in the American War of Independence and the defeat of the Axis in the African theatre of World War II are attributed to logistical failure. The management skills and dexterity displayed by the war managers 5000 years ago, when there were no roads, no trains, no flights, no ERP systems and no modern communication systems and yet assembled the men and material needed to win the war, is truly envious. Even today, modern military follows the basic principles laid down by the war managers of Mahabharata war.
The word logistics has its origin in the French verb loger to lodge or to quarter. Its original use was to describe the science of movement, supplying & maintenance of military forces in the field. Later on it was used to describe the management of materials flow through an organization, from raw materials through to finished goods.
Logistics as a business concept evolved in the 1950s due to the increasing complexity of supplying businesses with materials and shipping out products in an increasingly globalized supply chain, leading to a call for experts called supply chain logisticians. Business logistics can be defined as “having the right item in the right quantity at the right time at the right place for the right price in the right condition to the right customer”.