‘An effective leader is one who has a service attitude'
Businessworld|23 November 2019
‘An effective leader is one who has a service attitude'
Swami Mukundananda went to IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta, before he turned a seeker. In a chat with BW Businessworld Editor-in-chief Annurag Batra, the yoga and spiritual guru talks about his book, 7 Mindsets for Success, Happiness and Fulfilment, leadership, entrepreneurial challenges and, of course, inner peace
Annurag Batra

Your book is relevant for corporate executives, leaders and entrepreneurs. What motivated you to write it?

People are always struggling with a lot of things like circumstances, situations, positions, external success. However, from the Vedic perspective, success has to grow from inside. Your mind is the most important thing.

Many studies have been done in the corporate world and the most successful people were interviewed to find the secret. And it was repeatedly discovered that they all attributed their success not to the skill sets they possessed, but to the attitude they had cultivated. So this mindset can lead to success, happiness and fulfilment.

You say in your book that it’s time to learn some of our beliefs. What are these beliefs and how can we learn them?

We are no longer serving the purpose of growth of community and beliefs are essential to the human personality, right? For example, when I see you, I believe that you exist the way I perceive you to be. However, what is happening inside me really, I don’t know. So, no human being can exist without beliefs.

The problem is, unproductive beliefs begin to get adopted and most of us never make a conscious attempt. (We need to) develop productive policies for ourselves. Now when we realise the belief in us, it unleashes such a tremendous force on the outside. And if I believe I am sick, I can actually fall sick. If I believe I am healthy, I can actually become healthy. That is why somebody said that whether you believe you will succeed, or you believe you will die – in both cases, you are correct absolutely. So what I propose is that belief should not be gathered from people, but from the environment. That belief will unleash a tremendous effect on us.

I have a TV show that I have named ‘Believe with Anurag’. But since you talk of beliefs, I want to ask you, what is bigger − karma or providence or conscious hard work? Or are they intertwined in some way?

That’s right. They are actually intertwined. There is definitely providence in our lives. Otherwise, how can you explain to somebody why this person is born blind? Do you know? You think this is extremely unfair. Someone else is born with a golden spoon. Providence is there, but the point that people miss out is, where did this providence come from? The law of karma says it is our past karma that created our providence. This is the law of cause and effect. Providence doesn’t come from outside. We are creating it. And we can change it.

So what we do in this life affects our future lives. Not only our future life, some karma has an effect immediately. Suppose I overeat, I will fall sick. But some karmic effects give a result after a few years. The law of karma is complex, but it is a law of cause and effect.

Do you believe that today’s leaders are morally involved? Do you believe that leaders now think much about themselves and I don’t think that will change because the world is getting so competitive. It is a dog-eat-dog world.

There are people who are leading from that kind of a place where it’s all about themselves, right? But slowly the business world is changing. The management world is, as well. An effective leader is one who has a service attitude. So the people are not blind. They can see whether this leader is trying to exploit them or trying to help them. (Leadership is effective) when the leader learns to lead himself first. As a manager, you’re managing so much. But by motivating them, you can only align with them. Are you going to manage your own emotions? I think the biggest thing is to balance.

How do we deal with failure and manage our emotions?

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23 November 2019