The book, The Leadership Sutra- An Indian Approach To Power, by well-known author and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik, was sent by the Publishers in exchange for my honest review. For a person like me who has always believed that the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ is the best self-help/management book possible and never believed in the modern-day ‘Self-Help’ books (read: grinding the same stuff repeatedly) Devdutt Pattanaik’s works are refreshing with deeper insight. Of course, I was more than thrilled to read yet another book of my favourite author but this time I have penned my thoughts after reading it.
Insight Vs Outlook
” If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a leader ” so quoted the American President John Quincy Adams and I could not but remember this, while I read the blurb of this book.
The book cover is aptly coloured purple/violet which stands for power and ambition. Like other books of the author, this book too has his illustration on the cover which is simple but effective and this purple treasure is an extension of his book ‘The Business Sutra’.
The book starts by defining ‘Durga’ and ‘Shakti’ in a more practical way, associating one with the materialistic attainment and the other with inner-enlightenment. The Leadership Sutra’ has been divided into four sections of four different aspects of Leadership: Significance, Property, Rules and Stability. Each of the section dwells into the various characteristic feelings of a person who is a leader or aims to be one. The writer successfully and artistically draw analogies between real-life incidents at home and workplace of different people with the mythological events and characters. As the pages progress, a reader is compelled to ponder over the relevance of ancient Hindu texts and realize that they are timeless and so very valid even in this era of corporate-mad-materialistic-rat-race!
The misconceptions of a leader to think that he/she is indispensable, sense of insecurity and superiority that creeps in that makes a person vulnerable – all these and more have been discussed and a workaround is provided. I found the concept of ‘To Change with Change” – beautifully explained and supported by drawing parallels with the Gopikas of the Dwapara yug! Only Devdutt Pattanaik can compel the readers to accept that this comparison is tenable.
I so wished that the writer could have avoided repeating some of the examples since Indian mythology is so rich and varied and most of the author’s books deal with mythology and its relevance in modern times. This book is no different, but what stands out is the treatment and the conviction with which he supports his ideas which makes the concepts discussed very much plausible for which the writer should be applauded!
The essence of the book: A person can grow as a leader when he/she appreciates the value of every individual in his/her team. When the leader knows – how to motivate and stay motivated, the delegation of work, seeking a personal growth along with the growth of the organisation etc., he /she is a ‘Leader’ in the true sense. Some of the points that stood out for me apart from the ‘Notes’ section in this book are as follows:
“But just as bhajans do not work without Bhakti, praise does not work unless it is genuine.”
” When we are envied we feel superior and powerful” ironically!
“The King wonders if he matters or his sword: this is the curse of kingship”
Yagna = exchange = cornerstone of economy
and the following illustration
The book is very much like a ‘handy vanity mirror’ which reflects what we are at close quarters and is a ‘solution provider’ not just for professionals but for anyone who wants to lead and empower a team! Grab this ‘Purple treasure trove’, preserve it, and read it slowly -unearthing, understanding, introspecting and applying the concepts discussed to realise your true potential! I am now eagerly waiting for November when Devdutt Pattanaik’s ‘The Talent Sutra’ will be out 🙂
I give this book a rating of 4.5 / 5!
Title of the book: The Leadership Sutra
Author: Devdutt Pattanaik
Genre : Non-fiction/ Business
Total Pages: 137
Publishers: Aleph Book Company