Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Timeless management lessons from Mahatma Gandhi

The name, Mahatma Gandhi evokes the image of truth personified, who has been revered by masses and classes equally. Who is known to be thinker, philosopher, leader, politician, saint and many more roles for which he donned the caps simultaneously.

Afte so many years, his lessons have become even more relevant in modern world. They are timeless wisdom which will enlighten till eternity.

He lived the lessons, taught by actions; and his class comprised of 350 million Indians in 1940s.

As a management scholar, I see a great CEO in Mahatma. The management principles that his life reflects, are inherent part of modern management practices.

1. Walk the talk:

Mahatma Gandhi lived simple life. He believed in “do as you say”. Practice and preach was not different for him. His life had been open book for anybody to read. Irrespective of the circumstances he always held up to his moral values that he used to preach to one and all. His “walk the talk” had many admirers in British camp, and many swear by his truthfulness.

In today’s organizations, people honor and follow leaders whose words are no different than their actions. Companies, who have deep routed culture of walk the talk, win over customers and prosper beyond expectations.

2. Lead by Example:

Mahatma Gandhi has been a great leader who led by example. Be it smaller initiatives like living simple life, fight for untouchables; or bigger movements like non cooperation, salt march, quit India, he has led by example. He led from front. People believed him because he did himself what he expected from them to do.

People have faith and trust in leaders and managers who lead by example. Who tread the path themselves first on which they want other to follow. Faith is the fundamental requisite in the organizations and those who lead by example commends enough of it. Lead by example; command respect, do not demand respect.

3. Build impeccable and honest brand:

The brand “Mahatma Gandhi” is one of the greatest brands which has been enlightening and moving people since decades together. This brand has been built on integrity, transparency, quality, truthfulness and connectivity with every single person. It has emotional connect rather than rational connect with its audience.

Great brands commands emotional connect with its consumers. The great brands build on the impeccable platform of transparency and truthfulness. Even you are also a brand personified; the Brand You.

4. Strategize in line with available resources:

The whole freedom movement of Mahatma was based on the principle of non violence. There was no other way he could grapple with the mighty British Empire. The biggest resource was empty handed, inspired masses. He utilized this resource in the most efficient way. He strategized every action on non violence and moved masses to fulfill the objectives.

Managing and excelling with available resources is the key to success for the organizations. Efficiency in every aspect of business and utilizing the available resources diligently is the hall mark of great management teams. Strategy must be made looking into the resources available or can be managed to implement it.

5. Build great team and work for a common cause:

Mahatma Gandhi had built a great team of leaders from diverse beliefs and principles. Jawaharlal Nehru, C. Rajgopalachari, Valabbh Bhai Patel, Jinnah and many others worked in tandem for a common cause; freedom of India. They complement each other. The team also had a great bench strength.

Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the All India Congress Committee meeting in what was then Bombay in 1946.

Great leaders build great teams with members who complement each other. It has leadership at all levels. It has great bench strength which should grab the baton and continue the race for common cause. Organizations with great teams have potent force to conquer the market.

6. Engage people:

Mahatma Gandhi enthralled and engaged people like a magician. He was apt in the art of making people devote everything for the cause. In every single movement he led for India’s freedom, he pulled the people together for a common mission. Every one of them was so engaged that they are ready to go to any extent to achieve the goal of India’s freedom.

Gallup Inc., a research-based performance-management consulting company, has shown that engaged employees are more productive and more likely to stay with the organization. Engage them with common cause, a common goal, a common mission which must be lived every moment them. Engaged employees are key to greatness for organizations. Mahatma Gandhi exhibited this lesson long ago. It is still as much relevant as was at that time.

There are many priceless gems in Mahatma Gandhi’s life . His philosophy is applicable in every facet of life. You only require to get one step underneath and dig the gems out for yourselves.

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Hardeep is an entrepreneur, marketer, blogger, an ardent reader and avid writer. He expresses his unbiased views especially on the matters of Business, Tech & Life through this blog. He can be reached at


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