Especially for SME’s – 58: Examples of selecting whom.

21 September 2022


SME 3: As is to be expected, there should be a lot of lessons to be learnt from this episode from Mahabharat, we are eager to hear.

Mr. Lowe: The key question we should ask is: Why did Krishna choose Indra to do the job of removing the shield from karna, when he himself could have done it easily? Why did He not even elaborate “how to” do that job to Indra? Krishna knew that the bottleneck of every parent is the child- particularly in India. Who can do better than a parent the job of saving the life of the child than the parent? Krishna, who is omnipotent, thinks that he is no match for the parent when what is involved is saving the life of the child. Arjun is the son of Indra.

As you rightly said there are indeed a couple of lessons to be learnt here: Firstly, this episode gives a clue as to how to choose “who” to do any job. Choose a person whose bottleneck is resolved by doing the job. See how Krishna chose Indra whose bottleneck – his son’s life- is resolved by Indra doing the job himself. The principle Krishna used here was: The real motivation to do any job comes when the person who does the job does so in his own interest; his own interest cannot be higher than when his own bottleneck is resolved in doing the job. We talk about self-motivation in management, but Mahabharat tells us an unfailing method to create self-motivation in individuals.

Secondly, in management, the managers should think that their assistants may be able to do a job better than themselves. If Krishna thinks that Indra is better than him in doing this job, why we managers think that only we can do the job better or come out with the best solution to a problem, idea etc. The assumption that I am the manager because I know all and better than all my assistants is wrong often. That is why I prefer managers who do not know largely the field they are managing except in outlines. I do not prefer those who are experts in the line they are managing as their very expertise becomes a block to any new idea or solution, which may be far superior to the solution of the expert. Experts can at best be advisors, not managers!

SME 3: If we do what Krishna did, we feel inferior!

Mr. Lowe: That is why I said managers must redefine their role as getting things done rather than doing it themselves. There is another criterion in selecting whom. Assign the job to the person whose unique strength matches the requirements for the task to be completed effectively.

SME 1: Is there any other criterion?

Mr. Lowe: Managers must get the best out of people with “I” as their Super system also. And what is easy with such people is, when you talk about their unique strength, they get motivated so much that they complete even tough jobs because if they fail, it gives minus to their “I”, their Super system. After all, if one is proud of his expertise that is real, why not give him that credit? We are not indulging in flattery but only in giving conditional positive strokes to a deserving individual. For people who are good at choosing “who” there are no good and bad people; they see only the unique strengths in people. A classic example is Krishna who saw even in wicked Duryodhan, a phenomenal potential in boxing and prepares Bhim to fight him successfully. He did not discount or ignore Duryodhan because he had super “I” as his Super system. ………………..contd.


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