Lord Ganesa

He symbolizes all the necessary attributes successfully to tackle men and matters.
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” - Booker T. Washington

Improving the morale of employees has been one of the hot pursuits of human resource development. In spite of a number of studies in areas connected to employee motivation, the answer to the question, “what keeps the employees’ morale high?” remains elusive. While good morale induces voluntary contribution of efforts for the betterment of the organisation, bad morale breeds grievances and frustration, and induces lack of interest in contributing to that goal.

Importance of Immediate Boss
Discussions with several employees who have left their job midway point out one prime factor responsible for their decision—their immediate boss. While nine out of 10 persons expressed displeasure with the treatment meted out by their immediate boss, other reasons advanced are insufficient monetary incentives, poor working conditions, unfavourable organisational climate, etc., which could be termed as complementary factors.

Instances of employees who quit even organisations that are financially sound, follow good H R practices and offer the best financial and non-financial incentives to their employees only prove that if one is not in good terms with his immediate boss, it affects his morale more than anything else, forcing him to leave the organisation. Because, if the immediate boss is one who finds fault with everything and rebukes the employees every now and then, hurting the employees’ self- respect, one cannot put up with such a boss for long.

Need for Effective Manager
A talented employee may join a company because of its charismatic leader, its generous benefits and world class training programmes, but how long that employee stays and how productive he is while he is there is determined by his relation ship with his immediate supervisor. Given this importance of boss/manager, is it not important that what the organisation requires is not simply managers but effective managers, who help their subordinates realise their goals and in the process better their own records by accomplishing organisational goals?


Ganesa’s Significance
There is a lot today’s young managers could learn from Lord Ganesa to become effective managers. A question may arise as to what is so special about Lord Ganesa.

Ganesa is known throughout South Asia as the fountainhead of wisdom and courage. He is invoked while laying the foundation stone of a building and no new business or industry is started without a prayer to him. We all know that prayers to Ganesa precede every Hindu religious ceremony. Further, it is a common sight that travelers on lonely roads pay homage to the elephant god at roadside shrines trusting Ganesa to remove every danger from their path.

Now let’s look at Ganesa’s symbolic significance:
• Ganesa’s big head inspires us to think big and think profitably.

• The big ears show openness to new ideas and suggestions.
• The narrow eyes point to the deep concentration needed to finish a task and the long nose encourages curiosity and learning.

Our mythology is replete with stories of the origin and qualities of Ganesa. Many of these tales, which figure in the Puranas, poke good humoured fun at the gods in their all too human predicaments. They teach us certain truths, beliefs and values of religions in the simplest ways possible and leave a lasting image in the minds of adults and children alike.

Now let’s see what is it that today’s young mangers could learn from Lord Ganesa

a. Getting Inspiration: A Ganesa-type manager likes all kinds of people with their diverse skills and aptitudes and likes to work. He is forward-looking with clear and friendly eyes, and enjoys bettering his records. Further, he likes to set goals and solve problems because he is stimulated by these challenges and becomes better and better at it.

He likes to help others realise their goals and nurture his own understanding and discrimination by reflecting on his own and others’ experiences. The opposite of the Ganesa manager is always oppressed, overburdened and carries his problems around, instead of solving them. He is wary of change and cannot lead others. Further, he has no time for others and makes others feel tired and unhappy.

b. Symbol of Wisdom:

Ganesa’s twisted trunk represents the zigzag path to wisdom and reminds us that there is no direct path and one has to turn right and left in the search for truth. The elephant ears are like winnows that separate the wheat from the chaff. The lesson to be learnt from this is that one must subject all experiences to scrutiny to determine what is essential and what is not essential. This is a critical aspect of judgment. The discerning and the wise do what they must and let the rest be.

c. Focused Approach: The elephant seems to swerve as it walks but keeps to the path. He makes it to his goal with unhurried grace. Ganesa rose from the ranks to hold office and was in the right place at the right time. His vehicle, the lowly mouse, stands for the dark, fertile forces of earth into which it burrows, avoiding light.

As a recurrent threat to the harvest the mouse has to be tamed. But it also represents swiftness of movement. It burrows, with its sharp teeth, chews through anything and squeezes out of the smallest hole. In this way, it proves an excellent transport for Ganesa, who has to be everywhere and anywhere at short notice to remove obstacles. Today’s managers need to be like this, having a focused approach and attending to the tasks ahead, smoothening the process for his followers to achieve their goals.

d. Written and Communication Skills: As we all know, sage Vyasa, under instructions from Lord Brahma, dictated the Mahabbarata to Lord Ganesa. Vyasa was to dictate without pause and Ganesa was to understand every word and thought and its implications before writing it down. In the process, Lord Ganesa honed his intellect and became wiser.

The lesson for today’s managers is that as speakers or listeners they must understand and cogitate deeply on the implications of spoken and written words. The ability to write is one of the basic traits of a good manager. Further, good writing and good communication is possible only when thinking is clear and understanding is deep.

e. Problem-solving and Thinking Skills: When Kartikeya and Lord Ganesa contended for a fruit that sage Narada had brought, the hapless parents, Siva and Parvathi, set up a com petition. The rule was that between them, one who circumam-bulates the world three times first would be declared the winner. Kartikeya instantly started on his mission but, with a mouse for a mount, Ganesa needed some quick thinking.

Ganesa analysed the situation, did the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, and realised that he was constrained by his bulk and slow mount. Finally, he went through the Vedas in his mind to arrive at an essential truth— one’s parents are greater than anything else in the world. Accordingly, Ganesa went around his parents three times and claimed the post.

Lessons to be Learnt
Today’s managers can find inspiration in Lord Ganesa’s wisdom and judgment.

With an elephant head, a pot belly and a mouse for a vehicle, Ganesa had to overcome many obstacles from the outset. He met them head on and converted perceived disadvantages into advantages. Let today’s managers draw lessons from Lord Ganesa and surge ahead, with focused approach, overcoming the obstacles with firm determination and make our country great.

Winners are too busy to be sad
Winners are too positive to be doubtful
Winners are too optimistic to be fearful And
Too determined not to be defeated.

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