Whether while practicing effective business management or in achieving excellence through spiritual search – Ego is a barrier to success. One’s Ego is like a shell of an egg; it protects one’s self esteem to a certain extent until it is put to work – but, beyond that, it destroys or rots the very base, if it is not broken!
Modern management theory could learn a lesson or two; from Lord Krishna’s discourse to Arjuna in the battle field of Kurukshetra. Certain segments of Bhagavad Gita contain several nuggets of wisdom; particularly when it comes to tricky ‘working relationship’ between individual aspirations and organisational success. I have mentioned earlier too; Bhagavad Gita, though written by Sage Vyasa nearly 5000 years back, beats management practices of today.
For an individual to contribute to his organisation or company, Krishna’s recommendation – to be a Doer without any expectations, is quite appropriate. And, time and again, it has been proved: only a selfless toiler reaches the pinnacle. He is the one who places company’s interest above his own: Free from attachment, unegoistic, endowed with vigour and firmness and unswayed by success or failure. He is focused on exerting his efforts alone. This can be done only by letting go of the most dispensable: Individual Ego.
Herein, I want to mention the practice that was adopted by us in my first assignment: as a business development executive, in a franchising company (in 1989). We took an oath and said a prayer every morning, in a large assembly, committing ourselves to organisation goals. This built enthusiasm, dedication, selflessness, drive, team work, and a promise to excel! Such a work atmosphere was filled with positive energy. A mere imbibing of organisational culture will not do; one has to identify one’s ego with a larger perspective – that of the company you work for!
What makes an egoless company? It comprises employees who do not get deluded into thinking that the company’s performance is because of them. They only act; watch as a spectator: their own hard work, dedication and commitment. They do not expect but prove themselves by the results achieved. Egoless is not being uninterested; and strangely, passion develops only if you identify yourself with a common cause not a personal goal. The process is pure of any individual gain.
In Andrew Cohen’s words; “it’s called egoless passion and its energy can equal the energy of a quantity that is more than an individual ego. You then begin to express something that is a profound in a non-personal way. Such passion has no end; there is never a point where it is over, because there is always more to be done.”
In fact, successful leaders or managers know how to exploit the immense potential of the complex relationship between an employee (Doer) and a ‘learning’ organisation. In fact, these managers or leaders create an working atmosphere wherein success happens automatically. Where, even, the system contributes or becomes an enabler! If you walk in to Relilance or Infosys, you can feel the positive energy vibes. It looks like everyone ( read workers) is driven by a mission! There is team spirit that is soaring and you can feel it in each worker’s behaviour!
But, to elaborate more : without the opportunities we are blessed with, we cannot self actualize! It is not an individual or the corporation, who can take credit! There is an external factor beyond everything; call it karmic management by the supernatural force, who is in control of everything. The single Reality!!