The Leadership Sutra by Devdutt Pattanaik
I picked up Leadership Sutra by Devdutt Pattanaik and wondered if he is becoming a content factory. He churns out books, TV shows, newspaper columns and blogs at a rate that can leave his readers exhausted. I wonder how he does it. Of course, quality of his work is taking a toll but like someone said in the age of democracy – numbers (quantity) matters more than quality.
Leadership Sutra is a derivative work from his hugely popular book Business Sutra. This slim volume that you can read in less than an hour should have focused on leadership nuggets. And it does give few common situations that leaders face in the organized world of big businesses. Book follows a simple format where Devdutt Pattanaik tells a story from which he derives a leadership Sutra. And then follows it up with a contemporary situation from the corporate world to draw a parallel.
The biggest concept that Leadership Sutra brings out is the difference between Shakti & Durga and both of them are an inherent part of us. Shakti is an inner force that drives us and Durga is something that comes from the world. Shakti is our inner motivation, quite independent of the rest of the world. While Durga comes totally from outside – it comes in the form of wealth, ownership, position in society, possessions, recognition. It is something that we have to acquire. Most people who are running after success are running after Durga. He brings this out through the story of Shiva and Daksha. He also brings out the difference between Shiva and Vishnu – one who follows no rules and the one who follows or plays with the rules depending on what the situation demands.
Is he telling that you should forget Durga and focus on Shakti? Not really. What he is telling the business leader is that identify what is the driving force for people working for you and then use that to lead them. Some people are looking for money, some are looking for designation, some are looking for hierarchy while others are looking for meaning in work. It would also make you think about what is driving you, are you working on strengthening you inner Shakti or are you just focused on collecting as much Durga as possible? Remember Shakti lasts forever while Durga can be taken away just as it is collected.
Devdutt Pattanaik’s books are always well illustrated – so is Leadership Sutra. For every story, there is an illustration giving an impression that it was hand drawn. In fact, these illustrations make the books so easy to understand that people love to read his books. I would not be wrong in saying that he has created a brand of illustrations – with clean strokes that clearly depict all the icons of the images drawn.
Interesting concept. Easy to read nuggets that you can very easily relate to.