The Parrot’s Eye

Dronacharya, the guru of the Pandavas and Kauravas, taught them archery. He asked them to target the eye of a parrot hidden between the boughs of a tree. Each learner was asked what was in his range of vision. While most of them painted a vivid picture of the lush green foliage and the beauty of the toy parrot perched on the branch, Arjun said that he saw only the parrot’s eye. It was Arjun who won several battles later in life, with his excellent archery skills.

A leader needs breadth of vision to understand the purpose, but then needs to narrow down focus to achievement of goals. What lies in between is the strategy and action.

On the other side, it is not funny that a majority of leaders fail to formulate the appropriate strategy, but just whip the employees to achieve targets. Dronacharya failed, when he supported the wrong side in the battle of Kurukshetra. A fraud like opening millions of fake accounts by Wells Fargo is indeed a serious matter. The stories, both mythological and contemporary, showcase a lack of ethical leadership.

Values and ethics need to be an essential component of education. The students can learn this best through involvement in social development projects. Zero tolerance of failure on this front, and severe punishment doled out to the guilty will further drive home the message.

The modern Pandavas need not lead a life of exile in the forest for their righteousness. Excellence and Ethics needs to be rewarded in the social structure. If the Wells Fargo fraud was carried out at the behest of the top management, the employees who did it to save their jobs need not be terminated.

If business targets are the parrot’s eye, the only permissible weapon is Ethics. Everything surrounding it becomes the broad socio-economic environment and the business strategy.


Saturday Mix at MLMM


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