Lesson # 1 : Continuous learning and improvement Learning and improvement
Gandhi always told his followers that if two of his sentences contradict each other and if they thought he was sane at that time (!), please ignore the first one and accept the second one. This reflects his learning and growth mindset, as well as anticipation of his followers’ needs. As an added corollary, rigid consistency was not one of his traits!
Lesson # 2 : Looking at each person just as a human being
“Be quick, be brief, be gone!” Personal meetings with Gandhi were very short, generally lasting a couple of minutes. However, in those minutes people felt that Gandhi made them feel as if they were the only person in the world that Gandhi would have liked to talk at that time.
Lesson # 3 : Being an excellent listener
Gandhi was not a very skilled public speaker; generally he was believed to be quite average. On the other hand, he was an exceptional listener of both the articulated and the unsaid. He seemed to be practicing “seeing with your ears.”
Lesson # 4 : Proactively identifying barriers to make change sustainable
In the 1920s an American journalist asked Gandhi what the biggest problem was that India faced at the time. The journalist expected Gandhi to say that the problems were slavery and British rule or pervasive poverty. But Gandhi said the biggest challenge facing the country was “callousness of intellectuals.” He was not just thinking about getting independence but about building a sustainable society.
Lesson # 5 : Being the conscience keeper
Non-cooperation was one of the key political movements that Gandhi initiated and led. Gandhi aborted the movement saying a key tenet of the movement, non-violence, was violated, and that in his opinion “we are not ready for self-rule.” A related trait for Gandhi was his belief that the end did not justify the means. He was insistent about purity of path in order to achieve desired goal.
Lesson # 6 : Heavy emphasis on self-awareness and discipline
As you grow in self awareness, you will better understand why you feel what you feel and why you
behave as you behave. Self discipline is the training of your mind to control, perceived harmful, urges, and to continue to control these urges until a satisfactory resolution has been sought. Self discipline is a skill and once you get to grips with it, it can alter your life.
Lesson # 7 : Balancing value-driven vision and execution efficiency
A leader with vision has a clear, vivid picture of where to go, as well as a firm grasp on what success looks like and how to achieve it. But it’s not enough to have a vision; leaders must also share it and act upon it. A leader must be able to communicate his or her vision in terms that cause followers to buy into it. He or she must communicate clearly and passionately, as passion is contagious.
Lesson # 8 : Emphasis on path and result
Mahatma Gandhi was the great leader. He had chosen a path of non-voilence for himself and his followers. All his life he fought against the imperial powers only with the weapon of non-voilence. This gave us straight to fight without weapons. And due to this we are here and ready to face any problem. It’s also necessary to be clear as to what are the outcomes of effective leadership.
Lesson # 9 : Adopting holistic perspective in every endeavor
In his ideal society, there is no room for weapons other than nails of a woman. Security has nothing to do with weapons of any sort in the Gandhian arrangement of things. Gandhi is in favor of a nonviolent and more civilized life style. Gandhi’s approach had always been holistic as human life is a synthetic whole, which can not be divided into watertight compartments of social , religious, political life etc.
Lesson # 10 : Be open-minded
Always keep things in perspective. Do not dismiss others or anything – big or small – without giving a try. We never know where the next ‘cool’ or useful idea may come from.