Krishna as a Transformational Leader

Topics: Arjuna, Leadership, Kurukshetra War Pages: 5 (1455 words) Published: January 2, 2009
Krishna as a Transformational Leader
James MacGregor Burns (1978) first introduced the concepts of transformational and transactional leadership in his treatment of political leadership. According to Burns, transformational leaders offer a purpose that transcends short-term goals and focuses on higher order intrinsic needs. Working for a Transformational Leader can be a wonderful and uplifting experience. They put passion and energy into everything. They care about you and want you to succeed. Many people have come after Burns and defined the concept of transformational leader in their own ways but if one was to understand this concept in simple words it would be a process that motivates people by appealing to higher ideas and moral values, defining and articulating a vision of the future and forming a base of credibility. One, who formulates an inspiring vision, facilitates the vision, encourages short-term sacrifices, and makes pursuing the vision a fulfilling venture. Transformational leadership is Daivi Leadership. It is not based on inducing fear, but rather to inspire people to achieve greater heights. It is about getting outstanding results from normal persons. It is a way to get things done through injecting energy and enthusiasm. It is about setting lofty targets and enabling people to achieve them and People will follow a person who inspires them. A person with vision and passion can achieve great things. Transformational Leaders are often charismatic, but are not as narcissistic as pure Charismatic Leaders, who succeed through a belief in themselves rather than a belief in others. Whilst the Transformational Leader seeks overtly to transform the organization, there is also a tacit promise to followers that they also will be transformed in some way, perhaps to be more like this amazing leader. In some respects, then, the followers are the product of the transformation. To quote Colin Powell, Transformational leadership is the art of achieving more than what the science of management says is possible. There are five facets or major characteristics of a transformational leader and Krishna one of the greatest leaders to tread the earth display all four of them. No wonder he is offered the Agrapooja, the first one to be worshipped or whose blessings are sought by Yudhisthira during the yagna.

Developing the vision

Transformational Leadership starts with the development of a vision, a view of the future that will excite and convert potential followers. This vision may be developed by the leader, by the senior team or may emerge from a broad series of discussions. The important factor is the leader buys into it, hook, line and sinker. Yada yadi hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata,

Abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamyaham.
Paritranaya sadhoonam, vinashaya cha dushkrtam
Dharmasansthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge.”
“Whenever dharma declines and adharma prospers, then I create myself. For protecting the good and destroying the evil, for establishing dharma, I am born again and again in age after age.” He could develop this vision among the Pandavas and make it their goal. His articulation skills, his logics, his appeal and his persona inspired Pandavas to align themselves towards this goal.

Selling the vision

The next step, which in fact never stops, is to constantly sell the vision. This takes energy and commitment, as few people will immediately buy into a radical vision, and some will join the show much more slowly than others. The Transformational Leader thus takes every opportunity and will use whatever works to convince others to climb on board the bandwagon. Before the battle of Kurukshetra, Krishna, who is a friend and the charioteer of Arjuna, drives the chariot to the middle of the battle field, so Arjuna can observe his army and his enemies. Seeing his own kinsmen lined up against to fight him, Arjuna trembles at the thought of killing them. Krishna cajoles Arjuna, “Nothing...
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