No, I’m not gonna talk about Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s valour, courage and conquests here. I don’t intend to describe his greatness in a few thousand words. I am specifically gonna talk about 3 leadership lessons of my King that might change your view of dealing with life situations.
He possessed some exceptional leadership qualities that today’s leaders need to know. Thre3 of these leadership qualities that I absolutely love and adore are :
1. How to motivate your men? He dreamt of swarajya. He did not make people work for his dream, he instead made his dream the dream of his people. He lived his dream with his people and that is why the people even sacrificed their lives for this cause, their cause. And very soon, every Maratha’s dream was swarajya.
? The leadership lesson here is that a man works best when he works for himself. Inspiration coming from oneself is the best motivation. So, whenever you have people to work for you, inspire them to a cause that comes from within themselves.
Passion > Fear
2. Stepping back. The quality I absolutely love about Shivaji Maharaj is that he knew when to take a few steps back. During the siege of Purandar by Mirza Raja Jaisingh, Shivaji signed a treaty that forced him to give back most of his captured forts and almost all of his treasure and had to be part of an alliance to work for his enemy. However, imagine if the king had said, “I would rather have my head cut, then give back an inch of my swarajya” and even if he had died battling for swarajya, he still would have been great today. Many kings have sacrificed in such situations and have been called great. But my folks, this greatness is far above that. He knew that his goal was bigger than him and he has to live for it and it does not matter if that means taking a few steps back. He signed the treaty and lost most of his kingdom. Later, in a matter of 5 years, he recaptured all the forts he lost in the treaty and raided the city of Surat for the second time to fill his treasures and reclaimed his kingdom. Such was his greatness.
? Every leader should know when to take a few steps back. Retreating is not always a sign of weakness. Sometimes you have to retreat to analyze, regroup and re-strike again. This shows courage, planning and a strategist approach to your work.
3. Taking calculated risks. Now, there’s a difference in taking risks and taking calculated risks. In his lifetime, Shivaji Maharaj took several risks but all were backed with a contingency plan. Now, meeting Afzal Khan was a risk but he was totally prepared with a safety gear and stealth weapons to back him up. Maharaj took numerous risks without which swarajya was a goal next to impossible but he backed them up with contingency plans.
? No great thing was ever achieved that did not involve risk. Leaders who are too much into sticking to the system and rules of how things are done, never really achieve significant things. To achieve great things, you have to think and do things out of the box. Taking risks is an integral part of the development of any organization or individual.
Looking back at the conditions during which young Shivaji took the oath of swarajya to summarize:
- Scattered and unorganized Mavlas
- A scarcity of force with little to no military training
- Limited weaponry
- No previously established kingdom but a Jagir of Shivaji’s father Shahaji under the dominance of Deccan sultanate
- Caste discrimination at its height among the masses.
Suppose, we analyzed the endeavour in business terms, we won’t need a feasibility study to foretell that such a project would be a failure in today’s business terms. If such a hypothetical study was done, any business adviser would recommend against it. Yet, Shivaji Maharaj made it happen at that time, all due to his undeterred will, farsighted vision, efforts, and leadership qualities.