I felt like Bahubali when I went to see Bahubali Conclusions alone, all by myself, leaving my wife and my son at home.
Don’t assume anything yet. I am not that brave. I watched the movie accidently when I chose to take a nap on a reclining seat in the movie hall instead of a comforting bed in a hotel, when I was on a day visit to Bhopal. As a safeguard, I called my son and told him to tell his mother that I am saving money for the family.
Although I was damn tired, I was trying to keep my eyes open just to know why Katappa killed Bahubali. Towards the end I realized that was the most insignificant part of the movie. The movie turned out to be a great leadership lesson on what leaders must NOT do. A potential king with right competencies and support can end up as a security guard by overlooking these essentials.
Bahubali was destined to be a king. He was capable, competent, compassionate and charismatic. His ways were innovative and his people management was remarkable. Queen of Mahishmati chose him as the future king over her biological son. She asked him to go around the empire for a field visit. This was a crucial period, and during this period there was no communication between the Queen and Bahubali. Leaders at times miss the need to communicate with the very people who are supporting them.It is same as expressing your love for your spouse everyday despite knowing that your spouse already knows that.
Bahubali with all his skills and charisma was not able to judge that his brother was plotting against him throughout. His brother Bhallaldev found that Bahubali had fallen in love during his field visit. Bhallaldev pretended to be in love with the same princess Devasena and took a promise from his mother that she will get his marriage arranged with the princess Devasena. A Leader must learn to sense the undercurrents because leadership leads to power. And power never comes without undercurrents.
When Bahubali saw a marriage proposal for the prince of Mahishmati, he assumed that his mother knew his “Man ki Baat”. He did not feel the need to clarify his assumptions.
When he reached Mahishmati with his would be spouse, he came to know that the marriage proposal was for his brother. By that time, it was too late. A leader should learn to clarify assumptions. Simple clarifications can avoid complicated situations.
When the confusion surfaced, even then there was a chance. That time, the Queen was told that she, handling such a big empire, did not have the basic intelligence on the rights of women. The statement was correct, but the tone and language caused the damage. Also, the statement was not made in the closed room, it was made in an official forum full of people. It was perceived as insult of the Queen in front of her subjects. A leader must know the sensitivities of language, tone and place while making an argument.
5. Maturity of Allies
Bahubali was a good fighter. He respected the men and women who fought with him. He was impressed with the competencies of Katappa and Devasena. He had blind faith in both of them. Devasena lacked basic speaking etiquettes. Bahubali lost his position twice because of her sharp tongued statements. Bahubali misjudged that Katappa was loyal to him. Katappa was always loyal to the throne and no one else. A leader must know softer aspects of own allies. Success of any leader is dependent of the quality of alliance not the leader alone.
When I reached home, my wife was sitting with her friends. She told me that I should have taken an early flight. My devastating response was that I went for Bahubali: The Conclusions. My wife was shocked. I could see communication and undercurrents at the play. I assumed that my son would have told my wife about my program. I asked my son that he should have told my wife that I was going for the movie. My son apologized and clarified that I did call him and tell him that I was going for the movie alone because I wanted to save money. Something went wrong there. The language, tone and place changed the meaning of the sentence.
I felt like Bahubali. I also badly wanted to know, why would my son do this to me what Katappa did to Bahubali. Since then I am working on developing maturity of my alliances so that I do not get into such situations in future.
This is Author’s personal view point and is not influenced by any person or organization. Thanks to the people who kept asking for me to write this article. Thanks for your unconditional support and love.
Image Credit to Arka Media Works, Shobu Yarlagadda, Prasad Devineni
About Harjeet Khanduja
Harjeet has over 24 years of experience and has worked with organizations like Anthelio, Reliance Industries, Reliance Retail, Nicholas Piramal India Limited & Tata Motors Limited. Harjeet holds a MBA, General Management, Honors from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies.