8 Management Lessons You Can Learn From India’s Freedom Struggle

Anjani Chaand updated on : 14 Aug 2015

Our National Icons have left a greater impact on us than just being instrumental in helping us attain Independence. Let’s find out HOW!!

68th Independence Day

As the nation blooms in pride and honour and steps into the 69th year of Independence, we shall take a moment to remember our heroes, our freedom fighters. They are the ones who not only sacrificed their lives for the country, but also played an integral role in the transmission of knowledge and lessons that made them successful in their vision to see India flourish as an independent nation. The path followed by them was full of obstacles and the situation demanded them to react in the most naïve and peaceful manner so as to maintain the integrity of the country and its people.

Thinking about how each one of them mastered the goal of bringing about such significant changes and driving India to independence, let us discuss about some of the most vital and noteworthy skills that a person must possess in order to justify his/her managerial cadre in an organisation and how our leaders have been successful in setting an example for us to look up to, in our journey of pursuing management as a career.

1. Leadership

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Imagine if none of our heroes emerged as leaders in the first place. Would India still be independent? For any objective to be achieved, one must have a vision in mind. The leaders of the nation possessed a revelation which was an outcome of intuition and positivity that helped them devise ways to depart the foreign intruders from the country. Influencers like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh, Rani Laxmibai and many more fostered honesty and people showed faith in their activities.  This helped them get supporters who believed in the same ideology that was stressed upon by them.

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” – MK Gandhi

2. Team Player

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Working in a team promotes division of labour and hence helps in the completion of a task in the most cost and time effective way. For instance, Gandhiji by himself would not have been able to create an impact nationwide. With the continuous support and participation of the people around him, the task became easier. It was their combined effort that led to the mass movements during the period of freedom struggle that created much stir.

“Manpower without unity is not a strength unless it is harmonized and united properly, then it becomes a spiritual power.” –Sardar Patel

3. Strategic Thinking

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Movements like Civil Disobedience, Non Cooperation and Non Violence are some of the most significant examples of unusual yet impactful thinking initiated by Mahatma Gandhi. Such strategic thinking in management organisations helps gain an edge over the competitors and attract attention of the market in the most profitable way. Extraordinary and bizarre ideas can prove to be the excellent catalysts for a desirable change in any workplace.

“Bombs and pistols do not make a revolution. The sword of revolution is sharpened on the whetting-stone of ideas.” – Bhagat Singh

4. Goal Oriented

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Making India an independent nation was a realistic goal that many leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi believed in. It was their ultimate goal to see India free from colonial power. They saw potential in this futuristic thinking and worked towards creating a modern India that was secular, sovereign and a democratic republic. Similarly, setting up a tangible goal is one of the most crucial step in the working of an organization. Any unachievable goal will be irrelevant and may cost the company irreversibly even if efforts are made to support it.

“We want deeper sincerity of motive, a greater courage in speech and earnestness in action.” –Sarojini Naidu

5. Plan, Organise, Direct and Control

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The Kakori incident is the most apt example of great managerial skills. Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ramprasad Bismil along with other revolutionaries were the key executers of the plan that focused on looting the goods train carrying money bags belonging to the British Government. They organized, directed and controlled the proceedings of the plan. Similarly, an individual in a managerial position must make it a point to assess the pros and cons of a particular situation based on which they should enlist guidelines to follow for the smooth execution of a process. After careful assessment of the situation, one must organize and execute the plan of action step by step with complete transparency. Careful evaluation at every point helps keep a check and identify any inconsistency which may arise.

 “In attaining our ideals, our means should be as pure as the end.” –Dr. Rajender Prasad

6. Flexibility in Approach

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Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi is one of the finest examples in context to the unwanted and unplanned situations that crop up in any organisation and how we should deal with such consequences. When the British troops attacked Jhansi, Laxmibai emerged as a bravery icon and took up the idea of capturing Gwalior, which was under Scindia at that time. Her determination and presence of mind is a noticeable example of learning from the losses and consolidating the wins instead. Similarly, an organization should be prepared for road blocks that may hinder their growth, and hence be flexible in dealing with the consequences with utmost clarity and commitment as demanded by the situation.

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” –Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

7. Effective Communication Skills

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None of the leaders worked in isolation. In order to give action to their thoughts, they made it a point to effectively communicate their ideas and strategies to all the people involved in the quest of attaining independence. Communication with a purpose and the consequent feedback is what makes a team strong and leads to prosperity for all. Lack of communication, on the other hand, may bring in discrepancies that may come in the way of professional as well as personal growth of an individual.

“Our nation is like a a tree of which the original trunk is Swaraj, and the branches are Swadeshi and Boycott.” – Bal Gangadhar Tilak

8. Innovation

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Every person has a creative side to him/her. The art of conceptualising and putting those ideas in action is what makes a difference. For example, salt march of Dandi was a creative idea of Mahatma Gandhi. He envisioned the fact that whatever leaves an impact on the life of a commoner will be a trigger to appeal to the masses that will in turn expand the movement and increase the chances of winning. Similarly, in an organization, continuous brain storming sessions help come up with a pool of ideas for implementation.

“One individual may die for an idea, but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives.” –Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

There is a lot that can be learnt from the freedom struggle and from the fighters who proved to be the guiding light in the independence struggle of our country. Their management lessons- be it the successes or the failures, all can be integrated in the corporate world scenario that may prove to be advantageous in the growth pattern of an organization in actual practice.

Happy Independence Day!! 

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