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Leadership and Communication in the Bhagavad Gita: Unity, Duty, and Equanimity

  • Jon RadwanEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Management, Change, Strategy and Positive Leadership book series (MACHSTPOLE)

Abstract

Organizations and communication are fundamental facts of human life. As social animals and relational beings we must collaborate across all planes of our existence, from the micro levels of family and neighborhood all the way up through macro levels of state, nation, and our global community. At each level these groups require a sense of direction and focus to maintain themselves and grow. Without focus and shared meaning groups can develop dysfunctional interaction patterns that harm their own members and drag the whole toward disintegration. Meaning is thus a vital resource for all organizations, and humanity is blessed with many ancient wisdom traditions that can shed the light we all need to flourish and grow together. In Western management theory the Hindu tradition is a relatively unknown source of meaning and light, and the ideas it shares can offer valuable perspective on the perennial challenges facing all leaders. This essay looks to a Hindu spiritual masterpiece, the Bhagavad Gita, to draw lessons for contemporary leaders. Themes of Unity, Duty, and Equanimity are explored via direct textual quotations to suggest ways to communicate light and meaning that can strengthen and motivate our organizations. Using Yukl’s (Leadership in organizations, 2000) ten leadership functions, a set of application principles is developed to show how the Gita’s values can help frame practical management challenges.

Keywords

Bhagavad Gita and communication Communication and leadership Management ethics Organizational communication Values centered leadership Hindu wisdom tradition and communication Communication and religion 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA

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