Reflecting on the Mahatma in Us: Gandhi’s Leadership Lessons

One week on from the opening of the Borderless Gandhi’s Mahatma in Me, and Gandhi’s birthday, we took a moment to reflect on the leader he was, the lessons we can learn and apply in today’s society and business environment. Gandhi’s message was one of peace in a time of unrest, which had such a great impact that was, and still is, cited as an movement like no other.

 

We are better together.

When the British ruled India, they implemented the Salt Act, which prevented Indians from collecting or selling salt. As a result, they were forced to buy it from the British, who could control the market and enforce a tax levy. Gandhi decided to march a distance of 240 miles, to the Arabian Sea. 60,000 people were arrested during the protest, yet they were successful in their move, with India achieving independence in 1947. The Salt March took the world by storm. He had mastered communication that could call thousands to action, and impact thousands more.

 

Gandhi’s use of peaceful protest was a novel method at the time. He thought outside the box, and wasn’t afraid to tackles issues head-on. He shower determination and passion. He had a vision of what he wanted to achieve, and was able to communicate that vision to those around him, bringing about passion in them. These are all skills and character traits that lead to success today.

 

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Position yourself for success.

Gandhi knew that who your friends are is who you will become. We are influenced by those around us, which is why mentors and positive peer groups are so important. We need to position ourselves in an environment that challenges, supports, and grows us so that we can have success.

 

Who are the people that influence you? Do they position you for failure or success?

 

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Show integrity always.

Gandhi always practiced what he preached. He would not counsel anything he did not do himself.  One of the many examples of this is Gandhi’s belief that all people should be equal, which he held in an society that was very stratified. In his ashram, a community where people who wanted to learn about and support him went, there is a sign that states everyone must clean toilets. At the time India did not have a plumbing system like the ones that exist today. People would carry buckets of waste to designated areas. Gandhi believed that no one was “higher” or “lower” and therefore all people had equal responsibility.

 

Leaders are guided by their core beliefs. There are standards by which information is compared against to ensure they can maintain their boundaries. What are your core beliefs?

 

At Illuminance, we have three core beliefs: Integrity, expertise and professionalism. We work with respect, honesty and transparency as we deliver on our promises. We pride ourselves on our technical know-how, and our ability to utilise this knowledge in a professional manner to optimise your efficiency.

 

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Growth Never Stops

Gandhi embraced continuous learning. Gandhi told his followers that if he ever said two sentences that contradict each other, they should follow the second sentence. Why? Because he recognised that humans are imperfect, and he believed in continuous learning. If the two statements contradicted each other, it was simply because he had learned new information since saying the first. This drive to always improve himself made him a great leader.

 

In an ever-changing world, and especially working in an industry with rapid development, we can never become comfortable or complacent in our knowledge.  It is our responsibility to seek out new information and remain up to date with changes as they happen. Growth never stops.

 

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