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BEACONS TO BOLSTER THE SOUL OF BUSINESS

…Watching the Corporate Universe through the eyes of the alumni of the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance, Prasanthi Nilayam, Part-2


Part 2:
REDISCOVERING THE
MODERN MANAGER

part-2

REDISCOVERING THE MODERN MANAGER

Take a look at any successful business organisation in this world that has stood the test of time and become a part of the lives of generations such as the Tata group in India, Tom’s of Maine in the US, and then ask the question “How did this company become so great?”

Inner Inspiration Drives Higher Purpose

Start analyzing its incredible growth story and you will find that it is either a great idea executed to perfection, as was the case with JRD’s Tata empire; or amazing teamwork, carving a specific niche in the market like the Indian IT giant Infosys; or a sound business plan with a strong value system such as Volvo of Sweden or The Body Shop of the UK or Lijjat Papad, a women’s cooperative in India; or an effective and creative deployment of huge resources to beat the competition or another such incredible initiative.

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Household names across the world, standing for success and integrity. How did they achieve this?
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But many management gurus will tell you that this is not the real reason for their incredible success. What actually propelled these organisations to the big league was a clear and profound vision, and behind this was a personality or a group of individuals who pursued this vision with a passion so compelling that it made everyone around look at them with awe, and filled them with inspiration to join the endeavour and give it their best.

Organisations Defined by the Character of their Decision Makers

More than great technology, copious capital and impressive opportunity, it was the person(s) behind, who deployed these resources effectively, that made these companies legendary. The argument may appear obvious to many, yet, most of the business schools, consciously or unconsciously, overlook its relevance while designing and delivering their programs.

Across the board, the world over, top Business Schools concentrate on training their management graduates on all facets of modern business starting from Analytical Tools and Techniques to Total Quality Management to Business Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions, but sidestep that crucial aspect which transforms a person into a visionary. Even more significant is the journey that guides and trains, instructs and impresses upon an individual the need to first become a complete and whole person – holistic in outlook, genuine in personality and a master of oneself - before venturing to lead others as a manager. This, truly, is at the crux of the ideal and wholesome management style, when viewed from the Sai lens.

Business institutions that create such integrated personalities, who can infuse a new approach and vigour into the way modern business is done, are a rarity. What the B-schools churn out in the present times are experts, intelligent men, professionals, great managers of money, machines and materials, but not necessarily, good managers of men and women, who value the individual; let alone visionary leaders.

Avatar Spearheads Spiritualisation of Management Philosophy

It is for this reason that right from its inception in 1986, the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance (SBMAF) in Puttaparthi, has courses like Leadership, National Perspectives and Rural Development, Self Awareness and Personality Development and Values-based Management under the clear direction of the University’s Founder, Bhagavan Baba.

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He resolved....
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...and the management school in Sathya Sai University bloomed
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When the Business school was set-up, few could have envisaged the tremendous impact Sai Business graduates would wield upon the global corporate culture within a couple of decades. Today, the results of this novel perspective are there for all to see.


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09 Men More Important video

 
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"Men are more valuable than all the wealth of the world.."- Swami exhorts the business school students in this powerful excerpt
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Sai Managers Exude the Light of Chancellor’s Wisdom, Purity

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ILRI's Director, Partnership and Communications' letter of appreciation for alumnus, Tumuluru Kumar
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Talking about Tumuluru Kumar, an alumnus of SBMAF, Mr. Bruce Scott, Director, Partnership and Communications, of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) located principally in Ethiopia, says,

“Tumuluru Kumar is a professional with high standards and a person of integrity. He has a work ethic based on principles and values. In addition, Tumuluru Kumar has a very nice personality and is able to blend easily with staff from a range of cultural backgrounds. He is pleasant and liked, and is admired by peers and staff.”

And then, Mr. Scott makes a very significant statement. He says, “If I could clone and hire ten Tumuluru Kumars, then all of my management issues would be solved.” He further adds, “Tumuluru Kumar has worked for ILRI since 2000. He started working on specific projects such as the introduction of new finance software to a line position responsible for Budget and Operations. He is intelligent and very hard working. Additionally, he is determined and output oriented; he strives for perfection. He always came to senior management with solutions not with the problems. If he did not know an answer, he knew how to get information to solve the issue…. I developed high regard and respect for Tumuluru Kumar during the period that we worked together. He made a great contribution to ILRI.”

Bhagavan Baba Extols Man Management

When Bhagavan Baba inaugurated the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance (SBMAF) in the Sri Sathya Sai University in 1986, it was meant to be a path-breaker, worthy role model for others to emulate, to awaken all the business management institutes and, in fact, the entire world of business into a novel and noble dimension of commerce. In His historic discourse during the opening ceremonies on August 21, 1986, Bhagavan was very candid when He said,

“All over the world there are numerous Institutes of Management. They confer the Masters degree in Business Administration. In our Institute, we are attaching special importance to cultural and ethical values… We should turn out Masters in Man Management. Our students should develop a broader outlook and prepare themselves to serve the society with sincerity and dedication. They must set an example in morality, bringing credit to the country by their work and by their contribution to the development of the nation.”

Right Attitude, Unblemished Character Confer True Management Qualifications

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"Our students must set an example of morality..." - Baba
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Tumuluru Kumar is just one example of the quality of managers, nay leaders, that this hallowed University nestled in the tiny hamlet of Prasanthi Nilayam – surrounded by under-developed India and about 160 kilometres from the country’s software capital, Bangalore – offers to the world in scores every year.

If we study the mission of this management programme, it says,

"We endeavour to develop dedicated, dynamic, professionally sound and socially responsible managers/leaders of wholesome and balanced personality, who are academically equipped as well as spiritually aware and embody noble values, and above all, possess a right and positive attitude with an unblemished character."

The most pertinent and profound phrase in this lofty mission statement actually comes right at the very end - “right and positive attitude with an unblemished character." Well, how important is this in today’s competitive and fast-paced business environment? Is ‘attitude’ or ‘character’ more important than intelligence and analytical ability or achieving targets and creating shareholder wealth? Can it really serve as a competitive edge in the career, personality and growth of a prospective manager?

Sai Business School Enjoys Edge Due to Holistic Vision

Mr. Amar Singh, an alumnus of SBMAF, currently works as Senior Manager, US Strategy, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the USA, and has had the opportunity to watch the changing contours of the corporate landscape, having been in the consulting business for nearly 5 years and before that in different functional roles for 10 years. He says, “With the proliferation of specialized educational inputs in various fields worldwide, intelligence is increasingly losing its sheen as a slick differentiator in the marketplace…in tomorrow’s workplace, intelligent people with the ‘right’ attitude will become increasingly sought after instead!”

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In the SBMAF, spiritual outlook is blended seamlessly with other perspectives, says Mr. Amar Singh
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And it is here, Amar believes, that SBMAF has a huge edge and also a big role to play. Why does he think so? “A healthy attitude is based firmly on an individual’s emotional maturity and to acquire an emotionally mature mind, spiritual growth is essential,” he explains, and adds, “But very few educational institutions in the ‘so-called secular world of today venture to mix values, spirituality or ethics in their courses, in the fear of being politically incorrect, or in some countries, being subject to libel.”

Values Blend Seamlessly in Sai School Culture

Contrasting this to what is offered in the management school at Puttaparthi, Amar continues, “Business schools across the world are scurrying to teach courses in ‘ethics’, ‘leadership’, and ‘corporate governance’, but I am not aware of many doing what is done so seamlessly at Puttaparthi – blending spiritual thinking into the mental and emotional make-up of students.”

And how this happens, is an interesting story by itself and we have dealt this in some detail in an earlier cover story on SBMAF. In the present article, however, we would like to present to you the new and humane dimension of business. You will learn about this not by way of a thought provoking essay, but through the actual experiences of the alumni of the School of Business Management, Puttaparthi.

Always Speaking Obligingly Wins Respect

Here is the first instance to start with. Mr. Bala Ramchandran, an alumnus of SBMAF currently serving as Manager, Learning & Development, South India, in HDFC Bank, Chennai, taking a page out of his corporate diary, has this to say about his attitude and its subtle impact in the performance of his daily duties:

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Lord Krishna observes the fury of Balarama silently
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“During the recent annual appraisal (2007-2008), one day, my boss called me to his chamber and confided this to me: ‘Whenever I suggest something, even when your opinion on that is different from mine, you listen and initially seem to accept. And then, at a later date, you come out with your point of view. And in almost all cases, I seem to finally go by your suggestion. Can you tell me how you do that?’

“I then explained to him that this was one of the many values I learnt from my stay at Puttaparthi. Sri Sathya Sai Baba always taught us that ‘You may not always oblige, but can speak obligingly’. Additionally, He advised us to be calm under any situation, and first obey before complaining to our seniors.

After mentioning this, to illustrate my point better, I went on to relate the story from the epic Mahabharatha which Baba often narrates in this context. The Mahabharata, by the way, is as important to businessmen as to religious seekers, because in it is contained profound lessons about holistic life and living. In any case, this is what I narrated to my boss.

“On one occasion, Balarama, the brother of Krishna, is furious with Arjuna and decides to kill him. And on this mission, he asks Krishna to accompany him. Even though Krishna is very close to Arjuna, at that juncture he calmly agrees to Balarama's proposal and accompanies him.

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Krishna waits for the right moment to change his brother's mind and does it most successfully
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"After they have gone halfway, sensing that Balarama’s fury has subsided noticeably, Krishna, slowly tells Balarama, ‘Brother, you are right. Ajuna clearly deserves to be punished. However, there is a technical constraint here.’ Balarama, who is now more receptive than before, is inquisitive and wants to know the reason. Then Krishna continues, ‘No doubt, Arjuna should be punished. But, since he has married our sister Subhadra, if we take away his life, she would become a widow.’

“Balarama now realises his folly, and then turns to Krishna and says, ‘I never thought of this. Turn the chariot, let's go back’.

“This is a classic example of good emotional quotient – to maintain composure at all times and understand the emotions of the other person and react most appropriately at the right time, just like Krishna did. My boss was so impressed with this that he asked me to share this anecdote with all my colleagues in the Training Department. As expected, it stuck a deep chord with them too, as they understood the significant import conveyed by the incident.

“I would say this is the value addition, in the form of real life lessons that we, the extremely fortunate students of the Sri Sathya Sai University, receive when compared to students outside. It gives us the strength and the intelligence to handle any situation calmly and intelligently.”

Master the Mind and Become A Mastermind: Baba

Thanks to the value-oriented curriculum and the constant emphasis by Bhagavan Baba on the need by students to master the mind, in order to become a ‘mastermind’, which, He says, is the key to becoming a successful manager, the products of SBMAF are not only equipped with an impressive emotional quotient, but something even higher, and that is SQ or the Spiritual Quotient. This is perhaps unheard of and rarely talked about by conventional management experts, but that in no way lessens its importance. In fact, this has become one of the important new age concepts which is much-discussed by enlightened corporate gurus of the current times as a solution to the corporate conundrums of the 21 st century and beyond.

Recognizing the Strength of Managers’ Spiritual Quotient

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Mr. Vivekananda Sahoo,
from MBA batch 2001-03
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Dinah Zohar and Ian Marshall in the book Reconnecting with our Spiritual Intelligence say, “By Spiritual Quotient we mean problems of meaning and value, the intelligence with which we can place our lives in a much wider, richer, meaning-giving context, the intelligence with which we can assess that one course of action or one life-path is more meaningful than another. It is the necessary foundation for the effective functioning of IQ and EQ. It is our ultimate intelligence.”

Sharing his real-life corporate experience of this profound concept on which volumes, in dozens, have been written in the recent past, Mr. Vivekananda Sahoo, an alumnus currently working as Business Analyst in Compassites Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd. says,

“Our Spiritual Quotient, in many ways, is shaping up to be more important than even our Intelligence Quotient. This parameter provides an accurate reliable predictor of how well we’ll do not just in school or on our job, but in life as a whole, which ultimately is what matters the most. And interestingly, SQ is nothing but the three ‘P’s that Baba often talks about - Purity, Patience and Perseverance - there should be purity of thought, word and deed. Practising patience when dealing with others is love, patience with oneself is hope, and patience with God is faith. In these three words, Baba has summed up the entire meaning and quest for business and life as a whole.”

"And interestingly, SQ is nothing but the three ‘P’s that Baba often talks about - Purity, Patience and Perseverance - there should be purity of thought, word and deed. Practising patience when dealing with others is love, patience with oneself is hope, and patience with God is faith. In these three words, Baba has summed up the entire meaning and quest for business and life as a whole." - Vivekananda Sahoo

It ultimately boils down to ‘right attitude’ not only rationally and emotionally, but also spiritually. That, in essence, is Spiritual Quotient. An organisation can live up to its grand vision only if it has right people – people who are not only intelligent, but also emotionally mature and spiritually aware. This is precisely the reason why Bhagavan Baba has always emphasised on ‘Man Management’ in His address to the Sai management students.

Chancellor - Epitome of Spiritual Man Management

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SBMAF alumni gathered to offer gratitude to their Divine Master, Bhagavan Baba, on August 20, 2005.
On the far left is Mr. Arjun Banerjee
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As someone who strives to put His Chancellor’s vision into practice at his workplace, an alumnus Mr. Arjun Banerjee, currently the Chief Financial Officer of CSIE, Washington DC, says, “Man Management is about ‘touching-lives’, just like Bhagavan Baba does. It is about effective communication, just like He has displayed to us many a times. It is about loving and doing things without any expectation whatsoever.”

Another alumnus Mr. D. Anand Bhaskar Raju, currently serving as Senior Consultant in Capgemini, Bangalore, who has reaped the benefits of effective Man Management in his corporate sphere, says,

“A couple of years ago, I was working with a large chain of retail stores which had employees in hundreds. The effects of declining business growth, in the post 9/11 phase, created ripples that lasted long after the event itself. We faced constant pressure not only to increase the top-line, but also to reduce operational costs, often, read this as retrenchment and rationalisation of stores.

"There were two approaches open to us as management. Indiscriminate dismissal of all the employees accompanied by the closure of stores, or selective rehiring of potentially good employees even though it meant increased overheads to the remaining stores. Obviously, it would appear that firing lock, stock and barrel would be the economically sensible option.

Doing it Right - A Long Term Investment

“There were lengthy discussions, as the management team debated the feasibility of adding costs in an uncertain environment. After many sessions of convincing, we could develop consensus that the latter approach deserved a chance. There were several merits to this approach as we learnt subsequently, through our experience.

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Mr. D. Anand Bhaskar Raju, another happy alumnus
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"First, the action reaffirmed to the employees that management has faith in quality and that good behaviour will be rewarded. The attitude of the employees in the remaining stores turned positive, leading to improvement in customer service.

"Second, employees with good potential eventually replaced the recruitment errors, stemming the decline in business. The stores were strengthened as a result.

"Third, the employees retained, despite the closure of stores, transformed themselves from semi-interested participants in the business process into loyal stakeholders of the business. They transformed themselves into self-motivated drivers for future business growth.

"Fourth, the action was perceived as a strong positive reinforcement and reward mechanism for positive attitude and commitment to business.

"The experience was only made possible due to the top management’s receptiveness to the Sai School of integrated business thought and the perseverance of the entire team to the core values that define our holistic approach to management and work. The process of managing a business is always beyond meeting goals and growing sales; the essence of management lies in unifying the efforts while effectively addressing the concerns of the stakeholders of the business in achieving these goals. The truly successful organisation deals with them as vital resources that define its soul, giving it a lifecycle that can span many generations.”

Transforming Convictions into Conduct

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The holy seat of learning where boys learn how to strike a balance between the head and the heart, while the hands are engaged in seva
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“We, the alumni of Sri Sathya Sai University, are moulded with this attitude as the very foundation of our learning. It is our duty to work tirelessly in achieving our respective corporate objectives through the practice of management by values. There is no doubt, far more joy in adding value to life, than in signing the next million in sales. The challenge for us lies in being able to achieve financial success through the process of value addition both to life and work.”

“Over a decade ago, I walked the blessed sands of our school aiming for a few lessons in management. I walked out of the hallowed portals with invaluable lessons about life. The finest tribute to our school is in transforming our convictions into conduct.”

If every manager recognises and operates on the conviction that the other person, be it his peer, boss or the subordinate, is first a human being who needs love, respect and attention like every being on this planet, then, the results that man management in action can produce are truly incredible. There are plenty of instances like the one above from the alumni of SBMAF, but let us take a look at just one more.

“We, the alumni of Sri Sathya Sai University, are moulded with this attitude as the very foundation of our learning. It is our duty to work tirelessly in achieving our respective corporate objectives through the practice of management by values. There is no doubt, far more joy in adding value to life, than in signing the next million in sales. The challenge for us lies in being able to achieve financial success through the process of value addition both to life and work." - D. Anand Bhaskar Raju

Applying Baba’s 3 Rs to Client Relations

Mr. N. Dayasindhu who graduated SBMAF in 1995 and is currently a Principal in a premier Multinational IT and Consulting Company, recollects a powerful instance when he dared to do something which none in his office had ventured into, and in the process brought about a complete turn around in their relationship with an important client, purely by putting man management into work. Narrating that episode, where he applied the principles of reaction, reflection and resound to a tricky situation, he says,

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Mr. N. Dayasindhu, alumnus from the MBA batch 1993-95
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“In a consulting assignment that I was a part of, there was an important manager in the client organisation who was haughty. He would often taunt us with near abusive language. Our team was getting fed up with this attitude, and meetings with this manager were a dreaded ordeal. Some of my colleagues were getting impatient and wanted to give it back in the same coin to the client manager. Some complained about the client within our company and wanted to be shifted out of the project. I was also thinking that this was probably the only way out.

“But then, one morning, I had a flash. I thought maybe we could try to be extra nice to this manager and see if this helps in sobering his attitude. My colleagues dismissed this as an absurd idea. However, I felt there was nothing to lose if it could be tried for a day.

“Instead of avoiding this manager, the next day I was smiling and wishing him well. He was taken aback at first, and then responded with muted acknowledgement. A few days later, we were to meet him late evening, and I suggested that we could possibly do that next morning since he may want to spend the evening with his young son. The next morning there was a sea change in this manager’s interaction with us.

“He turned out to be very supportive and cheerful. My colleagues felt that someone had cast a spell on the manager. Only later we realised that he was frustrated with us since our project meant additional work for him that translated into spending less time with his young son. Since we were now sensitive to his personal time, he started treating us like trusted colleagues.”

Sound Character Key to Effective Man Management: Baba

Management is often believed to be the art of getting things done through others. But Bhagavan Baba says that this is where this profession becomes lifeless. “A manager should be able to identify the strengths of his subordinates and underplay their weaknesses,” Baba says.

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"In our institute we should turn out Masters in Man Management..." - Baba
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He further adds, “A good manager should take a vicarious approach and stand in the shoes of other people to become a socially responsive one and learn the proclivities of various people.” But more importantly, according to Baba, “People can become effective in Man Management only if they possess good character…The manager who is going to control other non-human factors of production of an organisation should be good himself at the first instance.”

This is where SBMAF stands out. Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s concept of Man Management goes much beyond the concept of a manager who has a broad mind and a compassionate heart, and treats his superiors and subordinates with respect and love. ‘Man Management’, for every manager, is as much an internal process as much it is external.

Bhagavan Baba explains, “Management means knowing mankind. First, one must have the ‘mind of a man’….only when man cultivates moral values and manifests the divinity within him, will his true personality as a human being be revealed.” In understanding this concept and translating it into practice lies the complete fulfilment of this important profession. And the students of SBMAF, by virtue of their association with the Divine Master, are more equipped than others, in assimilating and living by this idea.


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10 Man Management video

 
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Swami tells the business school to develop the language of love and realise that there is one caste of humanity
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Management Style Reflects Self Awareness

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Mr. Praveen G. Vishwas, alumnus from 1995-97 batch
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Reflecting on what he had learnt at SBMAF and how he tried to apply that learning in his decade-long stint in the corporate environment, as well as in his life, Mr. Praveen G. Vishwas, currently working as Associate Manager in Accenture, says, “‘Man Management’, I realised was about managing oneself, discovering one’s own inner self, and realising the fact that there is a greater purpose to life than what meets the eye.

“‘Man Management’, I realised was about managing oneself, discovering one’s own inner self, and realising the fact that there is a greater purpose to life than what meets the eye.

"The various roles we live - of a son, a father, an employee, a boss, etc., are vocations that we assume to discharge certain responsibilities, but at the same time each of us has responsibilities towards oneself - to know oneself and to know what ones true goals are. I realised that this has always been the essence of what Swami has been telling us all the while. This awareness is truly the key.”

It is therefore, without doubt, this spiritual awareness, where one not only is able to manage others with ease, but also governs his own life with confidence in an enlightened manner, which is the stepping stone in the making of a good leader.

From I to We to Team

“A great team cannot be made without a noble thought. Put in a different way, a good leader should be one who is ever ready to give the credit to where it is more deserved. If a leader always wants to grab the credit for success, he creates a recipe for disaster,” says Mr. Damu Nair, an alumnus currently working as Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP, in the USA.

Peter Drucker, one of the foremost management thinkers of this century, says, “The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I’. And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I’. They don’t think ‘I’. They think ‘we’; they think ‘team’. They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”

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If the drive is superior, we can achieve results much beyond our capacity, says alumnus, Mr. Damu Nair
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Picking a story from his decade long corporate life when he saw this concept of enlightened leadership and teamwork do wonders, Mr. Damu Nair, an alumnus, narrates,

“In early 2002, we were on a project in Germany. We had a team of about ten people. One weekend, we planned a visit to Paris. We were to start on a Friday evening driving through Belgium to France. When the project manager came hurriedly to our room on that Friday afternoon, I felt something was amiss. As it turned out, one critical object for the project was running behind schedule, and to make things worse there was not even a design on how to build it.

I was drafted to look into it immediately and to have a solution ready by Monday. Along with another colleague of mine, we started on the job. In a rare show of solidarity, our entire team cancelled the trip to Paris and stayed back in the office, supporting us. We were able to provide a solution that was well appreciated. Our team work and dedication went a long way in cementing a long term relationship with that client.”

Dwelling a little deep and drawing significant lessons from this seemingly simple anecdote, Mr. Damu Nair, says,

Selflessness Yields Superior Results

“It might seem contradictory that I am referring to selfless service and furthering of business interests at the same time. As Bhagavan Baba sometimes refers, we plant a tree sapling with the intention of it providing shade. If it grows and yields fruits that is only a collateral benefit. When we sacrificed an enjoyable weekend and worked, hardly did we imagine that it would start a business relationship which will continue till date. The intention was not selfish in any way. Therefore, it is my belief that if the drive is superior, we accomplish results that far exceed our capacity.”

Explaining more, he says, “This philosophy also works at a different level. Time and again I have seen Bhagavan making people accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. It could be as simple as giving a diffident student the confidence to address a large gathering or as complex as helping a doctor perform a complicated surgery. In these cases, when Baba guides, we cease to be the doers and we become instruments in His hand. Our goal is to share our experience to help others. Obviously this is not an easy task for everything that we perform. But given our training, I believe, we, as Sai students, stand a better chance in converting every opportunity to work in accordance with this principle.”

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The Chancellor so happy to be with His chosen ones after a drama staged on MBA anniversary day, 1996
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This immensely powerful trait of subduing and sublimating one’s ego is where the wall between the business of business and the business of life melts away. Mr. V.V. Ranganathan, former Senior Partner in Ernst & Young, India, says, “I think the current boundary line that has been dictated by ethics is driven largely by human knowledge, meaning that somebody tells you this is not right or that is not right…but there is an invisible line that is within everyone’s system that is driven by consciousness.

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Mr. V. V. Ranganathan, former Senior Partner in Ernst & Young, India
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"This is a consciousness that has its own existence…I feel that my spiritual purpose is to be a karma yogi, a person who performs selfless actions. Yes, God has given me the equipment to pursue my desires, but I must do so in such a manner that I remember the principles of karma and that my decisions are not fuelled by selfishness or egoism…I believe that anyone who is moving towards this path of being a karma yogi will get more than they deserve.”

Giving it Your All, Without Clinging to Results

Anybody who had walked on this path of ‘egolessness’ with faith and confidence, has only been bestowed with immeasurable benefits in all respects, be it in business or life. Sharing his own story, Mr. Easwar Prasad, an alumnus serving in a premier company in the telecommunications sector, says,

“I used to wonder what practical impact ‘crushing one’s ego’ would have on life. The concept of being egoless is very difficult to comprehend. Nevertheless, once I started treading on this path, I found that my dealings with fellow workers became very smooth…. This also has made a huge difference in company meetings related to sensitive issues. In most of them, there is a certain ego element in the air which permeates the decision-making. Fortunately, whenever my colleagues perceived problems, I focused on the solutions. Where there was shouting before, we have smiles now. I also find that as an individual, if we start the ‘cooling process’, it has a great effect on the ambience of the workplace. It is again the effect of positive vibrations.”

"Fortunately, whenever my colleagues perceived problems, I focused on the solutions. Where there was shouting before, we have smiles now. I also find that as an individual, if we start the ‘cooling process’, it has a great effect on the ambience of the workplace. It is again the effect of positive vibrations." - Easwar Prasad

Loving to All, Attached to None

Elaborating further, he says, “‘God is your only friend,’ Baba often says. At work, I have found that this truth too has a different dimension. By helping others solve problems, we get close to people but intimate with none. By understanding that most of the people are acquaintances and not friends, we are not a part of any group. Not being a part of any particular cluster helps us in becoming stronger. We tend to remain impartial in our judgment and apolitical in our dealings… I always remind myself that whatever happens is the will of the Almighty. If there are challenges, it means that He wants more effort from my side. I remind myself that, ‘Problems are like exercises for the soul and you become more pure as you overcome them.’ And if the results are positive, it is all His Grace…. in short, I have found peace and happiness after I learnt to curb my ego and dedicate all actions to Him.”

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The SBMAF alumni during "Reconnect" - their reunion presentation before Bhagavan Baba on Aug 20, 2005
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The Chancellor was all smiles when He beheld His boys
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Evolution of a Manager to an Enlightened Leader

The journey of a student of SBMAF from being a professional manager to a ‘man manager’ and then to becoming an enlightened leader is truly fascinating, and absolutely unique. Ask any alumnus, what he thinks is the sole factor for SBMAF standing out among all other B-schools in India and abroad, and he will say, ‘It is because we get the knowledge to make a prosperous living and a good life directly from The Source – Bhagavan Baba.”

The students of School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance in Puttaparthi are singularly fortunate, for, here they learn lessons of management not only from reputed management gurus who are members of the faculty as well as eminent visiting Professors from around the world, but also from the Divine Manager Himself. More importantly, they develop an indelible bond with their Founder which is their formidable source of strength and inspiration at alltimes, everywhere.

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To present a drama before their Divine chancellor on the MBA anniversary day - an opportunity cherished by every batch in the SBMAF. This one is from the year 2002.
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Alumni Continues to Draw upon Divine Dictums

Recollecting one beautiful evening in the company of their beloved Chancellor and eternal guru Bhagavan Baba, an alumnus Mr. V. S. Ramamurthy, currently serving as Team Lead, Infosys BPO Ltd., says, “During the first year of our MBA Course in 2000, we prayed to Bhagavan to come to the Senior Boys’ Hostel. Pleased with our continuous prayers, Swami decided to come to our Hostel. The whole atmosphere was energised and all boys started working towards putting up a very good programme. Swami came in the evening.

After the Vedic chants and the various programmes were over, Bhagavan started His Divine Discourse, and then He said, ‘You (boys) have come from different places in the country to Me, to be my students. You are really blessed to be here. However, on the completion of your studies here, you will return to your respective places in the pursuit of a job. But remember students, wherever you go, Swami will always be with you, above you, below you, beside you. Have such faith and continue your studies.’ Tears welled up in our eyes after listening to Swami’s proclamation of His love towards us.”

Once a Sai Student, Always a Sai Student

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  Sai Holistic Learning   spacer   Sai Holistic Learning  
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They have offered their minds
and hearts to Him...
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...and He takes every trouble to see that
His boys are happy
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In fact, this is the sole reason what makes the students of SBMAF different. As Mr. Amar Singh says, “Increasingly, I feel I am capable of handling any situation life puts me in, not because I trust any capability I may possess, but because I know I am sustained entirely by a power in me that is not my own. And remaining connected with that power, in essence, is the core competency of any alumnus of the SBMAF.”

“Increasingly, I feel I am capable of handling any situation life puts me in, not because I trust any capability I may possess, but because I know I am sustained entirely by a power in me that is not my own. And remaining connected with that power, in essence, is the core competency of any alumnus of the SBMAF." - Mr. Amar Singh



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13 Walk with Me video

 
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In this moving excerpt, Bhagavan emphasises the students to "Walk with Me!"
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This eternal connection to the ultimate reservoir of energy, hope, life and inspiration is something that students of the School of Business Management, Accounting and Finance in Prasanthi Nilayam are blessed to be bestowed with. That is the ‘force behind’ because of which they forge ahead with heads held high with morality, integrity and a sound character – redefining the rules and practices of modern commerce and governance by their words, action and example.

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He gave them His All, so that they could give their all to make a better world
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End of Part-2

Part 2:
REDISCOVERING THE
MODERN MANAGER

 

- Bishu Prusty
Heart2Heart Team

 

Dear Readers, we hope you enjoyed the two-part cover story offering glimpses of the eternal human values that the alumni from the Business School of the Sai University are breathing into the international corporate environment.  What we were unable to capture in this story are the stupendous projects that these inspired alumni are spearheading for rural uplift and empowerment, as they translate their Founder and Master Bhagavan Baba’s teachings into real life lessons.  Those silent but powerful achievements deserve a separate feature. Please stay tuned to an article on that topic at a later date.

Dear reader, how did you like this article? Did it inspire you in any way? Is it informative enough? Please write to us at [email protected] We look forward to your feedback, comments and suggestions to help us serve you better.

 


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Vol 6 Issue 08 - AUGUST 2008
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