A website based on Radhanath Swami's Leadership Lessons

Being ‘quietly effective’

“Do not underestimate the determination of a quiet man” – Ian Duncan Smith.

When I first read the term ‘quietly effective’ in Wayne Dyer’s ‘Pulling your own strings’, I was fascinated and pondered on the need for a leader to be ‘quietly effective’. Dyer refers to ‘quietly effective’ as being focused on our inner drives based on ethics and positive values; these enhance our lives deeply even if others misunderstand or care less about our contributions. When we focus on being ‘quietly effective’ based on spiritual principles, our efforts sustain despite reversals, and we’d never lose our sense of self worth. As the famous Italian actress Sophia Loren said, “Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent but with greater inner drive, go so much further than people with vastly superior talent”

Many in leadership positions suffer when harsh reality defies fancy expectations. Many also have a strong need for being accepted and honored by the world for their achievements. Accolades inspire some to work harder while the inevitable brickbats-part of the game if you are a leader- pulls you down psychologically.  At such times if we have been internally anchored on principles, we can go on happily even if the world sings our glories one day or condemns us on another day. We would neither feel the need to blow our own trumpet nor wail in agony, seeking a shoulder to desperately cry on. We shall march on fearlessly guided by the divine power of God and the strength of our inner connection to sacred spiritual principles.

 

Working on ‘inner motivations’

During my initial days in the ashram I had the service of marketing our literature all over Mumbai. Initially although I did very little, my ashram mates showered profuse encouragement. Later as I spent more time on the field I developed better skills and my results doubled. Soon the appreciation and accolades doubled too. I was the cynosure of everyone’s eyes. Over a period of time however my ‘big’ results were an accepted fact. I couldn’t impress our ashram members anymore with my results. Life went on as usual, whether I got big scores or not. Slowly I began to lose the attention and appreciation I had got so addicted to. I was desperate for more honor and soon realized I wasn’t getting inspired to render this service. I began to give excuses and avoided my duties.

My mentor in the ashram was concerned at my indifference. I was getting stressed and distracted. My team leader helped me honestly evaluate my situation and soon I realized my performance was getting affected due to impure motivations. If I had focused on my service based on my spiritual need and the long term goal this was going to fulfill, I’d have happily continued the service of marketing and distribution of our literature. Soon with the help of my friend and team leader, I was once again on the field, this time focused on the long term goal of sharing the wisdom and helping sincere seekers on the spiritual path. This transition added joy and meaning to my service. Going out on the streets was no longer drudgery; I began to look forward to it. Seven years later I did get appreciation, but it wasn’t for my ‘results’ but for the ‘persistent perseverance’ despite so many challenges in the particular service that I was rendering.

The four ‘A’s’ that motivate us

A friend in the ashram revealed to me how in our immature state our work is motivated by the desire for ‘Acquisition’, ‘Accomplishment’ or ‘Appreciation’. If however we are driven by ‘Attraction’ to divine powers of goodness within and the sweetness of God and His sacred blessings upon us, this attraction will goad us to march on during all the ups and downs of life. This also helps us add value and meaning to other’s lives.

A few years ago I heard Radhanath Swami’s brilliant talk on ‘Failures as a stepping stone to Success’. He revealed that the real heroes in life aren’t necessarily sports champions, business magnates or movie stars but those who persevere in all situations to carry on the inner calling against all odds. “Actual Champions in every situation are those who are always focused on the goals. They make and achieve goals while losers make excuses. Therefore life is what we make of it” This reminds me of the American TV legend, Alan Alda, who echoes a similar mood, “Laugh at yourself if you may, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself”

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About the Author

About the Author: A senior monk and a leader at the Radhagopinath Ashram, a monastery in Mumbai guided by Radhanath Swami, Vrajabihari Das is a board member of the CSV, a Council that provides spiritual vision to the Ashram. Also a prolific writer, he is a regular contributor to Back To Godhead, an international magazine on spirituality. And on the web, he blogs on krishnayoga.info and radhanath-swami.net Venugopal topped Mumbai University in International Finance during his Masters. He then did his MBA. Though a flourishing career awaited him, he chose to become a monk, so as to dedicate his life for the welfare of society. And sure enough, Venugopal today serves as a lifestyle counselor for hundreds in India. His spiritual wisdom and genuine compassion flows freely, irrespective of whether he is counseling, discoursing or writing. .

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There Are 39 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Sundar says:

    Thank you for showing light on this essential area of focusing on inner drives and goals, and for giving us example through your own personal experience.

  2. Sundar says:

    Wonderful article. Very profound – ‘Attraction to divine power of God over the three As of Acquisition, Accomplishment and Appreciation can help us sail through all ups and downs and also help us add value to others life as well.

  3. Kalpana Kulkarni says:

    Thank you for the wonderful wisdom presented in this article specially the 4 A’s.

  4. Aishwarya says:

    ,If however we are driven by ‘Attraction’ to divine powers of goodness within and the sweetness of God and His sacred blessings upon us, this attraction will goad us to march on during all the ups and downs of life.’-This statement pulls us to higher principle to be quietly effective in all circumstances.

  5. Chandrika says:

    This article really pulls out the essence of all our activities – out inner motives. If these are not genuine, the external situations can sway us very easily.

  6. Citra Gopi DD says:

    I like the way this article puts more emphasis on the internal aspects of our lives and not the external.

  7. Rajaruban says:

    The personal example given in this article really sheds light on the understanding behind ‘quietly effective’.

  8. saurabh says:

    Amazing article. We can really be very much efficient if we have the right attitude to work. And that is for the pleasure and a service to the divine lord.

  9. vsk says:

    the real heroes in life aren’t necessarily sports champions, business magnates or movie stars but those who persevere in all situations to carry on the inner calling against all odds.-Maharaj knows everything!!

  10. Milind M Churi says:

    Yes when we are determined to remain focused on our inner drives based on higher values then it really does not matter what others say about us.A leadership with such deep understandings of the above said subject will not be shaken even if reversal occurs due to some divine plans.
    Authors own experience is very useful to others because it will help understand others going through similar phases.
    Also the description of four ‘A’ and subsequent statement by Radhanath Swami is very very profound.Thank you very much VenuGopal Acharya for sharing such nice article.

  11. nandkishordas says:

    really we cant judge the people.who is doing less or more to show or in real service attitude.hari bol.

  12. Acyuta Govinda says:

    It is all the internal strength and dependence on God will help us at every situation. This point is clearly explained in this wonderful article.

  13. anand says:

    thanks for sharing a personal story and revealing the aspect of work for higher truths and not appreciation and recognition.

  14. Arjun K Ramachandra says:

    Very inspiring point here “We shall march on fearlessly guided by the divine power of God and the strength of our inner connection to sacred spiritual principles”

  15. Jagannath Dham Das says:

    Thank you very much prabhu for sharing your realizations & the mood & motive in which we should render our services !
    Hare Krishna !

  16. Roshan says:

    The personal example the author has given is very suitable.

  17. Vidya Patham says:

    Thank you for sharing Radhanath Swami’s words. What he says about real heroes is indeed true. It requires a lot of courage to maintain the qualities of patience and determination over a long period of time.

  18. Sundar says:

    Yes, Acquisition, Accomplishment and Appreciation can make one feel good for some time, but it’s temporary. But Attraction to divine power and doing ones service motivated by that Attraction can not only help us sail through all reverses in life, but can be great example to everyone as well.

  19. Nirmal P says:

    wonderful article.
    ‘quietly effective’ is very nicely explained.
    The need for driven by ‘Attraction’ to divine powers of goodness within and the sweetness of God and His sacred blessings upon us is inspiring.
    Thank you.

  20. Gopal Lila Das says:

    Thank U for reminding us that we need to focus on our inner drives and not get carried away by others misunderstandings..

  21. Y.Raja Shekar says:

    Very nice article. The real attitude can only be imbibed by following in the footsteps of bonafide saints like HH Radhanath Swami.

  22. BSDd says:

    “Actual Champions in every situation are those who are always focused on the goals. They make and achieve goals while losers make excuses. Therefore life is what we make of it”-this statement has come with so much realization.

  23. Dr R K Mewada says:

    Self confidence is essential for every task. But confidence without spiritual guidance results in lamentation in difficult situations. Our true nature will be displayed only in during our difficult time. If we can consider our all work as a part of service to God and with full faith in God, probably we can lean how to tackle difficult situation without disturbing our regular task. H H Radhanath Swami Maharaj has truely described the actual hero as one who persevere the voice of soul even in odd time.

  24. samir paleja says:

    Yes, If we are not focused on our goal we lose all the ability eventually.

  25. suresh says:

    Ultimate aim of all the activities is to please Krishna.

  26. BSDd says:

    “Actual Champions in every situation are those who are always focused on the goals. They make and achieve goals while losers make excuses. Therefore life is what we make of it”-very instructive.

  27. Rahul Gupta says:

    real heroes in life aren’t necessarily sports champions, business magnates or movie stars but those who persevere in all situations to carry on the inner calling against all odds. Wonderful pearls of wisdom by Radhanath Swami

  28. sandeep shetty says:

    Society today needs leaders who are Working on ‘inner motivations’ but its unfortunate that in todays world people who only desire for Acquisition’, ‘Accomplishment’ or ‘Appreciation’are seen as role models and media promotes them as heros.thanx for the article.

  29. Sumit Sharma says:

    It’s very important to put our focus on inner drives and goals. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful article.

  30. Sumit Sharma says:

    Wonderful one for real players.

  31. Arvind says:

    Radhanath maharaj teaches us how to lead life in every situation effectively.

  32. Sumit Sharma says:

    Thanks for nice message. If we make center of life pleasing Krishna and His devotees, we won’t have to artificially curb our senses.

  33. sunny says:

    Thank you for another brilliant article – it is quitely very effective

  34. madhura says:

    The article puts more on internal aspects than external.Amazing!

  35. Achyuta Govindaq says:

    Thank you for this article which is explaining us we can not estimate a person by their external appearance.

  36. suresh says:

    wonderful article, thank you radhanath swami maharaj for encouraging us towards the path of eternal peace and bliss, the path of bhakti…,

  37. vrushali says:

    Radhanath swami says “Actual Champions in every situation are those who are always focused on the goals. They make and achieve goals while losers make excuses. Therefore life is what we make of it”

    So beautiful! Thank you!

  38. Riya says:

    Thank you for telling us where we are going wrong or where we could go wrong. This article will surely set my motivations correct.

  39. Balaji Iyer says:

    Thank you prabhu, the article was really encouraging.Thanks for reminding us about the long forgotten virtue of self belief, which is truly the key to continue progressing in our life.

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