A website based on Radhanath Swami's Leadership Lessons

The power of one before the zero

I remember attending my daughter’s annual drama performance, which was very unique in the sense all the students of the school from the first standard to the tenth standard were performing, and they had spent months practicing for it. It was at a mammoth level with 1000 students performing in their colorful costumes on a larger-than-life stage with spectacular lighting and heart-soothing music.

The show ended, and the principal came on stage to thank everybody involved in making the event a success. At the end, it was time to thank the director who we knew had put in a lot of sweat and tears to coordinate with 1000 participants and present a soul-stirring performance. When the principal called out his name Allan, all the students and parents cheered in anticipation to see him on stage; but he was nowhere in sight. He knew the job was well done, and he did not want to bask in the glory of the evening and take away anything from the children who had so beautifully performed. It has been five years since the drama was performed, and the memory of this event still holds on to my mind of a person who took the position of insignificance while doing such a great act.

Recently, when India lifted the coveted cricket world cup trophy, the captain of the team, M S Dhoni, allowed his team members to take center stage while he stood on the sidelines, even though he played a crucial knock in the finals and hit the final six over midoff to seal India’s victory in the world cup finals.

In both the instances, the two people took a humble position and there are people in the business community who term this as ‘humble leadership’. Jim Collins, the author of two much-quoted works, How the Mighty Fall (2009) and Good to Great (2001), has linked the performance of great companies to Level 5 leaders, who practice two distinct qualities, namely genuine personal humility and intense professional will.

The Level 5 leader is always looking outside the window to see who deserves the credit for the job well done. This kind of humble leadership attracts people and brings out the best in them as their contribution is recognized as meaningful and significant.

It is not easy to practice humility as pointed by social commentator Santosh Desai, who believes that such acts require supreme self-confidence and wisdom.

Radhanath Swami after studying the wisdom literature of the world says, “A true leader practices humility, and humility really means honesty. Humility is about simply being truthful. What do we have to brag about? If God does not make the sun rise, what will you do? Did you create your brain? Did you create your eyes to see? Did you create your heart to beat? Did you create your arms to act? As they say in British parlance, do not be proud of borrowed plumes. Whatever we have is not ours. We are merely instruments of a power beyond ourselves and to recognize and access that supreme power is real humility.”

Imagine. The power of the Lord with you! It is like adding a one to all the zeroes. All of a sudden, the value changes. Our Vedic scriptures prescribe a simple method of adding this one to our life by establishing a relationship with the Supreme One. Any relationship requires good understanding and communication. Prayer is a powerful means of communication with the Supreme Lord, and the most effective prayer in the present day and age is the chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Lord. The chanting of the holy names will cleanse our heart of all the impurities and will bring us to our natural state of being a humble servant. This will inspire people around us to become humble leaders leading to a more cooperative and loving society.

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About the Author

About the Author:

An entrepreneur at heart Deepak Bharwani functions with Pragati leadership Institute as a facilitator and concurrently runs his own marketing organization.
With an MBA from the Mumbai University, backing him are fifteen years of domestic and international marketing experience servicing brands like Godrej GE Appliances, Citi Bank and ABN Amro Bank.
Deepak found his passion in training six years back and has worked with Franklin Covey South Asia as a certified trainer in ‘7 habits of highly effective people’.
Some of the most prestigious and coveted companies like Hindustan Lever Ltd., ICICI Bank, Nicholas Piramal, Efunds, Wipro, etc. have engaged him for training.
Deepak believes in enabling people to live a ‘wholesome’ life and create enriching relationships to make this world a beautiful place to reside.
Deepak’s incredible love for both children and spirituality has got him actively involved in running a spiritual school for children.

Reach Deepak at deepak.bharwani@pragatileadership.com, Mobile – +91 99203-49012

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There Are 47 Brilliant Comments

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  1. sajeev says:

    humble leaders are seldom found nowadays…

  2. Sameer Lowlekar says:

    Amazing article!

    HH Radhanath Swami has presented a wonderful understanding on Humility.

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Swapnil says:

    Very nicely written article, bringing out the importance of humility in leadership quality. I like the quote of Radhanath Swami.

  4. suresh says:

    true compassion and love for his fellow beings, that makes radhanath swami being accepted by everyone,

  5. Deepak says:

    Awesome, super awesome article. Radhanath Swami wonderfully explained what are true leadership qualities & very nicely explained the importance of 0 before 1 i.e to practice the art of self realization.

  6. Anita Iyer says:

    Amazing article. Humble leadership is a great quality.

  7. Vidya Patham says:

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for your inspiring words on humility.

  8. Radha Menon says:

    It is very difficult to find leaders with the qualities mentioned in the article by Mr. Bharwani, though they are the most important. under the guidance of Radhanath Swami, many are developing these qualities and hopefully will lead the world to the true goal of life.

  9. sandeep says:

    radhanath swami has given deep understanding about humility.

  10. Chandrashekar says:

    It is a wonderful article – telling us the need to practice humility while leading. All glories to Radhanath swami and his dear students!

  11. Vikas Shah says:

    The author writes from realization, clearly the profuse blessings of Radhanath Swami are upon him wholeheartedly.

  12. Vidya Patham says:

    Humility is a quality which forms the basis of spiritual life. Thanks to Radhanath Swami's personal example thousands of spiritualists can also aspire to try and become humble.

  13. Thank you Radhanath Swamiji for adding the ONE in our life

  14. Milind M Churi says:

    Very nice article.Herein we understand the basic principle of how to keep good realtions with others,that is good understandings and proper communication.Similarly it is true while connecting with Supreme self.Thank you very much.

  15. navin poojary says:

    Humble and meek inherit the Kingdom of God

  16. Pandu Rangayya Shett says:

    ahankara vimudatma kartaham iti manyate————– In fact everything done is arranged by the Supreme God. To accept this point one has to be very humble. Radhanatha swami very nicely explained it here. All glories to Radhanatha Swami.

  17. Anand says:

    Both Deepak & Radhanath Swami have wonderfully captured the essence of humility in ths article. True leadership earnestly requires humility as an essential ingredient of one's character.

  18. madri says:

    Thank you for sharing. Radhanath swami has explained the aspect of humility in such a simple way that how humility and leadership both go together.

  19. N. Swaminathan says:

    This smashes the misconception that humility and leadership go ill together

  20. Nikhil Damwani says:

    Humility is the hidden key to kingdom of GOD!!

  21. Neha says:

    The tree that bears more fruit always stands in bending position and tree that hold up erect bears no fruit.. How true !!!

    Really inspiring and exemplary…

  22. Sumit Sharma says:

    Humility is the crux of knowledge.

  23. rishi says:

    what an amazing way of putting things with respect to leadership. Swamiji re-iterates this message time and again to uplift the society at large. Thank you so much

  24. Dr Sandhya says:

    Really a fantastic article. Really brings ut he importance of real leadership and how one should be humble even though in leadership position.

  25. Arjun K Ramachandra says:

    I liked the point about how humility simply means to be honest and truthful that we are merely instruments of a higher power!

  26. Kirti C says:

    Humility is not a feeling to be cultivated; it is a natural consequence of knowing oneself as it is. Radhanath Swami stresses this aspect of humility above all others realizing it utmost importance in the life of any practicing spiritualist.

  27. vraja bihari dasa says:

    super brilliant!! i admire the author's sensitivity to note and remember even five years later, an act of humility by the director. this shows Deepak's own humility. thanks a lot for the article.

  28. vraja bihari dasa says:

    super brilliant!! i admire the author’s sensitivity to note and remember even five years later, an act of humility by the director. this shows Deepak’s own humility. thanks a lot for the article.

  29. Manish Ahuja says:

    Thanks Deepak for sharing your view on power of god … nice example .. adding one in front of many zero.. now days i feel that people are just adding zero's and thinking their value of life is increasing.. but you explaining very correctly that there is a need of spirituality in everyones life. And it touching that how radhanath swami is inspiring so many souls to take to spirituality and experience the god factor ..please keep sharing such nice articles.

  30. shreeniwas chaudhary says:

    Very Inspiring. Thank you. And I also thank Deepak for sharing and making us feel that spirituality is very important in ones life.

  31. saveeta says:

    It is very rare to find leaders like Radhanath Swami with wonderful blend of Humility and strong drive to serve

  32. Ganesh Gavali says:

    Really amazing.
    Whatever we have is not ours. We are merely instruments of a power beyond ourselves and to recognize and access that supreme power is real humility.”HH Radhanath Maharaj is himself example of such an ideal leader.

  33. Anand Iyer (Gurgaon) says:

    The best leaders are those who actually do not want the position of leaders. Instead they humbly want to servs others!

    Thank you Deepak for sharing Maharaj's views and realizations.

  34. Chandrika says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful article.

  35. Rahul Abhay Kamat says:

    Wonderful article

  36. Pranjal Dixit says:

    true compassion and love for his fellow beings, that makes radhanath swami being accepted by everyone,

  37. chitra says:

    Thank you prabhuji!

  38. Abhinav Mutreja says:

    “A true leader practices humility, and humility really means honesty. Humility is about simply being truthful” – Radhanath Swami. Amazing!

  39. gopasana says:

    very nice article…but, it surley is difficult to practice this kind of humility when you are at a leadership position

  40. Chandrika says:

    A heart-touching article with real examples to exhibit how leaders with humility brings out the best in others and do not take credit for themselves. Thank you for giving a way of developing humility.

  41. Sundar says:

    GReat definition of humility – meaning honesty. Truly there is nothing to brag about for oneself.

  42. Anil Sharma says:

    We are realy Zeros.All the talents, powers given to us by God .i.e One.
    As we know zero is inginificant or non existence in itself.
    Zero has significance only with One.

  43. Shyam Mahtani says:

    This is a very nice article and so beautifully explains how to put the Absolute One, Krishna, before the zero, us, to give some memaning. Thank you.

  44. Rajeev says:

    Thank you very very much .. very nice one .. if we really have faith in Lord than we have a supreme great 1 before all Zero’s.

  45. Pranjal dixit says:

    Glory is not the thing which is to be kept with ourselves. It must be given to others and one who understands this, glory always follows him. A spiritual leader always gives it to Guru and Lord.

  46. Rajendra Prasad says:

    Chanting of holly names of lord is the only way. All good qualities including humility can be attained at once by connecting with God.

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