Prelude : This is a fictitious story about a conversation between a boss "Krishna" and his subordinate "Arjun" in this new corporate world, wherein the Boss guides the subordinate using knowledge of Satyug and Dwapar yug and how the management was done in those days. What is interesting is how Krishna is able to closely correlate the day to day things to the proven ways of management form history and was able to make Arjun understand the key to success.
Creator: Mr Manish Chaturvedi
On a Monday morning at office, when Krishna reached office, Arjun was waiting for him and he greeted him and the story begins
Arjun: Good Morning Krishna! How are you?
Krishna: Good Morning Arjun, have a seat.
Arjun : Boss I have a question for you. In fact I have been wanting to ask this question since long but couldn’t find a suitable time.
Krishna: Oh! To progress in life you should clear your doubts at the first given opportunity.
Arjun: Thank you Krishna, I wanted to ask that why do you keep these three monkeys of Mahatma Gandhi on your table? Are you inspired by Mahatma’s life and his philosophy?
Krishna: yea you are right but first you tell me what is the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi?
Arjun: Yes of course, Mahatma Gandhi was the spearhead of Indian Independence Movement, he led many movements against British rule like Non-Cooperation movement; Quit India movement; Swadeshi Movement and above all, his autobiography “ My experiments with Truth” is a great inspiration for youths across…
Krishna : Great what have you learnt from Mahatma?
Arjun: To always speak truth, Nonviolence, to be polite yet firm in my approach, fight for justice.
Krishna: Do you practice all this?
Arjun: Well… it is difficult but I try, you still haven’t answered my question.
Krishna: Yes…these three monkeys!! You tell me, what do these monkeys symbolize?
Arjun: Do not speak, hear and see evil.
Krishna : Very good. These three monkeys are my Management Gurus.
Arjun: This is interesting and inspirational Boss. You mean to say you never speak, hear and see evil. I am impressed. If everyone in this office starts practicing this mantra, we will all be happy and this company will grow like anything. Boss, I am very happy to know this, if entire management becomes like you there will be no back biting, no favoritism, no fear in this company. I sincerely believe that tone at the top has a key role to play in any organization’s success.
Krishna: Hold your horses my dear! You didn’t get it correct. I am not saying that I do not see, speak and hear evil
Arjun: But boss you said these three monkeys are your Management Gurus
Krishna : yes you are right, These Monkeys are my management Gurus. Let me explain it to you. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Do not see, hear and speak evil.”
Arjun : yes
Krishna: I have done a little modification in this philosophy or you can say I have my own interpretation of this philosophy
Arjun: which is
Krishna: I decide time, situation, place and people to practice this philosophy.
Arjun: I didn’t understand you.
Krishna: Dude! I am saying, I decide when & where to see, hear and speak evil.
Arjun: I am confused
Krishna: Hmm... you are behaving like Arjun from Mahabharat. Let me explain it further for you. In real world, you need to be smart enough to decide how to use this philosophy to your advantage.
Arjun: Boss, please do not confuse me further.
Krishna: Ok tell me, do you like everyone in this company?
Arjun: not really.
Krishna: Good. Let me give you a situation, let’s assume there is an issue in this company and that mistake is made by an employee whom you like. what you will do?
Arjun: irrespective of my liking or dislike for that person I will speak the truth.
Krishna: This is the root cause of the problem.
Krishna: I’ll take a call based on situation, which means if the mistake is made by a person who does not fit in my scheme of things, I will speak against him.
Arjun: and if he fits in?
Krishna: I will bring into play three monkeys and will speak about improving processes, controls and tone at the top etc.
Arjun: But this is wrong.
Krishna: No this is management and the day you will learn this philosophy you will also start growing in the organization.
Arjun: but Krishna, this is not the teaching of Mahatma Gandhi.
Krishna: No one really knows what exactly he wanted to preach, everything is subject to interpretation and the speed at which I’m growing in the organization it seems that my interpretation is correct and working for me.
Arjun: In that case I may not be able to work in this organization any more.
Krishna: Don’t get emotional, all organizations, whether family, social, political or corporate are same and remember I like you.
Arjun: meaning you will never see any wrong in me.
Krishna: Yes, till the time you fit in my scheme of things
Krishna: Do remember my management lesson:
“Use these monkeys as per your convenience and keep doing wrong if it benefits you.”
Arjun: But these monkeys are not asking you to do wrong.
Krishna: No Dude, in fact it is implied…see what they say. Do not see, hear and speak evil which means you can silently keep doing wrong.
Arjun: Thanks Boss, I will try to become Mahatma like you although it seems difficult for me.
Krishna: Good acceptance is the first step to change. To be successful, I have always seen Mahatma in my Boss.
Arjun: Yes, Boss now I can also see “Mahatma in my Boss.”
After few days of this conversation, Arjun was again stuck with some thoughts in his mind and wanted to have some guidance on how to go further, so he again approached Krishna. The conversation went on like this.
Arjun: Boss, I have another question for you.
Krishna: I told you earlier also to clear doubts at the first given opportunity.
Arjun: yes Boss, I remember your words.
Krishna: well then make practical use of my wisdom.
Arjun: You are right Sir.
Krishna: I know that I am right and you cannot contradict it either.
Arjun: Sir back to my question.
Krishna: go ahead.
Arjun: Boss! you keep saying that you can see through people.
Krishna: Yea, I can and I can read minds too.
Arjun: This is incredible, is this a God gift or you have developed this skill?
Krishna: Ha ha ha
Arjun: Boss, I am curious, if everyone in this organization is able to develop ability to see through people then there shall be no confusions, no misunderstandings and no lack of communication. We shall hire worthy characters and there shall be no difference in “practice & preaching”. There shall be complete trust and all shall work for the betterment of the organization without any apprehension.
But Sir, there are people in this company who aren’t clean and transparent but are still close to you. If you can see through them, why don’t you expose and get rid of them for the benefit of the organization?
Krishna: Good question Arjun but you are forgetting my first management lesson
Arjun: yes, Boss you told me to “Use Gandhi’s monkeys as per our convenience and keep doing wrong if it benefits us.”
Krishna: That’s what I do…
Arjun: I didn’t understand
Krishna: Indeed, I can see through people but I use this skill as per my convenience for my benefit
Arjun: but isn’t this wrong?
Krishna: wrong or not is just a perception and as I told u last time that everything is subject to interpretation even Gandhi’s three monkeys are subject to interpretation.
Arjun: I agree but is it not correct to hire right resources, that will solve all problem. Once this organization is free from unethical people you will be able to apply Gandhi’s principle of three monkeys to the fullest.
Krishna: Arjun, it is difficult to get honest and intelligent people in this world and to run business you need people who have business acumen and can work with various kinds of individuals & in challenging environment. Only honesty & ethical behavior cannot serve the purpose.
Arjun: I didn’t understand.
Krishna: See, I believe in only two management philosophies
Arjun: and they are?
Krishna: First one was propounded by Bhagwan Ram and the other one was by Shri Krishna
Arjun: Sir I am unable to understand what has Bhagwan Ram & Krishna got to do with modern day Management.
Krishna: This is where you go wrong, both Ram & Krishna were management gurus.
Arjun: This is interesting sir…
Krishna: In fact for both Ram & Krishna ultimate objective was one i.e. ‘Good must prevail over bad,’ but their routes were different. On one hand Ram believed and practiced only ethical behavior whereas Krishna practiced blow for blow, you may call it situational leadership.
Arjun: but which one is the right practice
Krishna : Principles of Ram are impractical in today’s world.
Arjun: But sir ideally Ram’s principles only can bring peace and happiness in this world
Krishna : we don’t live in an ideal world and by practicing Ram you shall never reach the pinnacle and therefore I practice Krishna.
Arjun : I agree but Boss then what is the relevance of Ram in today’s world
Krishna: Ram is what you can hope to be and Krishna is what you actually can be..
Krishna brings practical approach to life whereas Ram cannot be practiced
Arjun: coming back to my question. Can you really see through people?
Krishna: ha ha ha! No, I can’t and no one can.
Arjun: I didn’t understand
Krishna: Let me explain, it’s extremely difficult to look within. unless you are in touch with your inner self, you cannot connect or see through the inner self of the other. A soul can only connect with another soul.
Arjun: wow sir but why do you keep saying I can see through
Krishna: well this is a strategy to make other uncomfortable
Arjun: But what is the need
Krishna: to hide my own inefficiencies.
Arjun: So you are saying…To hide your flaws you attack others…is this not wrong
Krishna: Again, this is your interpretation. I am here to win!!
Arjun: win what
Krishna: To win everything I want and eventually to win over myself.
Arjun: You are so candid, Are you not afraid of anything
Krishna: Not of you at least.
Krishna: remember “Keep applying principles of Krishna till the time you reach to a position where you can afford to be Ram”
Arjun: You are great. I can clearly see “Mahatma in my Boss”