5 Learnings from the Ganeshotsav (Ganesh Festival )

Ganpati Bappa Morya!! Ganesh Utsav (festival) is celebrated in India every year. It is said that during these days Lord Ganesh visits earth to meet his devotees. During this time, the devotees worship Ganesha Idol by offering prayers, Prasad, and following certain rituals. Yesterday we welcomed Lord Ganesha in our family. This year due to covid19  in most of the cases, the celebrations will be restricted to small groups only.

In today’s article, I have shared my key learning derived from the rituals of these celebrations.

The preparation for this festival starts much before the actual festival begins. It starts with cleaning the entire house, shopping for the puja, booking the eco-friendly idol, etc. I realized there are a lot of things we can learn from these celebrations. Following are some of my takeaways from the festival.

  1. Follow the Rules: As mythology says, Lord Shiva made a rule that before anything auspicious people will pray Lord Ganesha (his son) first. Today also in India, every new project whether it’s entering a new house, office, factory, the job begins with a Ganesh Puja(Worship). As the story goes, Lord Shiva set the rule and in rush forgot his own rule and went for war. He started losing the battle which was very unlikely. While thinking about it, he realized that he forgot to worship Ganesh, his son before the war. He soon completed the ritual and as expected won the war against the demons.
    Learning: The rules are meant to be followed by everyone including leaders, Lead by example.
  1. Processes are for people: Most of the families follow a strict process for welcoming and worshiping Lord Ganesha in their houses. The prayers (Aarti) are offered at a fixed time every morning & evening. This process remains the same from generation to generation, except for some minor changes required based on the situation at times.
    Learning: The processes are not designed for people to follow, but they are designed to bring people together, so they can work together in sync towards a common goal of the organization. Thus leading to greater bonding among the team and achieving optimum use of time and other resources.
  1. Team Work: As mentioned earlier the preparation begins much before the actual festival begins. The entire family right from the youngest member of the family to the oldest member of the family is engaged. In activities of their choice, expertise, or activities assigned to them like decoration, Prasad, sending invitations, prayers, etc. Project Managers being our mothers/grandmothers.
    Learning: This is a classic example of driving teamwork, team engagement, and team bonding and aligns it with the mission of the organization.
  1. Humility & Modesty: We set our ego aside and work as a part of a team. No one of superior or inferior. Learning: Always respect fellow team members, never leave humility & modesty. You never know when circumstances will throw a curveball. Stay Humble always.
  2. Journey is as important as the destination: After the festival is over, it is the time to bid farewell to the Lord. This is a very painful moment and we wait for the festival next year to we can repeat the whole journey again.
    Learning: The people we meet and learning we acquire are equally important as reaching the destination. While evaluating the performance/ allocating a project, along with the goals accomplished/missed, it is also important to consider the learning/network employee has achieved on the way.

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Teamwork in Covid19 Crisis- Empathy is the key.

Thank you very much for the encouraging response to my articles. The recent covid19 pandemic has stirred the air of uncertainty in our lives never before. Most of the Leaders in the companies are unclear of questions like, when is the lockdown going to end, what will be the impact on my business, what will be my team’s response, when will my business be able to restore the cash like good old days and so on. 

Today I will share my thoughts on the team handling in this crisis. There is a lot of chaos and crisis outside the organization, why not start by making things simple at our end. This simple incident will help understand the point.  

During the lockdown, most of us are working from home. One day, my daughter was continuously crying and asking for my attention. I was under a lot of pressure on office work and household chores. So I chose to ignore her and continued with my work. Thinking the situation will be handled on its own. However, this did not take place as expected and the discomfort of both of us kept on increasing. Finally, I took a break and talked to her. I tried to understand the problem from a child’s perspective. I understood the reason for her discomfort. Children are more used to outdoors and playing with friends. Suddenly due to pandemic situations, they are forced to stay indoors and entertain themselves with toys/games. They are working equally hard like us to adapt. Also, I tried to explain my situation in a way she could relate to. I finally engaged her with her favorite activity and continued with my work. Thus restored the situation to favorable. Now since I have a deeper understanding I can handle such future situations more effectively.

EMPATHY is what handled this situation. Both of us understood each other’s pain, of course, based on our capacity to understand and the situation got restored.

We can relate this situation to our business/careers also. So following are the key takeaways from this story:

Hiding head in the sand like an ostrich is not going to help: If we hide from the problem thinking that it will resolve on its own, is not going to help. The leadership and the team have to collectively work to come out of their comfort zone to handle the crisis.

Practice Empathy: Empathy is, after all, a human skill; you can get better and better by practicing it. Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Thus, if we practice the value of Empathy within our organizations, decision making, and work will become far more becomes less complicated. 

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