5th September was a very auspicious day in Hindu tradition as they welcomed their most beloved God – Ganpati Bappa with a lot of zeal and fervor. Specifically in Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi also marks the beginning of the 10 happy long days of festival. During this festival, devotees decorate their house, worship the Ganpati idol, and feast on mouthwatering sweets specifically Modak and have family gatherings.

But this can also be a good time to give thought to several traits of Lord Ganesha which can be useful to imbibe in one’s personal life. I would especially like to highlight the Leadership traits of Ganesha and how it can help anyone who instills them in becoming a successful leader. On this festive occasion of Ganpati festival, I decided to jot down some of the leadership traits of Lord Ganesha and why we should follow him:

  1. Big Head of ‘Gajanana’. Gajanana means “Elephant Faced God” which symbolizes to thinking big. In our professional life, many times we have faced the common issues or conflicts while handling a team. Being a leader we need to think differently to solve these common issues, analyze the situation calmly and come out with the best solution.  A leader also needs to think of all possible consequences to resolve the situation amicably as we are dealing with Humans.
  2. Small Eyes of “Gajakarna“. Gajakarna means “One who has eye like an elephant”. Even though elephants have small eyes with limited peripheral vision, their concentration power is very high. One of the main attributes of a leader is to have focus & concentration.  During disputes or conflicts, a leader must be able to provide direction and vision to his team.
  3. Large Ears of “Lambakarna” – Lambakarna means “Large Eared Lord”. Eelephants have an excellent sense of hearing and are said to be able to pick up some sounds over distances of 10 miles. A leader needs to listen everything very carefully and with a calm mind indicating that detailed attention is paid from small to large.
  4. One Tusk of “Ekadanta” or “Ekadrishta” – Ganesha’s one tusk symbolizes that you should keep the good and throw the bad. Lord Ganesha has only the right side teeth, while left teeth is missing. It means if required, a leader should keep following the practices which are good for the organization and change those policies which is not suitable to today’s work culture/ environment.
  5. Trunk of “Vakratunda” – Elephants trunk is able to sense the size, shape and temperature of their surrounding and they also waive their trunks up in the air and from side to side to smell better. In similar manner, leaders should be highly adaptable to their surroundings and should possess contextual intelligence to respond to their surroundings.
  6. Large Stomach of “Lambodara” – Lord Ganesha’s big stomach indicates that leaders should be able to digest all good and bad phases of their decisions. They also need to digest information shared to him by the management and their peers as it will show leaders capacity to maintain trust and confidentiality.
  7. Mouse at Akhuratha’s Feet – Akhuratha means the lord who has mouse as his charioteer. This is because the mouse is ‘Logic’ and the ‘Knowledge of self’ and over it sits the symbol of ‘supreme knowledge’ Ganesha. It indicates that Ganesha sitting over mouse has control over Logic. The rules, regulations, policies etc. drawn by the leader should be applied logically with caution and within limits.
  8. Small Mouth of “Gajavaktra” – Ganesha’s small mouth means “Talk Less”. A leader should listen more and talk less while handling people and their problems. They also need to have a clear communication with their peers so as to avoid miscommunication.
  9. Blessing Hand of Ganesha –The third hand, turned towards the devotee, is in a pose of blessing which offers protection. A leader should also show the same trust to their employees that they are safe and sound and would also succeed in their professional life by getting opportunity to grow.
  10. Axe. An axe in Ganesha’s hand represents discontinuation from bonds and attachments. Ganesha also uses his axe to strike and repel obstacles. The decisions taken by the leader should always be free of emotions and should not be taken under anyone’s pressure. A leader should always be firm on their decisions and use his expertise in handling situations.
  11. Modak – Modak being Ganesha’s favorite sweet resembles the sweetness of the hard work. The trust of their peers and management and company’s success is the sweet which a leader gets in return and is something to cherish.

I believe the above mentioned traits shown by Lord Ganesha should not only be learned but also needs to be practiced for becoming a successful leader. Wish you all a very Happy Ganpati festival.

Ganpati Bappa Morya!!