Freedom, Gandhi and Us!

Over the last few days i have got myself immersed in reading (or should i say studying?) this little book titled “Catching up with Gandhi” by Turner. Though currently my schedule at work does not allow for a lot of free time, i still am getting back to this book – it is almost addictive. More on the book and review later!

Currently I am  trying to become more hands-off from operations of my little start-up and let my team manage most of the activities. One thought from the book sparked off the following in my mind:

1. Freedom is not Free! It comes at a cost! India got its freedom and if we the people living and enjoying this freedom realize the cost that the nation has paid over many years to earn it – we may not be doing many of the things that you get to read in the newspapers and listen on the TV channels. Stretching it to work lets just imagine if your supervisor decides to allow you to do whatever you want, do you think you would be able to sustain the sudden freedom and utilize it for a successful future. On the other hand if you have worked with your higher ups over a period of time to get yourself prepared and showcase to the institution to handle freedom – wouldn’t you have had a better time with it?

2. Freedom should not be given away abruptly! Just imagine if the British had suddenly decided to hand over the reins to India and move on; do you think we would be where we are today? Doubtful! In a way i think we have to thank Gandhi-ji for a lot more than just Freedom – that is the way he thought it appropriate to get it. Stretching it at work, i think i could have never just taken my hands-off from operations so easily! Will my team be ready to take on from here? Will they be ready to handle challenges, some of which they have never known before?

3. Freedom should be earned! Since India spent a lot of time preparing for getting Freedom and worked for it, they first and foremost rejoiced and valued what they got. The initial set of Leaders lived their lives for the country (exceptions are always there!) And most of them remained true to the nation and continued to keep the nation beyond themselves and their dear ones. For this group, the dear ones were every citizen of the country! Lofty thinking! Lofty souls! Stretching it to work were it not for my team to consistently show that they will do whatever it takes to achieve results, and me to enable them take over the onus of keeping lights on and shouldering the needed responsibility and ownership, it would have been difficult for them to enjoy many of the things they are doing today and it may not have enabled me to start a new function – the idea of thinking about tomorrow. Both of us (me and my team) have worked hard to achieve the freedom we enjoy today and this if sustained over a fairly long period of time can help us grow and live our dreams.

I think Freedom as a concept has enormous scope in Business, but is much less studied and applied. I am definitely going to spend more time thinking about it as i have at least 2 opportunities to attempt testing them on the field.

What about you?

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