Shreemad Bhagavad Gita has a lot to speak about business management. In the last Post of Karma-Yoga, we have seen how our actions should be for the benefits of the others. Today, let's see Chapter 4.
In Chapter 4, Karma-Brahm-Arpan-Yoga (Jñāna Karm Sanyās Yog), verse 13th and 14th, Lord Krishna said,
चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागश: |
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् || 13 ||
The four categories of occupations were created by me according to people’s qualities and activities. Although I am the creator of this system, know me to be the non-doer and eternal. (source: holy-bhagavad-gita.org)
પ્રકૃતિના ત્રણ ગુણો એન્ડ કર્મોના વિભાગ પ્રમાણે મેં બ્રાહ્મણ, ક્ષત્રિય, વૈશ્ય અને શુદ્ર એમ ચાર વર્ણોની રચના કરી છે. તેનો હું કર્તા હોવા છતાં પણ તું મને અકર્તા અને અવિકારી જાણ.
न मां कर्माणि लिम्पन्ति न मे कर्मफले स्पृहा |
इति मां योऽभिजानाति कर्मभिर्न स बध्यते || 14 ||
Activities do not taint me, nor do I desire the fruits of action. One who knows me in this way is never bound by the karmic reactions of work.(source: holy-bhagavad-gita.org)
કોઈ કર્મો મને લેપતા નથી, કેમ કે કર્મોના ફળમાં મને લાલસા નથી. આ રીતે જે મનુષ્ય મને જાણે છે, તે પોતાના કર્મો વડે બંધાતો નથી.
Based on occupation & activities, God created the following 4 Varnas:
- Brahmins - predisposed toward teaching and worship (how to get the God or go to heaven)
- Kshatriyas - inclined toward administration and management of the kingdom
- Vaishyas - form the business and agricultural class (Businessmen)
- Shudras - working class (The actual person who works)
In the same way, we also need 4 Departments in our Business.
- Brahmins - Marketing - Do the marketing & they actually help us to meet our God (Our Customer).
- Kshtriya - HR - Form a Business, Hire Team, Appoint People, Make Policies, define Penalties, etc.
- Vaishyas - Operations - Administration & Management (or your Top Management Team).
- Shudra - Technical - Actual working people, our employees who actually do work
What God did is, created these 4 Varnas and given them their duties and activities that they need to perform and he simply became A-Karta (non-doer and eternal).
We as CEO, also need to do that same thing. Create these 4 Departments, assign them their duties and just become an external observer. Then all you need to do is, whenever they got stuck, help them, guide them or train them. That's it.
So just simply, Be a God of your Company.
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In the second chapter of Gita Lord Krishna said,
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ||
that means, "You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions."
And this is where most of the people got confused. If I do not have any expectations then how I will get motivated to do something.
For e.g., As a product owner, If I do not expect that my product should grow to whatever level, why I would put my efforts into that.
So Arjuna asks the same question to Lord Krishna, "If I should not keep any expectation about my kingdom then why do you urge me to jump into this war?"
What Karma-Yoga says is, Everyone must engage in some sort of activity in this material world. In short, do actions. You can not run away from your duties or actions. But those actions should be selfless actions that are performed for the benefits of others.
Because in chapter 3, verse 13, Lord Krishna said,
यज्ञशिष्टाशिन: सन्तो मुच्यन्ते सर्वकिल्बिषै: |
भुञ्जते ते त्वघं पापा ये पचन्त्यात्मकारणात् || 13 ||
that means, The spiritually-minded, who eat food that is first offered in sacrifice, are released from all kinds of sin. Others, who cook food for their own enjoyment, verily eat only sin. (source: holy-bhagavad-gita.org)
In our business, every day we should be generous and gracious to the people we work with. Also, we should build a socially responsible business, which means being aware of the company’s impact on workers, consumers, and the environment around it. That means happier employees, who builds better products and ultimately happy customers.
A business can make lots of money, be successful, and grow for years but it should be still giving back to society, providing services, and improving the community around it.