Discuss about the Leadership Of Mahatma Gandhi.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, is one of the political and spiritual leaders that the world had ever witnessed (Gandhi 2016). He led his country India, in the non-cooperation movement in 1922 that led to the achievement of independence of India, in 1947 (Khandelwal and Khanum 2017). This assignment highlights the leadership styles that was exhibited by Mahatma Gamdhi, along with the ethical and moral roles he played as a leader for a nation.
The leadership traits that Mahatma Gandhi possessed are the transformational leadership style (Bazigos et al. 2016). People followed him for his power of oration and the charismatic personality that he possessed. Thousands of people followed his vision and outlook, thus increasing the number of his followers. Mahatma Gandhi was not an academician or a cloistered visionary. He was a leader, who was dedicated to save India for the British rule. He was concerned with the well-being of the people of his nation. In the period of turmoil and violence in India, Mahatma Gandhi chooses the path of non-violence and Satyagraha, which means, holding the path of truth (Gandhi and Nehru 2016). Gandhi was of the opinion that independence of India could be brought by using the non-violence means, without bloodshed. As an alternative to bloodshed, non-cooperation and not violence could be used effectively, in order to ensure that independence is obtained in India.
Along with thinking different from the conventional leaders, Mahatma Gandhi practiced spiritualizing politics. He never wanted recognition, power or position. His mission was to ensure that his country India could be freed from the curse of British rule. His political development grew up in spiritual preparation (Gandhi and Nehru 2016). Many of the leaders who were a part of the freedom movement of India were of the opinion that independence could not be achieved with non-violence. However, Mahatma Gandhi proved them wrong and with non-violence, he was able to bring independence to India.
Leadership lessons from Mahatma Gandhi
The leadership lessons that the world has received for Mahatma Gandhi include the following:
- Constant growth
Mahatma Gandhi understood and realised the importance of growth in personal life. He followed that constant development is a law of life. He believed and practiced constant growth and development in his life (Gandhi and Nehru 2016). He preached to his followers to engage themselves in constant learning and development process. With constant growth and development, self-learning and self-development is enhanced (Khandelwal and Khanum 2017).
- Influence and persuasion is powerful
During the period of unrest and turmoil Mahatma Gandhi was the only leader who realised that by fighting the British army in the conventional way, was not sufficient enough to win the Independence war. In order to get an ensured success, adoption of non-violence and non-cooperation was essential (Datt 2016). He started using the strategies such as fasting, non-cooperation, hunger strikes, in order to fight the British army tactfully. Most of the people in the struggle was not a part of the non-violence and non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi. However, he was successful in influencing the people of the nation, to join him in the struggle (Radhakrishnan, 2015). Thus, as a leader, he displayed one of the most essential skills of influencing and persuasion. With his skills of oration, he articulated the mission and vision and the reasons of choosing such strategies. Thus, he was successful in influencing the people of the nation. Indians trusted him and believed that these new strategies were successful in ensuring the achievement of independence of India.
- Saying “No” is important
Mahatma Gandhi said and believed that saying no from the deepest conviction is much better that saying yes in an unavoidable situation (Datt 2016). He himself followed this principle and preached the same. He made his followers and the world realise the importance of saying no.
The leadership traits of Mahatma Gandhi include honesty, truthfulness as well as commitment towards the nation and its people. Moreover, he promoted the use of indigenous clothes, along with refraining from the use of foreign clothes (Khandelwal and Khanum 2017). Even being such a great leader, he wore self-spun indigenous clothes. Though he was one of the greatest leaders of the world, his humble nature and down to earth living made him a significant leader.
Thus, it could be concluded that Mahatma Gandhi possesses all the essential traits of a true leader. Though being an Indian freedom fighter, his followers are from all around the world. The qualities that he possessed made him a true leader indeed. The leadership ethics which he maintained, along with the teaching what he himself followed, made him popular and transparent. The trust and confidence, which he gained from the people of his nation made him, achieve the title “The father of the nation”.
Bazigos, M., Gagnon, C. and Schaninger, B., 2016. Leadership in context. McKInsey Quarterly, pp.72-79.
Datt, D.M., 2016. The Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. The University of Wisconsin Press (1961).
Gandhi, M., 2016. Between Ethics and Politics: New Essays on Gandhi, p.8.
Gandhi, M. and Nehru, J., 2016. Between Ethics and Politics: New Essays on Gandhi, p.130.
Khandelwal, P. and Khanum, F., 2017. Mahatma Gandhi as an Authentic Leader: A Narrative Autobiographical Approach
Radhakrishnan, S. , 2015. Mahatma Gandhi. Jaico Publishing House.