The first chapter of Bhagvad Gita starts with Despondency of Arjuna. Arjuna went into thoughtful situation, which led him to believe that the war was not worthy of being waged for. He felt himself responsible for horrific outcome it would generate at the end.

It was not first time that he confronted all those nears and dears. He did carry out few battles before. But this time, it would be last one. That is why it was referred as Mahabharata.

Let us analyze Arjuna, the warrior on competency matrix of four competencies:


Many texts have been written on Arjuna, and many authors have rated him poor on Emotional Intelligence competency. He was not able to manage his emotions and had to go to Krishna to help him make better decision.

According to me, he was not able to synthesize different alternatives, its outcomes, and more importantly the relevance of different outcomes.

The war was not being fought for dynasty, property or any other possession. It was between righteous and wrongfulness. He could not comprehend the purpose and probably lost his ground.

Let me quote two different examples here:

First, the story of Steve Jobs, John Sculley, and Apple. And, the other is King Ashoka. Both have different timelines, contexts and applications.

I would take Ashoka’s case first.

Ashoka was great king, and won many battles of his time. After conquering Kalinga, he found burnt houses and scattered corpses. And, probably, it would not have been first time he would have gone through post-war analysis. But, the synthesizing capabilities gave him higher purpose at that point of time, and helped him to understand bigger purpose of life.

Steve Jobs played instrumental role in bringing John Sculley to Apple. Jobs knew his limitations and wanted someone to make Apple marketable appropriately. Jobs convinced Sculley, despite Sculley was working at one of the best companies at that time, Pepsi. But, when Sculley found that Jobs thoughts and philosophy could not take Apple to next level, he convinced board to ask Jobs step down. Here, I would bring Synthesizing Capability over Emotional Intelligence.

Leaders must comprehend contradictory forces and relate with the bigger picture, and make decisions accordingly.

Emotional Intelligence would restrict the idea with oneself, whereas Synthesizing Ability would connect all important dots with bigger picture, and make leaders better decisions.

 

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Dr. Shital Badshah works as Leadership Coach and Consultant. He can be reached at Shital@GrowthCatalystIndia.com or +91 94284 19021.

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