One of Mahatma Gandhi‘s abiding virtues is how he could manage to rally the support of the entire country for his beliefs. Masses responded to him instinctively and classes curried favour with him all through the long freedom struggle the country participated in. Gandhi’s principles, if applied at the workplace, can potentially yield the same results. On the occasion of Gandhi’s birth anniversary, here are five principles from the great leader’s life for your office.
Stick to your beliefs
It is not easy to stick to your convictions when they are so different from the norm. To be able to preach something and practice an ideology that were at veritable ends of common logic required not just talking the talk but also walking the walk. No wonder then that Gandhi’s lifestyle has been so spartan and was spent with lower classes more often than not. As a company too, you need to believe in your employees and your line of products as well as stick to defending criticism whenever it appears.
Go out into the unknown
Gandhi was a failed lawyer before he went to South Africa and learnt about race relations. The lesson is fairly straight-forward. If you get comfortable where you are, you will stay where you are. To achieve true greatness, you need to step out of your comfort zone and show your board members and competition that you are to be taken seriously. If he hadn’t got out of India, Gandhi would have remained a failed and obscure lawyer all his life.
Network with everyone
Mahatma Gandhi was a PR agency unto himself. He knew how to push the right buttons with almost everyone he encountered. He went down to clean latrines with harijans and stayed with the business class when he travelled. He even made himself popular when he visited England in his trademark white dhoti look. As a brand, it is important that you don’t stick to one particular niche. In a country like India that strives on diversity, you must do a Gandhi and reach out to as many people as possible to achieve half the popularity Gandhi had at his peak.
Show, don’t tell
This is the most difficult part of this article. Many brands are content to ride the wave and let their advertisements do the talking for them. But times have changed. With the advent of social media, it is once more necessary to engage with audiences by doing things that they want to gain their loyalty. If Gandhi had his share of detractors, he had many more followers ready to follow his instructions as well. To gain that kind of loyalty, he practiced what he preached by living on minimal necessities, forming a brotherhood and always standing up for the downtrodden, no matter what the situation.
Have a killer USP
Look at non-violence, Gandhi’s most potent weapon, as a product and think what made it so dangerous for the British. The answer is simple: fasting. If he did not like any offer from the opposition, Gandhi was quick to announce a fast and gather the support of his followers to pressure the opposition to give in to his demands. What is your brand’s killer USP? Apple has innovation, Amazon has customer service and Virgin Atlantic has a maverick attitude that make them all winners. You need to give your own brand one killer USP to work it on the crowd and differentiate it from the opposition.