Leadership Lessons from Shakespeare

Still Relevant

The first: The advice given by Polonius in Hamlet about keeping wise counsel. Ranging from the Prime Minister who assembles his Cabinet, to the Dabbawallahs whose image is derivative of the meticulousness shown by each cog in the wheel, this lesson stems into the  famous saying “tell me your associates and I’ll tell you who you are”.

The second: Portia’s plea for mercy to Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. An act of mercy, whether conducted as a satisfaction for philanthropy, or in league with Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings, is a matter of debate when it comes to a nation like India. On the one hand Kasab is funded to the status of the one of the richest prisoners in India, and on the other the ‘moral police’ bandwagon inflicts corporal punishment arbitrarily.

The third: Henry V’s rousing speech before the Battle of Agincourt in Henry V. The hotel staff’s conduct at the Taj during the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, is a fine example of the sense of loyalty that binds together an organisation. Empowering all stakeholders to give them ownership as well as a sense of belonging gradually becomes the essence of brands, as they are no longer judged only through brand loyalty of their consumers.

Through the lesser known association of Shakespeare with business – If all the world is a stage why not play the role of a leader?

Written by Ananya Ghosh for Image Management

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