e just finished our first Insight program, with over 180 successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and resource leaders who attended. Altogether, the program was an intense engagement that lasted three days. An important element of Insight is to bring an inner dimension to leaders in the world, as today the economic leaders in the world have the most significant role to play. Based on this, we crafted the event by taking two very successful leaders from two different backgrounds and dimensions – Shri G.M. Rao and Shri K.V. Kamath. And we couldn’t think of anybody better than Shri Ram Charan to dissect the DNA of their success.
‘Insight’ essentially means being able to see things that other people are not able to see, which is the hallmark of leadership. To make any endeavor truly successful, there are three basic qualities which are needed – Integrity, Inspiration and Insight. Where there is integrity, there will be trust. Where there is no trust, an appropriate atmosphere for growth and success will not happen. So if something needs to grow, integrity is the most important thing. If something that lacks integrity grows, it is better that it not grow because if it grows, it will become a society full of corruption. And unfortunately, it has already grown.
If something truly worthwhile for a generation needs to happen, then it also needs inspired activity. It cannot be done by people who go to work at ten o’clock and come back home at five o’clock. Those who work from ten to five cannot make a difference in a generation’s life. It needs mad men and mad women! It needs a certain insanity, a certain inspiration to a point of insanity. Only then will you create something that is of great significance to everybody.
If you say, ‘I will go to work at ten o’clock, come back home at five o’clock, I have to eat on time, Saturday, Sunday I am not working’ – you cannot create something beyond livelihood. You can only create livelihood, nothing more. All this is fine, but if there is no insight, there is nothing to follow, and there is nothing to toil for. Insight is most significant, otherwise it will become mediocre. Mediocrity can be transformed into extraordinary activity only when there is a deep insight into something.
The whole process of what we are referring to as ‘Adiyogi’, what we are referring to as ‘Shiva’, is just this – perception, perception. The hooded cobra is just the symbol of the highest level of insight because traditionally and symbolically, it was always believed that a snake knows more about everything that is happening than any other creature, including the human being. Because he has no ears, he doesn’t listen to other people’s gossip, it is all direct perception. The whole system of yoga is just this. It does not matter who said it — Veda said this, Gita said this, Krishna said this, Buddha said that – Great! We will bow down to you, but we do not believe you. We want to know it. And this is the nature of the snake. He has no access to local gossip.
The Insight Program happened as an event, but we want to turn it into a movement. Scaling up business is not a goal by itself, but it serves the means of nation-building in a certain way. No nation has ever been built without vibrant entrepreneurship. Nations which were built without entrepreneurship have gone down and collapsed within fifty years because to keep it up needs enthusiasm and inspiration, otherwise it will not work. This is the nature of entrepreneurship. Shri G.M. Rao is the one who, in many ways, changed the ‘first’ face of India — that is, when people land in India. The two major airports are his making. Right now, landing in India looks better than almost any other country in the world. The Delhi airport has been rated number two, and it was done in an incredible timeline. Now he is building airports across the world, and he shared his very poignant story from zero. Without any big qualifications and without knowing the English language, he built his business single-handedly. It was a very poignant story; I don’t think anyone in the conference was left without being inspired by what this man has done. And Shri K.V. Kamath has built the banking mechanism in India in a big way. On the second day, he gave a brilliant exposition as to how things happen in the banking system, which was deeply influencing people’s thought. And these two peoples’ lives and successes were translated into a lesson plan by Shri Ram Charan, who is today the most sought-after management and leadership teacher in the world.
This was an assembly of really significant minds, people who have made huge accomplishments in their lives. And for the small and medium entrepreneurs who participated, this was an opportunity to interact closely with these people, and to make use of the space and time. There was also a bit of spiritual element to the program. Everything together, it got spiced up pretty well, and I think it was a good experience for everyone. We have also set up an online platform through which the participants will communicate and interact with each other.
All of this will slowly translate into a movement, and we are planning other kinds of events in line with this. This should translate into a ‘Leadership Academy’ sometime in 2015. I have been talking to people at some of the top business schools. We know what is happening there, but we want to create a very unique space where it is all hands-on learning, not just classroom learning, so that when students come out, they do not go seeking jobs but become active, successful entrepreneurs. So, that is in the pipeline. We need to do a lot of work in that direction to make it happen.