Valmiki Ramayana mentions Red Flags of a King or a Leader. There are a lot of warning signs for a King that he must be cognizant about. These particular Red Flags are mentioned by Shoorpanakha to Ravana in Aranya Kanda Chapter 33 of Valmiki Ramayana. It is interesting that even negative characters in the Epic comes forward with a lot of wisdom. We could assume it is Valmiki that is talking through Shoorpanakha to readers like us about values and qualities that we must maintain. The colourfulness of characters and storyline takes a back seat in Indian Wisdom, once the Principles that readers need to understand assume importance.
(Image Credit: Daniel Guerrero)
Mountain Under the Ocean
There are Kings who bring in a lot of material progress. But the Leader who cannot bring his people under control and help his nation will be doomed. For instance, there are lands that are naturally endowed with a lot of natural resources or situated in key trade routes. Such lands may attract wealth automatically. There need not be a lot of strategy from the King to bring progress. But, if the King himself is not recognised by the people in that country, there is something wrong with such a Leader.
It is necessary that great Kings and Leaders are acknowledged by the people of that country. The King who does not command respect and awe is like a mountain under the sea. Even though the mountain is tall and great, no one even knows about its existence. History is full of Kings who have inherited great nations from their forefathers and failed to maintain the glory. The example of Mughal Leaders after Aurangzeb who lost out completely to the Western forces in spite of their great lineage will not be forgotten soon.
The Indulgent One
There is no one who could order a King. The ultimate Autonomy bestowed on such an individual may backfire, especially in the case of people with a weak character. One of the greatest challenges of a great leader is indulgence. With a never ending flow of alcohol, drugs, women and expensive toys, a playful King needs to be super aware and careful.
A leader who cannot keep away from his stable of supercars and access to finest cocaine will not see the dangers that stare him in the face. Often people from within the kingdom may start a revolt or move to remove the leader. Even in today’s political and business regimes, we can see the downfall of indulgent leaders. The glamour of leadership and exciting celebrations are not everlasting entities. People are always watching and observing those in power. One careless move may result in very wrong results.
The Lazy and Irresponsible One
The Leader who does not perform his duties at the right time will be destroyed. In our society, hard work is regarded well. But the timing of efforts is a result of wisdom. The King who is able to identify the right time of execution is a wise one. However, lack of wisdom will yield bad consequences as well. The King who does not care about his finances, spies, justice and influence is bound to fail. The health of finances and justice of a kingdom is the result of a lot of consultations with ministers and wise people. They are team efforts which comes from serious study and experience. A King who is not ready to put in the efforts to understand this closely may perish with time.
Behaviour and Attitude Traits
A childish leader who cannot stay still and stay grounded is bound to fail. There is a quality of maturity that is expected from every leader. It is true that all leaders may not have all the answers all the time. But, the willingness to be patient and optimistic about the answers that may arise is important. A leader who rises above his childish qualities of anger, demands and impatience will find glory.
We can see that great leaders are evolved beings in many respects. They are able to be detached and responsible at the same time. They have come beyond the challenges of human issues and face situations with courage and intelligence. From a affairs of a simple family to the leadership of developed nations, Kingly qualities of Leaders speak a lot about them.