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    Management Lessons from Baahubali

  • Admin
  • May 08, 2017

In the last few days Baahubali became the first Indian movie to cross 1000 crores. While it dazzled audiences with its special effects and Hollywood level production, it also had a few amazing management lessons to give to the layperson who watches movies. While I could go on and on about the amazing lessons it gives I will limit myself to the top 5.

  1.  An enterprise can only succeed if its moral foundations are strong:  When deception and greed are the foundations of an enterprise it would meet a nasty end. When Bijjala Deva and Bhallala conspire to overthrow the legitimate rule of Amrendra Baahubali they forget that they are sowing the seeds of their own undoing. The rebellion of Mahendra Baahubali is successful only because he enjoys popular support and moral legitimacy. The reason for Mahendra Baahubali’s success is as much his moral authority as his military prowess.
  2. To remain successful an enterprise must value its employees and enable them to reach their highest potential: Another reason for Bhallala’s downfall is his treatment of Katappa and other loyal employees like dirt. Bhallala uses Katappa as a tool for his evil designs.  In contrast both father and son Baahubali’s are people oriented and concerned about the welfare of their people and treat Katappa with respect and humility. Employees don’t like to feel used and work with all their heart for the enterprise when they feel valued intrinsically and if the organization tries to help them achieve their highest potential.
  3. The successful continuance of an enterprise depends on the humility and action orientation of the Leadership: One of the reasons for the downfall of Mahishmati was Sivagami’s  arrogance. If she had had the humility to hear Devasena out or to correct her incorrect decisions in a timely manner, much bloodshed could have been avoided.
  4. An employee may get a second chance as far as credibility goes, but a leader cannot avoid risking his credibility. Once his reputation is lost he can never regain it : For instance, Katappa gets a second chance to prove his worth and inherent goodness. But as Bhallala who is initially honest is misled by Bijjala Deva gets deeper and deeper into a murky mess, he spirals down a path in which there is no possibility of redemption. If Bhallala Deva had had a sincerer well-wisher than Bijjala Deva, the story may have been different.  But Bijjala projects his own negativity and sense of inferiority onto Bhallala, showing all the more the need for sane, rational advisors for a leader.
  5. Lastly a leader needs physical courage but much more than that he needs moral courage: Only a leader with moral courage can inspire people to follow him. Only moral courage of Gandhi could have led the illiterate masses of India to even face British bullets. Similarly, what Bijjala Deva lacks is not physical strength but moral courage. This is the same defect which Bhallala suffers from. While what works in favour of both the Baahubalis is their moral courage be it in the elder Baahubali's selfless defence of Kuntala against the Pindari’s or in standing up for Devasena against his own adoptive mother.  

All in all, Baahubali is not just a cinematic masterpiece, but also offers some valuable lessons for any aspiring manager and entrepreneur. 

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