India celebrates Dussehra today, an occasion that marks the battle of good over evil. Spread across 10 days, it signifies the birth of Durga with the blessings of the gods, as collective energy, to fight the demons. Goddess Durga is believed to be the combination of the trinity of goddesses – Laxmi, Parvati and Saraswati, and this trinity is worshipped during the 9 days. Three days are assigned to each goddess during the nine divine days, and as the festival comes to an end, here are nine lessons we can learn from goddess Durga and her many forms.
1. Be a multi-tasker: In her first incarnations, she takes the form of Sailaputri, astride a white bull, ready to take on the evil forces with her 10 hands. She epitomizes the word ‘multi-tasking,’ beautifully managing the task at hand and her child. She teaches us not to get bogged down with anything and also not to ignore what we are responsible for. We as consultants and business leaders are adapt at multi-tasking at work and even while at home, managing the vagaries of time and resources.
2. Patience is the virtue – In her second incarnation, she took the form of Brahmacharini. She is synonymous with penance and guides us on going to any extent to achieve what we desire. As communicators, we need to be ready to stay committed until we achieve what we set out to. Clarity in goals and tenacity of achieving the same makes us what we are.
3. Be vigilant always – In her third incarnation, she takes the form of Goddess Chandraghanta, known for knowledge and wisdom. As a consultant, we not only need to remain calm and unperturbed but also be extremely observant about everything that impacts the client’s business. We need to remain alert about the opportunities and challenges and accordingly plan our strategies. We need to be the first line of defence for our clients or the company we work for.
4. Create from scratch – the fourth incarnation of Goddess was of Kushmanda Devi, she created the world from nothing. It is our prime responsibility to have a clear vision to help clients build their brands from the scratch. We ourselves cannot remain in darkness (obliviousness) and also need to guide our clients towards achieving the stated objectives.
5. Be loving and affectionate to all – the fifth incarnation was of Goddess Skandamata, she teaches us to be loving, affectionate and a protector. We need to take care of our own people, our team, and our partners and stand for them in time of eventualities. Without the support of our team, we can achieve nothing and they need to be defended from forces that demotivate them.
6. Be a fighter – the sixth incarnation was of the fighting spirit form Goddess Katyayani. The warrior goddess symbolizes the drive to fight against all odds. For consultants and service professionals, every day there is a new challenge waiting for them, we need to learn to be passionate and fierce to take on any challenge.
7. Ignorance is not bliss – her seventh incarnation was of Kalratri, symbolizing the death of darkness and ignorance. As a consultant, we play an important role in allaying client fear during crisis situations. Many clients panic during the crisis, we need to educate them and advise them to take the right actions.
8. Appear professional, respectful and courteous – In her eight incarnations, she appears in the form of Mahagauri, peace and compassion radiate from her. We need to conduct ourselves professionally at all given times in front of all our stakeholders’ such as media or clients. We are in the business of relationships, we cannot win relations if we are not genuinely good at heart.
9. Keep the knowledge mill running – In her last and ninth incarnation, she takes the form of Goddess Siddhidatri. She is believed to possess and bestow ‘siddhis’ (deep expertise) to her devotees. As a consultant to our clients, we need to have a thorough knowledge of everything that concerns our clients. Moreover, we need to upgrade your skills regularly to remain relevant at all times.
As the world and the new economy continue to evolve, practitioners must possess all the above qualities to be successful in the domain. While the list above doesn’t present all the requirements of a good practitioner, it can act as a good reminder to recess our skills. The subject has a religious framework, but it is best to just take the learning from the example shared above and not see it only from a religious perspective.