Having founded an organization inspired by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda more than 28 years ago, a question often asked of me is “How has your organization managed to grow into a large one managed by a team of highly committed people today?” People often ask me if there is a deliberate, purposive management or leadership strategy that the organization has deployed to achieve the seemingly difficult challenge of a group of young like-minded persons working together for nearly three decades. After all, Swami Vivekananda had mentioned in one his talks that it was a challenge for two Indians to work together. He had said, “If 2 Indians get together, then they will fight over the 3 ideas that they get and fall apart in 4 minutes”.
The answer lies in another simplistic, yet profound and practical saying of Swami Vivekananda. He wrote that three things were needed to make an organization and a Nation great – (1) absence of jealousy and suspicion, (2) conviction in the power of goodness and (3) doing good and helping all those who want to do good.
Team work is truly possible only when the team members not only have respect and love for each other but also learn to operate with a high level of trust, reciprocity and interdependence. This is possible only when there is absence of jealousy and suspicion. The situation of the world around us may look despondent, but needs a lot of positive and constructive action. The environment today can appear bleak and discouraging to young people who set out with noble ideas. Self doubt can be dreadful at times and one is constantly challenged by a seemingly hopeless situation. One needs tremendous strength and faith in oneself to persevere at such times. The belief that good will always triumph is not only a truthful reality but can serve as a very good motivator and keep the spirit alive in times of such extreme crisis. The change that we hope to bring about can seem small, insignificant and hopeless when one looks at the larger picture. While this need not be necessarily true, it can wear us down and push us to inertia. It is only then does the statement of doing good and helping all those who are doing good truly has a profound and practical meaning.
Swamiji was always a very practical man and knew the difficulties that ordinary men would face. It is for us to internalize what he said and raise above the ordinary and take ourselves, our organizations and our Nation towards greatness.