Narendra Modi: Forgiveness, Visualisation & Pagdi 7th of Weekly column “Narendra Modi & CXO Leadership”

Screenshot (177)Leaders must be firm and foster accountability, but they also must know when to forgive past wrongs in the service of building a brighter future. One of the most courageous acts of leadership is to forgo the temptation to take revenge on those on the other side of an issue or those who opposed the leader’s rise to power.
– – Rosabeth Moss Kanter, 26 Feb 2013, HBR

On 7 September 2013 Narendra Modi had delivered his campaign address from a replica of red fort in Chhatisgarh. Media and critics had made a bitter mockery of Narendra Modi. “They have created a fake Red Fort in Chhattisgarh. They might also create a fake RCR (PM’s residence in Delhi) to fulfill their aspirations,” senior opposition leader had said. Just eight months after that incidence, the chief minister Narendra Modi became Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Visualisation is another ritual that produces positive energy and has palpable performance results. Neuroscientists, Ian Robertson of Trinity College, Dublin and Author of Mind Sculpture has found the neural circuitry of the brain directly improving performance. It is hard to imagine a better illustration than diver Laura Wilkinson. Six months before the summer Olympics in Syndey, Wilkinson broke three toes on her right foot while training. Unable to go in water because of her cast, she instead spent hours a day on the diving platform, visualising each of her dives. With only a few weeks to actually practice before the Olympics, she pulled off a huge upset, winning the Gold medal on ten-meter platform. (‘The Making of a Corporate Athlete’; Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in HBR January 2001)

The opposition has still no clue about power of visualization though they also experienced it. They lost the elections because the opposition and it’s leaders didn’t visualise themselves as winner. There effort, objective was to stop Narendra Modi from winning and not to win themselves and govern.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 2014 Independence Day, speech said that not only the subsequent Prime Ministers and governments were responsible for building of the nation; but it was also the united opposition that helped in the development of the nation. He has just forgiven his critics who had always gone beyond ‘below the belt’ to hurt him.

As per Kanter, revenge is neither justice nor strategy. He says anger and blame are unproductive emotions that tie up energy in destroying rather than creating. This is something so clearly visible in so many states in India, where the current rulers have not been able to bring developments in the states even after winning majority of seats overwhelmingly. This is because these leaders had fought election with the objective of taking revenge and not govern. Development as a concept was not there even in their dreams.

The power of ‘forgiveness’ and ‘visualisation’ of Narendra Modi differentiates him for the rest and gives the confidence to Indians that “Acche Din Aa Gayee Hain” (Good Days Have Come).

On 15th August 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made powerful impact not only though words but also through his physical presence/visuals.

There has been more than enough written and discussed about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 15th August 2014 speech. Surprisingly his “Safforn Pagdi” has not got the attention it deserved (May be because today’s so called media and intellectuals don’t understand the concept of Pagdi. Thankfully they didn’t call it talibanisation!!!!).

A “Pagdi” or a head gear is a symbol of honour and respect not only in India but all over the world. Indians to a great extent were forced to stop wearing “Pagdi” by British and even after Independence subsequent governments barring a brief period of Lal Bhadur Shastri and Atal Bihari Bajpayee never had guts to wear “Pagdi”. “Pagdi” is about honour, respect, standing in society. When Narendra Modi appeared on Lal Quila wearing “Pagdi”, India got a leader who understands and appreciates “Pagdi sambhal Jatta, Pagdi Sambhal oye” (Hold your head high). And world has understood it in clear terms. It was evident from the fact that as many as 150 foreign missions, against the usual 50 to 60 requested the Ministry of External Affairs for passes to attend the Prime Ministers speech at Lal Quila.

For those who are looking for Acche Din, following is a sign of beginning

After 14 years, a Prime Minster could stand in front of his own country man to deliver Independence day speech, in his own country without protection of a bulletproof glass cage.