Leadership Evolution: Mythology Insights
Thought Leadership

Redefining Leadership With A Flavour Of Indian Mythology And Immanuel Kant

-Written by Dr. Raul V. Rodriguez, Vice President, Woxsen University


The future of leadership is a topic that has garnered much attention in recent years, as organizations and societies around the world grapple with the rapid pace of change and the uncertain challenges of the 21st century. In this article, we will explore how Indian mythology and the philosophical insights of Immanuel Kant can shed light on the evolving nature of leadership in the coming years.


First, let’s consider the role of Indian mythology in shaping our understanding of leadership. In Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita is a revered text that offers guidance on how to live a fulfilling life, including how to be an effective leader. The Gita presents a number of principles that are still relevant today, including the importance of selflessness, compassion, and the pursuit of excellence.


One key concept in the Gita is the idea of dharma, which refers to one’s moral and ethical responsibilities in life. For leaders, this means acting with integrity and upholding the values and mission of their organization, even when faced with difficult decisions or challenges. In this way, dharma can be seen as a guiding principle for ethical leadership.


Another principle from the Gita that is particularly relevant to the future of leadership is the idea of yoga, which refers to the discipline of achieving a state of union with the divine. For leaders, this can be interpreted as a call to transcend ego and self-interest, and to instead seek to serve the greater good. In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, this type of servant leadership will likely be crucial for building trust and fostering collaboration among diverse groups of people.


Now, let’s turn to the insights of Immanuel Kant, one of the most influential philosophers in the Western tradition. Kant’s philosophy of moral and ethical reasoning can provide valuable insights for leaders as they navigate the complexities of the modern world.


One of Kant’s key contributions is the concept of the “categorical imperative,” which is a moral rule that holds that an action is morally right if it can be willed as a universal law. This principle can be applied to leadership by considering whether the actions of a leader are in line with the values and ideals that they espouse, and whether those actions would be considered ethical if applied universally.


For example, a leader who claims to value transparency and honesty, but who engages in deceptive or manipulative practices, would be acting in contradiction to the categorical imperative. On the other hand, a leader who acts with integrity and fairness, and who promotes these values throughout their organization, would be aligning their actions with the categorical imperative


In conclusion, the future of leadership will likely require a combination of traditional values and principles, such as those found in Indian mythology and the philosophy of Kant, as well as the ability to adapt and innovate in the face of changing circumstances. By embracing a sense of purpose and a commitment to ethical and servant leadership, leaders can navigate the challenges of the 21st century and help to create a brighter future for all.


About the Author:

Dr. Raul Villamarin Rodriguez is the Vice President, Woxsen University. Dr. Rodríguez is an Adjunct Professor at Universidad del Externado, Colombia and member of the International Advisory Board at IBS Ranepa, Russian Federation, and a member of the IAB, University of Pécs Faculty of Business and Economics. He is also a member of the Advisory Board at PUCPR, Brazil, and Milpark Business School, South Africa along with PetThinQ Inc, Upmore Global and SpaceBasic, Inc.


Dr. Raul has a scholarship named after him in ZIBS, China.

He is also part of the PRME i5 Expert Pedagogy Group – India representative.

He holds two honorary titles as Steven Pinker Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Classavo Chair Professorship in Integrative Research and Digital Learning.