Where are YOU on the 2×2 Leadership Matrix

By | Ramesh Ranjan | Editor www.humanengineers.com

The search for meaning and value in the work that we do is perpetual. Renowned Management Thinker, Indian Mythologist, Author Devdutt Pattanaik believes that we should adopt the strategy of our ancestors and scout for business lessons from India’s rich culture of mythology, rituals and shared stories.

The Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Ramayana & Mahabaratha are plethora of interesting poems, stories; fictional, historical and some with deep messages. In other words – the Holy Grail of soulful enrichment.

Most of the time, Indian Mythology is equated to nothing but a tale as old as time, handed down generation after generation. However, looking at it closely, one realizes that the modern education, judiciary, administration,  training and more have all been inspired or inferred from many of the mythological scriptures.

Indian Mythology teaches us myriad things about life. They teach us what to do &  not do in life.

Be it in the management or in personal life, the legendary tales continue to form prominence in our lives and never ceases to inspire us even after ages. The deeply philosophical ideas that perpetuate throughout these have a lot to teach us about the art of living & management.

Pattanaik in his book “BUSINESS SUTRA” shows how the lessons learnt from the Characters / Leaders from Ramayana and Mahabaratha can be used in Corporate Life too.

He has drawn up a 2×2 Matrix, where

Leadership Matrix by Devdutt Pattanaik

  • the X-Axis is Rules & translates into relates to Behaviour. Its about upholding the Letter of the Law and
  • the Y-Axis is Dharma and relates to Principles,Beliefs & Values. Its about upholding the Spirit of the Law

He beautifully he analyses the Characters in the Mythologies and plots them in the 4 Quadrants.

  1. Lord Rama in Quadrant 1 as he High on Dharma and High on Rules.
  2. Lord Krishna in Quadrant 2 as he is High on Dharma and Low on Rules.
  3. Duryodhana in Quadrant 3 as he is Low on Dharma and High on Rules
  4. Ravana in Quadrant 4 as he is Low on Dharma and Low on Rules

                                 Source : CNBC | YouTube

How many times have we come across this situation in Organisations. We can plot any Organisation/Leader in these 4 Quadrants.

The current COVID 19 pandemic is a classic example of how Organisations approach this complex issue, especially towards their employees.

Organisations maybe legal in adopting a Business over People strategy, but run the risk of sacrificing People interests over Business. They even run the risks of endangering their employees by exposing them to risks to their Health & Safety and even lives.

Many would claim to be in the 1st Quadrant claiming to be Lord Ram but actually they are Duryodhana’s upholding the Rule of the Law rather than the Spirit of the Law. Very few would be in 2nd Quadrant for fear of rubbing their bosses and Business. Majority of them would be Duryodhana’s and a even quite a few of them the Ravana’s.

Even modern day leaders advocate this.

“I would like to make it very clear that the economics will matter only when we are all alive, so it is important to get our priorities right.” Dr Devi Shetty

“You can take my factories, burn up my buildings, but give me my people and I’ll build the business right back again.” — Henry Ford

This period of time will be a true a test of leadership & character. They must realize in their own interests, that which quadrant they would like to position themselves will determine their reputation, their brand and standing in the society, customers, employees and the job market in the long term.

They have a choice to choose who they want to be Ram, Krishna, Duryodhana or Ravana…….. 



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