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Timeless Leadership: 18 Leadership Sutras from the Bhagavad Gita by Debashis Chatterjee

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SUTRA 13

LEADERS COMMAND THEIR FIELD WITH THE EYE OF WISDOM

Arjuna pleads with Krishna to explain to him the distinction between the field of experience and the eternal knower of that field. Krishna describes the field as the entire network of material and mental forces that create our beliefs, guide our behaviour, and determine the business of our life—in short, all that can be known and observed constitutes the field of all fields. However, Krishna reminds Arjuna that the knower of this field is the eternal subject that observes the field without prejudice or psychological distortion. The ultimate fulfilment of a timeless leader is to be the knower of his field. A leader can be this knower when he integrates his head and heart and acquires those virtues that give him the eye of wisdom.

THE LEADER AS A KNOWER IN THE FIELD OF KNOWLEDGE

Arjuna’s request of Krishna is:

The field of experience and the Knower of the field, knowledge and that which ought to be known, these, Krishna, I desire to learn.

(13.1)

By the word field, Arjuna is referring to the context and content of his experience.

Leadership is a highly context-sensitive process. In order to succeed, leaders have to understand their contexts. Krishna begins to broaden Arjuna’s understanding of the “field” or the context of leadership:

Listen to me on what that field is, what its properties are, and what are its many modifications.

(13.3)

Before we listen to Krishna’s exposition on the field, we will ponder how a leader is ...

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