Baahubali's warcraft & Amazon's leadership principles

Films delivering management principles or corporate lessons or business strategies is NOT a completely new thing. Lot of books and articles are written worldwide. Rajini's Punchtantra is one local example.

I am much impressed by SS Rajamouli's recent magnum opus movie Baahubali: The Beginning due to it's creative visuals and state of the art film making in spite of a very usual story line and screenplay.

Amazon as a company has a unique set of 14 leadership principles which every employee is expected to practice in their DNAs. To my surprise, I noticed most of these principles are exhibited by the prince Amarendra Baahubali (performed by Prabhas) in the battle field between Maghizhmadhi and Kalakeyas.

*** Spoiler Alert ***

1. Customer Obsession

To the prince Baahubali, the citizens of his nation Maghizhmadhi are the customers. It is announced that among the two princes who kills the opponent Kalakeyas' chief in the war will became the next king. But during the war, Baahubali took the job of saving his country's citizens as priority than aiming the throne. This is a great show of customer obsession rather than concentrating on the competitor.

2. Ownership

Baahubali took charge of North side of the battle, commanded his army and did an excellent end to end job of preventing the Kalakeyas to march towards Maghizhmadhi fortress, thus exhibiting ownership.

3. Invent and Simplify

Baahubali had only huge stones with him as weapon but with innovation, he coupled the huge stones with wide clothes soaked in kerosene to throw into the opposite clan and did tremendous destruction.

4. Are Right, a Lot

'Trishoola Viyookam' is a military strategy which was NOT practiced by anyone. In the war discussion, Baahubali proposed to follow that method against the rude Kalakeyas and achieved success in that.

5. Hire and Develop the Best

At one instant, Kalakeyas had a clear edge over Maghizhmadhi army and they started to retard in the battle. But Baahubali with his inspirational speech motivated the army and brought the confidence and courage within the warriors. He recreated the whole army with new soul - hire and develop the best.

6. Insist on the Highest Standards

Highest standard means bug-free product. In a war, it means attaining success with no or little loss to civilians. Baahubali didn't allow his countrymen to die in the war though Kalakeyas used them as shield to protect themselves. He is committed to protect them and made no compromise in the ethics.

7. Think Big

Baahubali knows the strength of the military on his side is just 25K compared to the majestic 100K of Kalakeyas. But still she is confident enough to believe that the bravery matters not the mere count. His ideas are big enough for the small group to scale up and face a cruel crowd of about four times its size.

8. Bias for Action

Baahubali is NOT just paper tiger. He didn't suffer analysis paralysis by wasting time in thinking during difficulties. He is quick to react and his bias for action is demonstrated when he kills hundreds.

9. Frugality

Baahubali is provided only with some stone throwing instruments to fight the battle. He didn't attempt to get any other more costlier weapons but managed to handle every situation in that resource crunch.

10. Vocally Self Critical

When Maghizhmadhi's army started retarding, he made a speech accepting that the opponents' army is huge comparatively and they are getting defeated but inspired them to march forward with confidence.

11. Earn Trust of Others

Baahubali earned trust of all three kinds of stakeholders whom he interacted in the whole war project: 1. The citizens of Maghizhmadhi (the customers) - by saving them from Kalakeya's when they tried to use them as shield 2. The army chief Kattappa and the army (the peers) - right from the beginning of his career by the interactions and by his inspirational speech on a critical war occasion 3. The queen Sivagami (the higher management) - By showing that team is more important than personal goals.

12. Dive Deep

Baahubali is intelligent and dive deep into any problem which he faced. One example is when Kalakeyas used the citizens of Maghizhmadhi to stand infront of them as a layer of shield to protect themselves, he is in a delicate position to fight the opponent as well as saving his countrymen. He used a stringed shot-put to make Maghizhmadh citizens kneel-down then killed the Kalakeya who stood behind them.

13. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit

One of the pre-war custom in Maghizhmadhi is that to ensure the success, there should be a blood-shed on the goddess Kali's statue to get her blessings. Usually it is sacrificing a cattle. Baahubali is against that thinking it is unfair to kill an animal for some weird belief. He had backbone and disagreed to that. But army chief Kattappa insisted that it would demolish the confidence of the warriors. Baahubali decided to go with them by making a small cut in his palm and shedding his blood on the statue of Kali.

14. Deliver Results

Baahubali is the single reason for Maghizhmadhi to win the war. He is the one proposed the successful 'Trishoola Viyookam' military strategy. He brought back the situation when it became totally one-sided at some point. He also hit the Kalakeya chief and made him down (though finally he was killed by his brother and the other price Palvaalthevan). There is no second opinion - Baahubali delivered results.



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