Transformational service leadership through Karma Yoga - Venkat R. Krishnan, Director, Yale-Great Lakes Center for Management Research

How do you inculcate responsible behaviour in B-school students? Through LEP (Leadership Experiential Project) or ‘Karma Yoga’, says Venkat R. Krishnan, Director, Yale-Great Lakes Center for Management Research. “Trying to learn leadership in a classroom is like trying to learn swimming in a classroom. Just as a swimming pool is required to learn swimming, a live setting with actual potential followers is needed to learn leadership. Creating followers is the essence of leadership, and transforming those followers is the most potent form of leadership,” he reasons.

Every week, students of the institution visit the 21 villages surrounding the campus, with the mission of enhancing the self-esteem and self-efficacy of the villagers, to empower them. Being totally devoted to our duties towards others and being really concerned about others are the foundations of authentic leadership, adds Venkat. An apt quote cited in his newsletter is from the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, thus: “Karma Yoga is the attaining through unselfish work of that freedom which is the goal of all human nature.”

At the second annual Karma Yoga Convention held in the campus last week, Venkat addressed the assembled villagers in Tamil and emphasised that it is possible for all of us to contribute to overall development with mutual help.

A positive thought, that is, to energise our social entrepreneurs.


Updates from around the world