Ramayana talks about many honorable traits of Rama, two of which are integrity – “keeping his word” and sacrifice. Though at the outset they may seem different and mutually exclusive. If you look a little deeper you will realize their interconnectedness. To keep his word, Rama left his kingdom and went to the forest. All the other sacrifices and sufferings are to keep his words and commitments. If you go one level deeper and ask – where did his ability to bear pain and sacrifice comes from? Maybe he has attained a sense of detachment and freedom.
When you try to apply this to leadership, one of the important attributes of a leader is to maintain their say/do ratio. This is nothing but the personal integrity displayed by Rama. As you strive towards this, you may uncover the barriers preventing you from meeting your commitments. At the one end, the “do” part, it may be your unwillingness to sacrifice some personal time to meet a deadline or a gap in skill, or lack of grit and persistence. At the other end – the “say” part, it can be a lack of awareness of your constraints, desire to please, and desire to avoid conflicts. As you reflect on these two attributes and the mental patterns it uncovers, you get more and more opportunities to refine yourself!!!