Drawing Lessons from Epics – How Arjuna defeated Dhrupad?


Arjun defeated Dhrupad in a war as an honororium to Drona. Dhrupad had biggest fleet of army and his commander is invincible. 

Krishna (on meeting Arjun) : I have heard stories of your bravery. You also defeated the most powerful king Dhrupad.

Arjun : But I couldn’t have done it without your help Lord.

Krishna : What did I do?

Arjun : The stones that you gifted me had ‘eye’ carved on it which helped me target the real dhrupad among his many forms and capture him. I thought you were trying to convey a message through the eye carved stones – the one whose eyes are as still as stone is the real Dhrupad – hence I was able to defeat him.

Krishna : But I never meant it to be like that. I just sent those stones as gift to you. It was your wisdom and the demand of the situation which helped you get the right message. Many times we are communicated various messages and information. Only wise people are able to get the right message and act on the same. Most of the times the message is either ignored or misinterpreted.

This small episode from Mahabharat outlines great learnings for communication and making it effective.

  1. The sender should be as clear as possible to get the message across. Not many people are able to get the right message otherwise.
  2. Receiver should always try to derive the right message approriate to the context to get the best results.

This is also substantiated by Murphy’s laws of Communication :

  • Communication usually fails – except by chance
  • If any message can be understood in many ways, it will usually be understood in the way that can cause the most harm

This explains the importance of effective communication in every sphere of our life – personal as well as professional. As a sender of any message, it is our responsibility to be as clear, concise, complete, comprehensive, courteous, correct and consider our audience’s position. As a receiver of any message, we need to look at the context and objective of the communication to derive accurate message.

–          Rashmi Priya, Consultant, the Catalyst


4D Model of Leadership Effectiveness


What differentiates an effective Team Leader from an average Team Leader? What are the key roles of an effective Team Leader? A team leader is responsible for achieving team goals which is executed by the team members. How does a Leader keep his team motivated, engaged and focused on goals? The Below mentioned 4-D Model summarizes key aspects of Team Leader roles and responsibilities which will help him/ her develop a high performing team-
4 D Model of Team Leader Effectiveness
• Discover – the talent, strengths & development areas of each team member.
• Develop – their potential, leverage their strengths and help them work around improvement areas through structured learning and development programs, coaching, mentoring and providing right exposure.
• Derive – maximum performance out of each team member focused around team goals and targets.
• Distinguish – between team members basis performance, not everyone can or will perform at same level. Use different reward tactics. Understand and capitalize on different motivational levers.

Do only kids learn by playing games?


Catalyst’s approach to adult learning is unique, fun and impactful. Our approach to learning is game based to ensure participants are engaged in the learning process and internalize the learnings. As such, the impact of our programs is more sustained. Most of our training programs follow a structure where participants are divided into various groups of players/ observers and are taken through some meaningful games which relates directly with the learning outcomes of the programme. After they have played the game, they record their observations on response sheets by reflecting on their own. Finally, learnings are shared within the team in the form of structured discussions. The entire approach is supported by videos and other frameworks which would help re-inforce learnings positively. The beauty of the approach is that learnings are not enforced or participants, rather, they get co-created with the participant’s active involvement. Infact, every time the game gets played with a different set of participants, new learnings and insights emerge making the session rich and meaningful even for us as trainers.

Whats the right ingredient to create a successful entrepreneur?


There are innumerable articles and books on ‘How to be a Successful Entrepreneur’. Being an entrepreneur myself, I have read some of them but have realised that the bulk of the emphasis is on two things – one, how to raise funds to start your venture and two, how to get the right networks in place.  As such, there is a surge in various funds/ angel investors/ VCs etc  looking to invest in high return and scalable business models. Several platforms such as TiE, IAN, NEN etc have come up which help entrepreneurs connect with each other or find partners, mentors etc.

Surprisingly, the most important aspect of entrepreneurship seems to either pass unnoticed or is given least weightage in most such discussions. And that I believe is carrying the right attitude and displaying the right behaviours in a fast-changing entrepreneurial set-up. Most successful entrepreneurs make it big inspite of a lack of funds or great networks simply on the strength of their attitude – be it positivity, perseverance, passion or value consciousness. On the contrary, many well moneyed and well-connected entrepreneurs are unable to see a good business idea through. This fact gets proven everytime you  read the journeys of truly successful Indian entrepreneurs, be it Dhirubhai Ambani, Sanjiv Bhikchandani, Subroto Bagchi etc.

At Catalyst, we have tried to bridge this gap in the learning of an entrepreneur by creating a truly unique product – EDGE. EDGE stands for ‘Enabling, Developing and Growing aspiring Entrepreneurs’. EDGE is a developmental tool which helps aspiring entrepreneurs identify their strengths and development needs by comparing them to a set of pre-defined ‘entrepreneurial’ competencies. These competencies have been arrived at after studying the attitudes and behaviours of several successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs in India through in-depth interviews, focused discussions and surveys.

The tool is in the format of a 2 day long Development Center consisting of various kinds of individual and group exercises. Each individual’s performance on these exercises is evaluated by trained assessors. Further, psychometrics are used to strengthen the quality of findings. Basis these inputs, a detailed targeted feedback report and growth plan is created for each and every participant to provide him with a structured development path. I believe an developmental intervention of this kind at an early stage would go a long way in increasing the chances of success for every aspiring entrepreneur.