Amidst the ever changing business landscape what would differentiate managers would not be the skills that they develop during the course of their academic and work life, but the combination of resilience and character. With its aim of building character and promoting value based learning, S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research offers a unique course on the Science of Spirituality.
Objective and the Delivery of the Program
The course is the brain child of the Dean of SPJIMR himself, Dr M.L. Shrikant (Harvard) who firmly believes that management education in today's world has become standardized and extremely technical, with less attention being given to softer and subjective issues.
Drawing learning from the Bhagwad Gita, the course promotes self understanding and development. It reiterates the fact that it is important to manage and understand yourself before you can manage others. It also shuns the concept of measuring success by objective parameters like wealth and power, promoting more subjective analysis.
When we were introduced to this course we were apprehensive of its relevance for a managerial role we are preparing ourselves for. After all, everyone is struggling for a good job and a high package and focusing on subjective parameters like happiness and self fulfillment has never been the norm. However, the course is delivered in a very well thought out and structured manner to meet all these queries. Through discussions with the Dean and small group interactions with the faculty, our doubts about the practical applications of the course were handled well. The esteemed panel of faculty bring to the table their diverse thoughts which were influenced by their personal learning and experience. With the students sharing with their experiences and sometimes challenging the fundamental concepts of spirituality, it is a two way learning process.
Impact of the Program
The major impact of the course has been in terms of influencing our thoughts and judgements. Spirituality as different from business imbibes within us, qualities of wisdom and the ability of undertaking objective decisions free from all bias and prejudice. For a manager, the key learning from the course include:
Graceful acceptance of reality
What most of us lack is the ability to accept failure gracefully. If you recognize the reality of all the experiences that you’ve had in life, you won’t have prejudices, biases. Moreover, grieving over lost battles is time lost for ones which you may still have to fight.
Increased self worth, happiness and self fulfillment
Often in life we compare ourselves with others and find them in a better position- more capable and adequate. Here the course comes up with an interesting view. It encourages us to “Fake it till you make it”. Fake that you are a capable and adequate person even if you do not feel the same. Once you convince yourself of it, the others around you will feel the same re-emphasizing your belief in yourself. Thus, the course has helped students in attaining self fulfillment.
Effective leadership skills
Leadership roles command self confidence and belief in one’s ability to change the world. The entire quest for success and excessive competition threatens to empower some while denying others. Uncertainty is a fact of life. In a situation where one does not know what the competition will be like and where the economy is headed, what carries a person ahead is resilience and the ability to cope up with stress. The learning from this course helps to channelize energy in a positive direction and inspires students to continue to work towards their goals while instilling them with a greater sense of purpose and responsibility.
On a personal front, the course has helped me evaluate my options more objectively without being biased and subsequently make quick decisions. It has also helped me focus on my efforts rather than being bogged down by disappointing results. I have learnt that most of the times we let our anxiety rule our mind, impeding our success by hampering our efforts and wasting our time.
Jasmine Makkar is a first year PGDM- Finance Student at SPJIMR. She has completed her graduation in Economics(H) from Lady Shri Ram College, DU. She enjoys writing, dancing and is a theatre enthusiast.
Read more stories on Social Senstivity on InsideIIM here