How organisation falls…Key take ways from PaWaR saga

King, Queens have their way of moving in their life. Loyalist are expected to follow whatever have been told by Kings & Queens. Moreover, they are also expected to expect prince & princess as their next lord.

A small story to begin which I witnessed a few years ago. Two of my friends had fierce argument & they were at war because one was supporting BJP & other was the supporting NCP. They campaign extensively against each other to ensure a win for their leaders. Because of political rivalry of leaders, their deteriorated to an extent that they stopped talking to each other. Few days ago, they were in argument again in a tea stall when someone broke the news to them that BJP & Ajit led NCP have joined hands & Ajit Pawar is now Dy. CM of Maharashtra. Expression of those two at that time was priceless. I can summarise in two words… they were stunned & gutted.

The switching of side has become so common nowadays that Ajit Pawar joining the BJP government doesn’t surprise anyone. While leaders do interact & stay connected despite political rivalry, cadres take it to heart & spoil relationship which cannot be bridged by mathematical alliances.

From the day election results announced for Maharashtra, voters must be feeling cheated. They decisively voted for BJP-Sena alliance however Shiv Sena switched side & partnered with ideologically opposite Congress, NCP to form the government.

The voter just started accepting this fact and move on, Eknath Shinde engineered split and formed government with BJP. Just when voters have just started swallowing this political pill of realignment, Ajit Pawar splits NCP & became a Deputy CM in the ruling alliance.

Sadly, actions of political parties in Maharashtra left too much for the voters to digest & plan when they vote next time. NOTA can be the most preferred choice when they come to vote. And it will not be the good news to political parties and Indian democracy.

While BJP has successfully managed to ensure arithmetic victory in Maharashtra in 2024 elections, it will go a long way in weakening of the image of Brand Modi. Narendra Modi, in in all probability win 2024 general elections however this is also partly because of lack of alternatives. The moment alternative emerges, opposite ideological partnerships will come back to haunt BJP in elections.

While the senior Pawar will introspect the motives that led to the split, there is an important message for all dynastic led political parties from this political saga. Days of Kings & Queens are over. The next gen prince & princess must understand that loyalty is earned, you can’t force it the loyalist people of your parents. They may be loyalists to the king but are not servant meant for only obeying orders. They do have ambition & are willing to chart a different path for them.

Few very important lessons especially for dynast politicians, leaders, entrepreneurs committed to build large organisations across geographies

  1. Succession planning is important & must be done when at the appropriate time & that time is when the leader is strong & have complete command over the organisation.

Love for your kids is important but it’s better to train, groom them for leadership position rather than force him/her on your loyal workers. Ajit Pawar was a perpetual no. 2 in NCP and when time came, Sharad Pawar in his capacity choose his daughter to lead the party. Appointing of Praful Patel was an eyewash and Praful was known to this truth, hence decided to move on with Ajit Pawar.

Age & health is not on side of Sharad Pawar. Visible weak senior Pawar can’t do much rather than witnessing free fall of the party he created. An entrepreneur best gift to its employee is to make them stakeholder in the organisation however senior Pawar choose to treat them just an employee forcing Ms. Sule leadership on them. Exits are bound to happen but do Ms. Sule has the capability to bring back Ajit Pawar faction & retain loyalists of his father in the organisation or do Mr. Pawar still hold clout over the party, answer to this is probably no.

2. Set the right expectations- If you don’t treat your employee well and set the right expectations, they will wait for the right opportunity & switch to another organisation silently. It was always that perpetual no. 2 Ajit Pawar will lead the party after senior Pawar but like it happened in case of Shiv Sena, senior Pawar chooses his daughter as successor.

3. A lesson for loyalists, followers, and voters…. Before fighting with your friends, neighbours for your leaders, take cognisance of the fact that tomorrow leaders can shake hands without any grim, but you have spoiled your relationship for life with the people you have grown over the years. So, hold on to your morality and don’t spoil your relationship because of leaders.

4. Aspirations of employees must be accounted in decision making. An inclusive decision must for positive employee productivity. You can’t just force decisions. Loyalists or employees do have ambitions and they also want to grow in political or corporate life. A wrong decision can lead to the collapse of the organisation that you have build over the years like it happened in the case of NCP.

5. Merit must prevail over favouritism- Leaders do have their favourites in the organisation. Nothing wrong in having favourite but practicing favouritism is like scoring a self-goal. While assigning a task a leader must ascertain the capability of the employee otherwise the objectives will not be achieved & will lead to discontent among meritorious employees. There is no doubt in political circle that Ajit Pawar is far more capable than Ms. Supriya Sule but child love got better of Sharad Pawar & the discontent Ajit Pawar left taking away a larger pie of the party with him.

Let’s come back to our topic of Maharashtra politics. This political saga has set a wrong precedent for next generations. The trust level of people in leaders & political parties are already very low & after this incident, it will further dent their confidence in political establishment. In current scenario, the move by Ajit Pawar & BJP looks practical. But we must recognize that everything that looks practical may not be ethical.

I strongly believe for society to grow, sustaining human values is critical. Being ethical is the best way forward & ethical practices should be seen as practical way of living life.

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