Devdutt Pattanaik - The charismatic Leadership Trainer

Devadutt Pattanaik is not only India's celebrity mythologist, he is a leadership and business consultant and corporate coach who teaches managers and business leaders how to use the power of myths to better understand and engage with customers, employees and other companies.

Many people know Mumbai-based Devdutt Pattanaik for his lucid and engaging best-selling books on the mythology of India. He has made Indian mythology playful and relevant again.

But he does not only retell the stories of Hanuman, Narayana, Sita and other familiar figures in surprising and thought-provoking ways for a modern audience. His 2009 TED lectures and corporate events deal with leadership, business and lessons that the modern world can learn from Indian mythology. The content of his speeches and Pattanaik's delivery is far more fun and motivating than cramming history for the average school-goer ever is.

After all, this is the man who inspired a whole new corporate role – he was Chief Belief Officer of Future Group. Pattanaik originally trained in medicine and worked in the industry for 15 years. In the meantime, he taught himself Indian mythology. Now he teaches the corporate world lessons they can pick up from mythology - on harnessing the power of myth to understand customers and employees, for instance. Pattanaik has worked as a consultant for Ernst & Young.

Pattanaik's official website offers a glimpse of the fresh way in which he teaches about the power of myth in business, leadership and management. He also offers corporate consultation on areas like diversity, culture and leadership, which are important elements of corporate management.

Leadership lessons according to Pattanaik

The leadership consultant and author's influential books Business Sutra and The Leadership Sutra bring fresh (and Indian) perspectives on management and leadership. Pattanaik's approach to leadership is based on his observation that leadership is different in different parts of the world. A culture's view on leadership is revealed in their mythology. Even so-called "rational atheist" cultures of the West have beliefs and leadership values that are deep-rooted in the Bible, Greek mythology etcetera. This applies across the world and in India as well. And so businesses grappling with a global workplace, new cultures and paradigms have sought the help of Pattanaik to better understand their employer, customers and employees.

Pattanaik has also spoken on subjects like how to increase efficiency and happiness at work, what we can learn from patients and doctors in mythology, on how spirituality is relevant in the corporate world, and a whole lot of other such diverse topics.

Pattanaik has presented speeches all over the world. He has also done two television shows on CNBC Awaaz and CNBC-TV18 called Shastraarth and Business Sutra respectively. These shows dealt with business lessons drawn from the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

He is also a story consultant and culture consultant for Star TV and Reliance Industries Ltd. respectively.

Lessons for everyone

It is not only corporations and big conglomerates with a global presence that can benefit from consultations with Devdutt Pattanaik. Young entrepreneurs who are thinking of setting up their own startup will benefit from the writer's eye-opening perspectives on subjects like recruitment , becoming a leader, etcetera.

Here is a powerful takeaway from Pattanaik's advice to leaders: leadership is about creating an ecosystem in which people are secure enough and empowered enough to express uncomfortable views without being afraid of attacks.

Pattanaik has authored a number of books on mythology, fiction and books for children. His books on management make good reading –

  • The Talent Sutra: An Indian Approach to Learning (published in 2016)
  • The Leadership Sutra: An Indian Approach to Power (published in 2016)
  • The Success Sutra: An Indian Approach to Wealth (published in 2015)
  • The Business Sutra: A Very Indian Approach to Management (published in 2014)

Are you ready to find out more about how to be a good leader? The corporate coach is based in Mumbai and can be contacted via email or his website.

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Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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