Mahabharata, written in 3000 BC gives lot of insight not only on Winning Strategy of Lord Krishna but also on  Lord Krishna’s Leadership. Let’s explore more on this:

Kauravas: 11 Akshouhini Army
Pandavas: 7 Akshouhini Army
Note: {1 Akshouhini = 21,870 chariots, 21,870 elephants, 65,610 horses and 109,350 foot-soldiers (in a ratio of 1:1:3:5}).

Kauravas: Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Shalya, Kripacharya, Ashwatthama, Duryodhan
Pandavas: Arjuna, Bhima, Dhrshtadyumna, Abhimanyu, Ghatotkach, Shikhandi, Satyaki

War Lasted: 18 Days. 10 Days (Bhishma), 3 Days (Drona), 1½  Days (Karna), ½ Day (No General), 1 Day (Shalya), 1 Night (Ashwatthama)
18th Night of the War: Ashwatthama slaughtered the Pandavas camp in sleep.

So How did Pandavas win?
Pandavas won because of Lord Krishna’s following winning strategies:
1.Turn your weaknesses into strengths.
2.Turn enemies into allies.
3.Share your responsibilities.
4.Team-Works scores over individual effort.
5.Right team.
6.The right man for the right job.
7.Commitment scores over competence.
8.Team interests over individual interests.
9.Know your enemy and their challenges.
10.Exploit Enemy’s weaknesses.
11.Take calculated risks.
12. The Right Managers:To inspire, invigorate ,counsel in crisis.
13.Know ground realities.
14.Accept different ideologies.
16.Empower Women.

Strategy1: Turn your weakness into your Strength.
Pandavas : Though in exile they turned their attention to improving over their weakness

  • Arjuna set out on a mission to acquire Divyastras.
  • Bhima met his brother Hanuman and got a blessing of enhanced strength.
  • Yudhisthira acquired teachings from the various wise rishis.

Strategy 2: Make Powerful Allies
Pandavas : No wealth. No power of their own. But powerful allies all over India.

  • Panchala through Marriage with Darupadi.
  • Dwarka through marriage with Arjuna and Subhadra.
  • Magadh through marriage of Shadeva and Vijaya.
  • Chedi through marriage of Nakula and Karenmayi.
  • Kasi through marriage of Bhima and Balandhara.
  • Kekaya through marriage of Yudhisthira and Devika.
  • Matsya through marriage of Abhimanyu and Uttara.
  • The Rakshasas through marriage of Bhima and Hidimba.
  • The Nagas through marriage of Arjuna and Uloopi.

Strategy 3: Share Your Responsibilities
Pandavas : Distributed leadership. Seven commanders for the seven divisions.(1 man command 1 akshouhini each).

  • Virat (King of Matsya).
  • Drupad (King of Pancala).
  • Sahadeva(King of Magadha).
  • Dhrshtaketu (King of Chedi).
  • Satyaki (Only warrior from Dwarka).
  • Shikhandi (Prince of Pancala).
  • Dhrshtadymna – Commander in Chief.
  • Arjuna –Supreme Commander.
  • Krishna – Arjuna’s charioteer and counselor.

Strategy 4: Teamwork succeeds where Individual effort fails
Team Spirit:
One team. One Goal. As men, they all had huge respect for Krishna and Yudhisthira. While as warriors they were in complete awe of Bhima and Arjuna. Most of them were close relatives – cousins, brother-in-laws, father-in-laws. More than that they all were part of the decision-making process. It was their “common” war.

Strategy 5: The Right team is made by selecting the Right Individuals. Get the right man for the right job.
Individuals Motives:
Pandavas: Common goal. But the individuals had their individual targets. Their own agenda, which just became one with the teams’ agenda.

  • Dhratsadyumna-Drona.
  • Shikhandi-Bhisma.
  • Satayaki-Bhurisravas.
  • Arjuna – Karna.
  • Bhima – Duryodhana and his brothers.
  • Sahadeva – Shakuni and his sons.
  • Nakula – Karna’s sons.

Strategy 6: The interests of the Individual should never exceed the Team interest.
Strategy7: The best man for a Job is not the one with the best capabilities but one with the greatest commitment.

  • Abhimanyu, a 16 year old kid. Ventured beyond enemy lines alone. This was suicide mission but he still went in and took a great part of the army down with him. It took the combined effort of 7 Maharathis to take him down.
  • Ghatotkach even in death, took with him almost half the army.
  • Yudhisthira, he knew he couldn’t face Karna in War, but still went in to set an example. Yudhitshira didn’t hesitate to tell a lie or a twisted truth when faced with the decision of whether to stick to his personal integrity or welfare of the team.
  • Krishna took up arms twice and almost entered the War, inspite of his promise,only to be stopped by Arjuna.

Strategy 8: The Right Managers: To inspire, invigorate, counsel in crisis.
Krishna: The Greatest Crisis Manager the world has seen.
Yudhisthira: Low-key strategist.
1. On the first day of the War, he played a Master game. Went over to the Enemy side to seek blessings from Elders. In reality he made a covert deal with them,wherein all of them agreed to help him and unfolded the secrets of defeating them.
2. While coming back, he took a calculated risk. He made an offer to all the assembled people to change sides if they wanted to. He knew well of the lack of cohesiveness among the Kauravas. Yuyutsu, son of Dhrtarashtra crossed over to the Pandavas.This exposed the weakness of the Kauravas for all to see.

Strategy 9: Know Ground realities. Accept different ideologies. Cooperate.

  • Spent the greater part of their lives in Poverty. Childhood in the Himalayan foothills among Rishis. One year exile among the poor people of Kuru-Panchala. 12 years of Vanvas and 1 year of Agyatvas.
  • Experienced with the ground reality. Contact with people from various strata of the society. Sannyasis (celibate monks),Acharyas (Householders, teachers),poor Brahmanas, lower-class Potter.
  • Different races of people. Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Nagas. People from different regions Uttarkuru, Bengal etc.
  • A Sense of Sharing. A sense of Brotherhood.

Strategy 10: Empower Women. The Gender Balance is required for stability and administration.
Pandavas: Matriarchal Structure.

  • Kunti was the authority supreme for the Pandavas.: “Whatever my mother says is Dharma to me”: Yudhisthira.
  • Draupadi was a companion in whatever the Pandavas did. She had a big role in all the decision making. Without her the Pandavas would have most probably reclined to the forests.
  • Even the younger Pandavas: Ghatotkach, Abhimnanyu and Iravan were brought up by their mothers. So the female influence was huge.

The best strategy by  Lord Krishna was to occupy the camping ground for the Pandava army in the battlefield.Occupying the camping ground for the army was a terrific task during the Mahabharata war. The Pandavas had 7 Akshauhini army while the Kauravas had 11. Kauravas had more than 1 and half times the army Pandavas had.But Ultimately Pandavas won the Kurukshetra War against Kauravas only because of the War-Strategist role of Lord Krishna.


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