Verse 3.23: For if I ever failed to engage in carefully performing prescribed duties, O Pārtha, certainly all men would follow My path
For the past few verses, we've been discussing two essential aspects of leadership: 1) walking one's talk when everyone's watching and 2) walking one's talk when no one is watching.
Today though, I'd like to discuss a very subtle aspect of leadership and that is: motivation.
Our motivations and consciousness behind pursuing or doing anything has a huge effect on others. This especially holds true when a person is in a position of leadership.
In our world today, we have numerous examples of leaders whose motivations are questionable. Some may be in it for the power, others for the prestige and others due to the amount of money such positions may bring.
Note the one thing all these motivations have in common - they all serve the interest of one person alone; the person who is the "supposed" leader.
True leadership is when a leader puts their self-interest last and puts the welfare of others first. That leader is the one who doesn't micro-manage but instead allows and encourages everyone elses' gifts shine. Their yardstick in personally measuring how good a job they are doing as a leader is in witnessing the successes and growth of the people they are in charge of. In fact, if someone surpasses them in their own skills or talents, they take great happiness in that.
In other words, they are interested in creating more leaders, not just gathering more followers.
That's exactly what we are hearing today from the Supreme Leader. Krsna is revealing his consciousness in this verse by saying, "If I fail to set an proper example, then everyone else will follow that." As the Supreme, He has the best excuse not to have to follow anything but Krsna doesn't opt for that route. Why? Because He is showing by example what it means to be a true leader.
So if you're ever in a position of leadership or given that opportunity, think back to this verse. It's an important one to meditate on as it will always guide you to adopt the true spirit of leadership.