Mahatma Gandhi – Soft Leadership
mahatma gandhi sq

Mahatma Gandhi – Soft Leadership

"Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics." – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I led a webinar on "Soft Leadership: A New Leadership Perspective" organized by International Leadership Association on August 29, 2012. When I explained my new leadership concept - soft leadership, and the soft leaders who must contain 11 C's, one of the participants asked a question, "Is there any leader in the world who possesses all C's?" I replied, "Yes, there was one leader who had all the 11 C's such as character, charisma, conscience, conviction, courage, communication, compassion, commitment, consistency, consideration, and contribution - that was Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi got independence for India through truth and non-violence. He said, "In a gentle way, you can shake the world." He proved that a leader can achieve everything through moral power, soft power, soft tactics, and soft skills. He showed that it is not the size but strength that matters. It is not the physical strength but moral strength that counts. Mahatma Gandhi influenced the world through his soft leadership including five Nobel Laureates – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Barack Obama.


What is Soft Leadership?

Soft leadership is a new direction to leadership coined by me. We need this style with the changing times and technologies and due to the dynamic global business environment. This new leadership perspective is essential to meet the rising expectations of all stakeholders globally. Soft leadership can be defined as the process of setting goals; influencing people through persuasion; building strong teams; negotiating them with a win-win attitude; respecting their failures; hand-holding them; motivating them constantly; aligning their energies and efforts; recognizing and appreciating their contribution in accomplishing the organizational objectives with an emphasis on soft skills. It is based on the right mindset, skill set, and tool-set.


Soft Leaders and 11 Characteristics

Soft leaders are the leaders who make a difference in the lives of their partners. They don't believe in leadership and followership, but in partnership. They blend hard and soft skills and lead from the front with 11 characteristics. They adopt various tools such as participation, persuasion, influence, negotiation, motivation, recognition, appreciation, and collaboration. They adopt soft power, soft tactics, and soft tools and techniques to get the tasks executed successfully. They are more of people-orientation rather than task-orientation, and adopt transformational style rather than transactional style. Precisely, soft leaders are relationship-oriented, people-orientated, service-oriented, transformational, authentic, and thought leaders who lead through soft skills. Here are the 11 characteristics that substantiate that Mahatma Gandhi was a great soft leader:



Character is one of the key components of soft leaders. It is through their strong character they lead their people by influencing and guiding them. Character is the key thing that differentiates good leaders from others. In fact, good character makes a person a great leader. What counts at the end of the day in your life is who you are, not what you have. Mahatma Gandhi was a great example for character who practiced what he preached. He walked his talk throughout his life. He enlightened, "The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles"



Mahatma Gandhi differentiated, "Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment." One of the greatest characteristics of soft leaders is their charisma. Charisma helps in connecting with others easily as people feel valued and pleased to talk with these leaders. Mahatma was a charismatic leader. He succeeded as a soft leader because of his ability to control mystical inner power. He connected with the common man with his charisma. He strongly believed, "An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching."



Conscience is one of the major key components of soft leaders as clear conscience makes them stand out from other leaders. People expect leaders to be ethical and responsible. They also look up to leaders whose conscience cares them. Conscience differentiates the right from the wrong. Leaders must have a clear conscience to convince themselves so that they can persuade others. If there is a chasm between the word and the deed, conscience reminds the same. Mahatma Gandhi was always clear with his conscience. He unveiled the mistakes he made in his autography – "Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth". Every person makes mistakes but how many unveil and admit them? In fact, it requires a lot of courage to reveal one's wrong-doings. He rightly said, "The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience."



Mahatma Gandhi asserted, "You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind." Conviction is another key ingredient for soft leadership without which the soft leaders cannot lead successfully. It is their convictions that take soft leaders forward and inspire their people to move forward toward achieving their goals. Mahatma Gandhi was a symbol of sacrifice and convictions. He said, "A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble." During India's independence he was subjected to several hardships but he strongly believed in his convictions. Hence, Mahatma Gandhi was an apt example for conviction.



Mahatma Gandhi said, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." Courage is an integral part of soft leadership. Courage doesn't mean fighting with others physically. Courage means standing for your principles and policies, and values and ethics. Mahatma Gandhi remarked, "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." He stood for his values of non-violence and Satyagraha. Remember what counts at the end of the day is neither your muscle power nor money power but your moral power. Hence, Mahatma Gandhi was a great example for courageous leadership and soft leadership.



Leaders express their ideas, ideals, and insights and persuade others to follow them through communication skills. And soft leaders adopt assertive communication. Assertive communication is the ability to communicate firmly but politely. Mahatma Gandhi was a great communicator who never compromised with his principles but expressed them politely and adopted them firmly. He communicated with the people through practice and by setting an example. He communicated in the language the people understood and not in the language he knew. He said, "I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could."



When we refer to compassion, two leaders flash in our minds – Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Mahatma Gandhi was a compassionate leader whose heart was filled with tons of compassion. He empathized with the people of all religions and faiths and respected them. He was an empathic leader who had the ability to step into the shoes of others and understand the things from others' perspective. Once he was travelling in a train, and he was standing at the door enjoying the beautiful scenery of India. One of his chappals slipped away and fell down from the train. He threw the other chappal as well so that the finder can benefit as he would have a pair instead of just one chappal. Keeping one chappal with him would be of no use to him or the finder. It shows his empathy and compassion. Mahatma Gandhi moved with untouchables and gave them due respect. He said, "Compassion is a muscle that gets stronger with use." Compassion is an integral characteristic of soft leadership. In fact, compassion differentiates soft leaders from other leaders. It helps connect with others easily. People appreciate the leaders who care and touch them.



Commitment is the key characteristic of soft leaders. Mahatma Gandhi was committed to truth, non-violence, and peace. He rightly remarked, "My commitment is to truth not consistency." He believed in simplicity and humility. He was committed to fight against inequality and injustice when he was in South Africa and India. He was committed to fight against suppression and oppression. He was committed to Hindu-Muslim unity. He once remarked, "I don't have a message. My message is my life." His commitment to the cause of India's freedom was firm. As a result, he made a significant difference in the lives of Indians.



Consistency is another important ingredient for soft leadership. Leaders need to demonstrate their consistency so as to have a profound impact on their people. People expect leaders to be predictable, responsible, and credible. Failure to demonstrate consistency might lead to credibility crisis. Mahatma Gandhi maintained consistency throughout his life by sticking to non-violence and peace. He remarked, "True morality consists, not in following the beaten track, but in finding out the true path for ourselves and in fearlessly following it." Consistency is essential in every area of life. Consistency is essential in putting your efforts to achieve big. It is required to get noticed as a credible and responsible person.



Consideration is one of the major characteristics of soft leaders as soft leaders basically care for their people. Consideration means how much and how far the leaders are sensitive towards their people. Leaders with consideration have more of people-orientation rather than task-orientation. They empathize with others and understand the problems. Mahatma Gandhi was an empathetic leader who always cared for and considered others. He said, "I don't believe in stereotypes, I prefer to hate people on a more personal basis. The measure of a truly great man is the courtesy with which he treats lesser men. An eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind."



Contribution includes precious time, money, energy, ideas, knowledge, and service to the society. Genuine and selfless contribution takes to true leadership. People respect the leaders who contribute their best to the society without hankering for wealth, power, or prestige. Mahatma Gandhi said, "We must become the change we want to see in the world." His contribution to India's freedom movement, and to bring a qualitative difference in the lives of others is unquestionable. He enlightened the world with the knowledge that all religions in the world share common beliefs of truth and non-violence which is his major contribution to mankind. Here is the diagram connecting all 11 C's that constitute soft leadership and symbolizes the characteristics of Mahatma Gandhi:

Mahatma Gandhi – Soft Leadership


Mahatma Gandhi – A Soft Leader

Mahatma Gandhi said, "Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could. In doing so, I have sometimes erred and learned by my errors. Life and its problems have thus become to me so many experiments in the practice of truth and nonviolence."

Mahatma Gandhi had more concern for people and was a participative, and relationship oriented leader. Commenting on leadership he quoted, "I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people." It clearly shows that his leadership style is closely connected with soft leadership. He provided a soft touch, believed in soft power, adopted soft tactics, and applied soft skills apart from possessing the 11 characteristics needed for a soft leader. Hence, we can conclude that Mahatma Gandhi was an ideal example for a soft leader. His principles are eternal and his leadership is everlasting.

Mahatma Gandhi continues to inspire people internationally through his soft leadership. He will be remembered as long as civilization exists. Present world needs another soft leader like Mahatma Gandhi to preach and practice non-violence and peace to eliminate intolerance and impatience, and to spread universal brotherhood and fraternity. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought, acted and inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony." Albert Einstein commented on Mahatma Gandhi as follows: "Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."


Prof. M.S. Rao
International Leadership Guru

Copyright © 2013 • UN Post • All Rights Reserved

This Post Has 82 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Vasantha Kumari

    Currently there is a lot of violence and intolerance globally. Hence, the world needs another Mahatma Gandhi to bring peace, happiness and prosperity through soft leadership. Additionally, having vexed with various leadership styles, we can explore and experiment soft leadership.

  2. Avatar

    The 11 C diagram is elegant and well connected. It seems this concept needs little more research empirically. I implore author to work this concept from other aspects so that it can achieve longevity and may lead to further research. If it happens, Professor M.S.Rao can become the father of \'Soft Leadership\'.

  3. Avatar
    Gowtham Kumar

    The 11 Cs are really amazing. I am sure that it is Mahatma Gandhi who truly possessed these eleven characteristics. I wholeheartedly thank Prof Rao for thinking of Mahatma Gandhi and linking him with his innovative leadership style - soft leadership.

  4. Avatar
    Sukanya Reddy

    An innovative leadership concept worth trying globally in all sectors and industries. It is the need of the hour to use this leadership style to build a better world.

  5. Avatar
    Subba Reddy

    Great article. His is my endorsement about this living leadership legend:


    "I acquired great knowledge from Professor M.S.Rao. I have seen his books being sold in various book stalls. I am one of his die hard fans." – Subba Reddy


  6. Avatar
    B Naren

    I appreciate Professor M.S.Rao\'s 11 C Grid on soft leadership. Mahatma Gandhi possessed all the Cs. Hence, he was a soft leader.

  7. Avatar

    A very good article linking Mahatma Gandhi with soft leadership.

  8. Avatar

    Mahatma Gandhi is known as the Father of Nation in India. And connecting such great leader with soft leadership is highly appreciated. The world is tired of too many leadership styles. Hence, the world can adopt \'Soft Leadership\' coined by Professor Rao

  9. Avatar
    B. Harikrishna

    Truly inspiring article connecting Mahatma Gandhi with Soft Leadership. In fact, the world needs new leadership style - soft leadership. It was an honor to attend Professor M.S.Rao\'s leadership training programme.

  10. Avatar
    Ganesh Sai

    Professor Rao is a leadership legend. Only he can create such innovative grids on soft leadership and link them with Mahatma Gandhi. This concept can be included in academic institutions and also by the organsations to reap the benefits of soft leadership .

    I am die-hard follower of Prof M.S.Rao

  11. Avatar

    Mahatma Gandhi was an apt example of soft leadership.

     I am die-hard follower of Professor M.S.Rao He will be President of India one day. He will make India a super power in the world through his visionary and passionate leadership

  12. Avatar

    Professor Rao very nicely connected Gandhiji with Soft Leadership. Here is my endorsement about him:

    "Professor M.S.Rao trains from the bottom of his heart. He is highly passionate about students and wants them to dream and achieve big. He wants them to be great citizens. His sessions have a huge impact on the audience as he walks to his talk. He uses humor aptly to draw the attention of the audience during his leadership training programs. He knows how to grab the attention of all students and sustains the momentum until the end of the session. He has spontaneity and speaks as per the situation and as per the maturity level of audiences. He has total clarity in his vision and mission. He implores us to be incurable optimists. I am his die-hard follower."

  13. Avatar
    Uday Kiran

    inspiring article linking Mahatma Gandhi with soft leadership.

  14. Avatar

    very good article linking Mahatma Gandhi with soft leadership

  15. Avatar
    Krishna Rao Ranganathan

    Nice article. Appreciate coining the term soft leadership.

    The leader should also walk the talk. One more C. Creates a vision not for only self but for society at large.

    We should think of a business leader, social reformer also as an example with whom gen Y can relate.

  16. Avatar
    Ramana Naidu

    Connecting Mahatma Gandhi with a new leadership style requires very high imagination and creativity. I admire Professor Rao\'s innovative idea to create a new leadership style.

    I congratulate him

  17. Avatar
    Shilpi Singh

    It is an innovative article liking Mahatma Gandhi with soft leadership. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi was the rare leaders who possessed all the 11 Cs outlined by Professor M.S.Rao

  18. Avatar
    Dr.Suniti Chandiok

    Nice one and good research work


  19. Avatar


    You rightly said that Mahatma Gandhi is the only leader who falls in the category of soft leadership. He possessed all 11 Cs created by you. Soft Leadership has a huge potential as it is very much required presently.

  20. Avatar

    so are you rich after coinging \"soft leadership\"?

  21. Avatar

    cool man

  22. Avatar

    We have several leadership styles and most of them dont work in the present context. Hence, we can explore this new leadership style - \'soft leadership\' to achieve organisational excellence and effectiveness. Here is my endorsement about Professor M.S.Rao:

    Professor M.S.Rao inspires us how to be successful in life. His leadership training programs are highly interactive and inspiring.  I am his follower.

  23. Avatar

    Good article on Mahatma Gandhi. There is no doubt that Mahatma Gandhi was a soft leader who showed to the world by achieing India\'s independence by truth and non-violence.

    Great article with valuable takeaways.

  24. Avatar

    Mahatma Gandhi was a global leadershp legend. And you effectivley linked your new leadership perspective of soft leadership with this great legend. I appreciate it. It is a fact that Mahatma Gandhi had all the 11 Cs you have mentioned. Hence, he was a true soft leader.

    We love to see more such articles on Mahatma Gandhi.

  25. Avatar

    Connecting soft leadership with Mahatma Gandhi - Father of Indian Nation is higly inspiring.

    You always think about people and how to help. People like you are very rare in this world. I am your blind follower.  I want you reach very high position in the world .

  26. Avatar

    Inspirng article to connect Mahatma Gandhi with Soft Leadership. Here is my endorsement about this living leadership legend:


    "Professor M.S.Rao is passionate about Indian students. He transforms students and makes them highly successful. Even if we have bad attitude he would change our behavior for better. His selection of topics is highly unique and he adopts unconventional method of training. His leadership training programs are far better than others. I can proudly say that Professor Rao is the first professor who influenced me in my life. With his inspiring message we Indian youth can lead India with more confidence and optimism. I have been inspired by this leadership legend. I am his follower." N. Madhusudan

  27. Avatar

    I like your new leadership style. In fact, it is essential in the present global context. Contribute more such articles.

  28. Avatar


    I went through your article. First of all let me quote the remark against citing Gandhi as a model.
    Let aside it, I wish to write as below:
    Your concept, if you are the first to introduce it, is great and thought provoking. A change results from provoking thoughts of this or of some other sort. The question is whether the 11 Cs existed in our minds until this time or are these 11 Cs essential for success for individuals, corporates or even national leaderships. First thing I had to say that I have only appreciation for your efforts at creating such an article. Your duty is to do.. Acceptance or non-acceptance is the duty of others.. . It is not the acceptance at the outset that is to be taken account of, but the effectiveness of such an idea in bringing about a change, be it on the way it suggests or some other way. Whatever be the outcome, the effort is worth it\'s value. Keep this up.

    1. Avatar

      Dear Ramachandran, 

      You are absolutely right to point out that people have right to agree or disagree with my views. I thank you from the core of my heart for your time and valuable insights. Intellectuals like you are needed to add value to this kind of researched oriented papers. 

      Once again thanks for your kind heart. - Professor M.S.Rao

  29. Avatar

    It is higly imaginative post on Mahatma Gandhi. I am excited to know that you connected Mahtma Gandhi with soft leadership. Here is my endorsement about your leadership training program.


    "Professor M.S.Rao's training sessions are totally different from other trainers. His sessions are highly structured but in an innovative manner. He knows how to grab the attention of the participants. Participants take lots of interest in his sessions. He knows the art of asking questions to the participants and gets the best out of them. Participants are highly satisfied with his leadership training program. I have been inspired by this legend." – Amadaboina Vinitha

  30. Avatar

    Prof. Rao\'s ideas are unique. He follows the road less travelled. That is the reason he came up to this position from his humble origins. I am sure his passion will take him to be on the top of the world one day.

    Mahatma Gandhi is highly respected in India and abroad. Taking such a global legend is highly inspiring. I want Prof. Rao to be President of India one day. I am sure he will make it happen

  31. Avatar

    The article is well presented by comparing mahatma gandhi as a soft leader. Ordinary individuals cannot think of such association. Only intellectuals like Professor M.S.Rao can imagine and associate such conepts with great global leaders.

    I want to see Professor M.S.Rao to become the President of India one day.

    Also, I want him to contribute more articles as he has a huge fan base globally. He had die-hard followers including me across the world. They will enjoy reading his intellectual ideas and insights.

  32. Avatar
    Soumya S Mule

    This is very nice article. what else can be the best example for softskills other than our father of nation-Mahathma Gandi. Thank you for bringing such a good example to make us more familier with soft skills.

    I am also reading your book SMART LEADERSHIP lessons for leaders. It is simple and great book which will be having lot of impact on my research. 


  33. Avatar

    Congratulations sir!!! It was really good to read the complete article, wish it would have inclusive of even emotional intelligence and self awareness aswell.

  34. Avatar
    G Veena

    Excellent concept. Here is the endosement about this international peace ambassador:

    "Professor M.S.Rao delivers leadership training programs from the core of his heart. He takes feedback from students while delivering sessions. He ensures that audiences understand the essence very well. He is very friendly with students. His leadership training programs are highly inspiring." – G Veena

  35. Avatar

    Sir, Congratulations on presenting soft leadership from the perspective of Mahatma Gandhi - The Father of Indian Nation


  36. Avatar

    This is an excellent concept. It has innumerable advantages. Both individuals and organisations can benefit out of this amazing leadership developmental tool. It is worth trying to make a difference in the lives of others globally. 

  37. Avatar
    Dr B Rose Kavitha

    Your article is interesting sir.I am a corp trainer in the field of Leadership.Useful thoughts...

  38. Avatar
    Dr. Padma

    Good Article

    Should be a good addition for leadership section in softskills training.



  39. Avatar
    Dr. Shweta

    Well sir, with due respect, I am not satisfied with the examples you have quoted, as you took Mahatma Gandhi as a soft leader, however, he is the only person who is actually responsible for all this \"bull .....\" politics in India via Nehru and all. I have an article with 150 reasons why Nathu Ram killed Gandhi. I have gone through 50 yet and fortunately all are correct. For me Mahatma Gandhi has made things worse for India, so considering his leadership style, I am not much satisfied.

    1. Avatar

      Dear Dr. Shweta,

      You have every right to disagree with my views. And I respect your views. Thanks for your time. 

    2. Avatar
      Ramachandran Nair P S

      Dr Sweta, you have differed with Prof. Rao mainly because of his considering Gandhiji as an ideal. I dont say you are wrong. Because, I know  you have convictions. Convictions are usually hard to erase.Yet, I wish to ask a few questions to myself. If Gandhiji had committed wrongs, why millions of Indians have ignored them and described him as the Father of Nation? Is it not because India could not find another person in his place.? Why didn\'t they consider Nehru or Sardar Vallabhai Patel? The leaders of yester years should have found an answer to these questions. Another question is how these wrongs were ignored by the people? Is it because of sword or gun.? Why can\'t we admit that there were nobody at that time who embodied the ideals as Gandhiji did?. Is it not true?. Love is a sword. It is  sharp. It can conquer minds. He might have committed mistakes. To err is human. He was a human. But his rights outweighed his wrongs. People might have sensed this and sougt to forgive in the light of his outweighing goodness.  Is it not true? Even when millions the world over respect him for his ideals and moral force, it is an out of place remark. this is what I feel. Madam, please forgive.

  40. Avatar
    Vinay Kumar

    Excellent! Mahatma Gandhi is the apt leader for soft leadership. I appreciate your imagination to connect this global leadership legend with soft leadership. 

    Hats off to you Sir!


    I am your follower

  41. Avatar
    Dr. Manoj Kumar Paul

    I am really moved by the concept and lucid representation of Professor Rao.

    Thanks to Prof. Rao

  42. Avatar
    lalita pradeep

    I have posted this link on my fb/twitter n linked-in a/c.....for wider readership.

  43. Avatar
    lalita pradeep

    very interesting article. It immediately captures interest... soft leadership... indeed a new concept

  44. Avatar
    Vijendra Kumar SK

    Good analysis on Gandhi\'s leadership style. However, Gandhi was a symbolic man of ancient Indian philosophy and life style.  Continue your Guru legacy.

  45. Avatar

    great innovative concept sir ,showing Gandhiji as an example for soft leadership was really excellent..concept of 11 c\'s was really amazing.

    looking forward for other such articles...

  46. Avatar
    Shirisha Reddy

    Very inspiring sir,spectacular article on soft leadership with perfect example of Gandhiji.

    A perfect article for youth who build the nation.Each and every word is worth reading sir.

    Looking forward for further articles which inspires the youth.

  47. Avatar
    Kirti Kumar

    It is great article connecting Mahatma Gandhi with soft leadership. Looking forward to more such inspiring articles.

  48. Avatar
    C N Rao

    Your vision to coin a new leadership perspective - Soft Leadership is inspiring. That too, connecting with Mahatma Gandhi is another interesting and inspiring one. The leaders at all levels including CEOs must apply this new leadership tool to improve their organisational excellence and effectiveness.

    This leadership style is going to rule the world. Everyone must follow this style.

  49. Avatar
    chathura sri

    stupendous article sir ,very inspiring.your concept of soft leadership with  perfect example of Gandhi was splendid.great work. more over the concept of 11 c\'s is very good..


  50. Avatar


    It is a wonderful concept connecting Mahatma Gandhi with soft leadership. I wish you all the best. Keep exploring a few more leaders who are soft leaders. Use it for global peace and security.

    Contribute more such articles to enlighten the world with your inspiring messages and concepts.

  51. Avatar
    Ram Reddy

    This soft leadership can be used not only for Mahatma Gandhi but also for other leaders like Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa.

    This innovative leadership is a great iniatitive to walk your talk globally to make a difference in the lives of others.

    You can explore this idea to global peace and prosperity as the world craves for this kind of leadership to resolve various conflicts globally.

  52. Avatar

    It requires lots of passion to create a new leadership - soft leadership. I appreciate Professor M.S.Rao\'s passion to create and connect with Mahatma Gandhi - Father of Nation (India). Hats off to you Sir.

    Share more such artiles to enlighten with the world.

    Looking forward to receiving more articles on global peace and prosperity as well.

  53. Avatar
    R. Sayee


    Your concept of \'soft leadership\' is highly innovative. It shows your creativity, intelligence and imagination. Since people are fed up with various outdated leadershp styles, soft leadershp proves to be the best option in the present global context. I would appreciate if you could apply this leadership perspective to ensure global peace and prosperity which is the need of the hour.


    Looking forward to reading more articles on this concept keepiing the Gen X in view as they crave for partnership rather than so called superior-subordinate relationship.

  54. Avatar

    Sir, it\'s good that you posted related to MBA-hr qualities. Sir, I have doubt how to build charisma. Please any tips for building good management control system in any company and it\'s drawbacks.

  55. Avatar


    It is difficult to consider Mahatma Gandhi as a Soft Leader. He was a very tough leader, determined to the extent of being considered as obstinate by many. His humility can sometimes be misunderstood as being soft.

    He believed in what he preached and if any one did not agree with his views he distanced himself from them. He resigned from the primary membership of congress because his values conflicted. He worked with congress as an outsider his entire life by working only with people who agreed with his views.

    He was a man of great values and strong belief in them.

    Whatever I have read about the Mahatma indicates that he wasn\'t a great orator. Many people felt he was boring because of lack of oratory skills. People were attracted to him because he had the reputation of being honest.

    Though the demeanor may be soft, he was a very tough leader.

    However, I feel the 11 Cs are very relevant and were certainly seen in Gandhiji. Good to see the 11 Cs being explained from Gandhiji\'s context. I am glad that you are popularizing the Gandhi style of leadership in this world very machosim is misconstrued as leadership.

    1. Avatar
      Professor M.S.Rao

      Dear Bhaskarbatta,

      I appreciate your views. Your comments add value to the Mahatma Gandhi's charisma. One quote by Albert Einstein is enough on this leadership legend, "Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."

  56. Avatar

    sir ,congrats   for a wonderful article


  57. Avatar
    Dr Sanjay Verma

    Dear Professor,
    I appreciate your post. Although these are Leadership Traits with which we are familiar, bringing in the Gandhi perspective is amply justified. Well written. Congratulations.
    Dr Sanjay Verma

  58. Avatar

    It is an amazing and innovative concept to make a difference in the lives of others. We want you to contribute more articles on global peace and security as that adds value to UN Post. Looking forward to more such posts in UN Post. 

    I am your die-hand follower. I wish you good luck!

    Hats off to you Sir.

  59. Avatar
    Rajesh Pershad

    Thanks Prof. MS Rao Ji,  Yes, You are true.  Todays world is full of violence, hate, personal enemity, unethical practices by certain leaders who are born for damaging the atmosphere in the organization.  Most of the Managers are bothered about their personal benefits, very few are born for succession planners.  Soft Leadership book will be useful to all the generations of budding leaders /  top leaders.  We need to be proud that the Author (Prof. MS Rao) & Sri. Sri. Mahatma Gandhiji both belongs to Great National in the world.  This articles & the approaches mentioned in the book will be the torch light for the youth, to develop team spirit, improves Interpersonal Relationships etc.   I wish Prof. M.S. Rao Sirji a very \"Happy Teachers Day\".

    Rajesh Pershad, Assoc. Prof. Dept. of Business Administration, JBIET. Hyd. India.

  60. Avatar
    P Nagesh

    Soft leadership is a unique idea which is useful for all leaders. Mahatma Gandhi is the Father of Nation for India. He pioneered peace and non-vilence for entire mankind. He had all the 11 Cs mentioned by Professor M.S.Rao. It is essential to have soft approach rather than hard approach to resolve various pressing global challenges.

    Sir, please keep it up to build a great nation and great world with peace and prosperity.

  61. Avatar

    Truly sir, wonderful artical. Mahatma Gandhi is generally considered one of the most influential world leaders. From humble beginnings he gained world prominence, helped achieve independence for India and left a lasting legacy for us all.  Many of Gandhi's core principles are remarkably relevant. This is especially true of Gandhi's thoughts and practices in the realm of leadership competencies and self-development:

  62. Avatar

    Soft leadership is a wonderful concept. It helps leaders to lead from the front in the current global context. In fact, I am privileged to have attended Professor M.S.Rao's inspiring leadership training program.  I like his passion to build one million students as global leaders. He emphasizes more on attitude building. I am sure this innovative leadership grid helps to build students as global leaders  -  Chindanur Balaji  

  63. Avatar

    I like  Professor M.S. Rao\'s new concept of Soft Leadership. Here is my acclaim about this international leadership legend.

    "Professor M. S. Rao's leadership training programs are highly interactive. He analyses the audiences very well.  He encourages everyone to participate and learn in his training programs. His questions were innovative and thought provoking. He encourages participants to think through to come out with answers. I enjoyed his inspiring training program." – Apurva   

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    Absolutely. I think Mahtma Gandhi, and I would like to add names like Nelson Mandela, Aung Suu Kyi and even Dalai Lama were/ are leaders who epitomized such soft leadership that was built on their people\'s unconditional faith and dedication. The whole world had to pause and listen to them. They are the true world leaders who led their countries to a better future. If we retrospect into their lives, we\'d certainly find all the 11 Cs working well for them that Prof. Rao has identified. This is an axcellent article that today\'s political and business leaders should reflect on and pick the essence of Soft Leadership to be more effective, more respected and be more useful to the society besides running their country and organizations better. 

    To quote an example - imagine if we had a Gandhi in Iraq who was compassionate and considerate for the people as opposed to a stubborn dictator living in a bubble of ego and personal priorities. A leader like Gandhi could have easily brought an end to the gulf conflict (Iraq issue) with \"participation, persuasion, influence, negotiation, motivation, recognition, appreciation, and collaboration\" as quoated by Prof. Rao. So many innocent lives could have been saved and the country could have done so well. 

    The high schools, Universities and Management Schools should start inculcating the theory and spirit soft leadership for a progressive and peaceful world. Kudos to Prof. Rao for coining the term comparing the impact of it with a world leader of highest stature like the Mahatma. 

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      Professor M.S.Rao

      Dear Santu,


      Thanks for your comments and time. I agree with your viewpoint on Iraq. Gandhi is the need of hour not only in Iraq but also in the world to put an end to intolerance and to achieve global peace and prosperity. Also, thanks for your acclaim on Soft Leadership. I am dedicating my entire life for building one million global leaders who can achieve global peace, prosperity and security. I want all leaders to apply my style of Soft Leadership to make a difference in the lives of others. 

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    Arun Gandhi

    Dr. Rau,

    i enjoyed reading your article and analysis of Gandhiji\'s form of leadership.  It is unique, as Bapu was a unique person.  I wish more leaders learn from this example.  But the tragedy is that humanity all over has built a culture of violence that is designed to control through fear.  We control our children through fear and at every stage of life control is achieved through fear.  The culture of violence has seeped so deeply into human psyche that it is not easy to eradicate, especially since the seeds of violence are planted in to young minds of children.  Good wishes. Arun 

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      Professor M.S.Rao

      Dear Arun Gandhi,

      Thanks for your comments. I agree with you that the world is full of violence and intolerance. That is the reason why I would like to champion the ideas and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi through soft leadership. People are vexed with different leadership styles. Hence, I did intensive research for many years and created this new leadership grid - Soft leadership and copyrighted with Jossey Bass of California. It is doing good globally. I am sure this soft leadership helps a lot in the current content to walk the talk and to check growing intolerance and to ensure global peace and prosperity. In fact, I vision is to work for global peace, prosperity and security. Let us work together in this regard.

      I would be glad if you could send your email id to my email id for further discussion:

      Once again, I thank you for your valuable comments, time and great heart to highlight the genuine issues.

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      Professor M.S.Rao

      Dear Arun Gandhi,


      I am excited to receive the comments from the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.  Indeed, your comments added value to this article.

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    Soft Leadership is a nice and simple term coined by you. It is also very appropriate. It has significance in todays management styles, particularly in IT Management, which is my area of interest. IT is such a dynamic and vast field that only collaborative and soft management tactics give results. Maybe you can add some more C\'s in \"Collaboration\" and \"Cooperation\"!! \"Collaborate, do not Confront\" and \"Polite, but Firm\" are two very important principles I too prescribe for success in IT Management.

    A very good article. And yes, great to see that an Indian like Gandhi fulfills all C\'s.

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    I like Professor M.S.Rao\'s  the Soft Leadership Grid. It helps a lot in the current global environment to build leaders as the days of command-and-control do not work any longer. In fact, soft leadership is the need of the hour to achieve global peace and prosperity.

    I am follower of Professor M.S.Rao. I follow his ideals and ideas. He resolves various career and psychological problems students face in their lives. He is a great psychologist. He knows the pulse of the students better than any other Professor. He is passionate about students. His books are highly inspiring. I read his book \'Student Leaders: Growing From Students To Leaders. He has all qualities to become the President of India. I want such a great Professor to become President of India.

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    Naren Kumar

    Soft leadership is a wonderful concept to help the mankind. I enjoy Professor M.S.Rao\'s leadership training programs. Here is a testominal on this living leadership legend:

    "International Leadership Guru, Professor M.S.Rao has rich experience of 32 years in diversified sectors including industry, teaching, training, research and consultancy and that adds value to us. His communication is very clear, simple and straight. He checks whether audiences understood his sessions in the middle of his leadership training programs which is the hallmark of his training sessions.  He has a great attitude to help and shape students as leaders. I appreciate his vision to build one million students as global leaders. I want such passionate professor to become President of India" - Naren Kumar

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    This is an unique leadership perspective I have come across in my life. It is quite interesting and inspiring. The present youth demands more of soft leadership rather than the outdated transactional leadership. They like to be treated as partners rather than as subordinates. Hence, soft leadership is the need of the hour. this leadership style enhances organizational excellence and effectiveness. If it is adopted by countries, we can achieve peace and prosperity as this concept looks at similarities rather than differences and strikes the balance between task-orientation and people-orientation.

    Kudos to you sir for creating a amazing leadership grid!

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    I am amazed to find your wide range of research papers and articles on leadership in the goolge. I came across your name, googled and got this new concept of leadership. It seems you have a great passion towards leadership as I have read many of your articles online on leadership.  

    I implore you to do intensive research in this area as it helps achieve international peace and prosperity. In fact, the world needs soft leadership as leaders across the world are vexed with various other outdated leadership styles. 

    Contribute such innovative, inspiring and thought provoking articles to make a difference in the lives of others. 

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    "International Leadership Guru, Professor M.S.Rao's new concept of Soft Leadership is highly creative where he connected this concept with Mahatma Gandhi. His training sessions are highly interactive. Participants are comfortable to clarify their concerns as he puts them at ease. Even non-interested participants get inspired with his leadership training sessions. I learnt lot of things and got inspired by his training programs. I admire his passion to build students as great leaders." Reu

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    Congratulations for this great global achievement!

    Keep contributing such great articles to ensure global peace, prosperity and security.

    Become a peace ambassador from India.

    We all Indians are proud of your contribution

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    Nikila Reddy

    Congratulatios Sir. You have made India proud by highlighting Mahatma Gandhi as a Soft Leader.

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    Sir, Your imagination and creativity to coin a new leadership style \"soft leadership\" is amazing. And connecting the soft leadership with Mahatma Gandhi is inspiring. Hats off to you Sir!  You are the proud son of India who will keep India on the top of the world with your visionary leadership style. I am proud to be your follower.

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    Dear sir,

    for marketing purpose i know/learned 4P\'s required, here now 11 C\'s for Leadership purpose that too Peace Performance with such great example of our Father of Nation Mhatham Gandhi with his Soft activitieies(leadership qualities).

    hats off you sir..

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