Global business leaders need to think beyond quarterly numbers, says Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

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NEW DELHI: The showstopper on the power-packed inaugural evening of The Economic Times Global Business Summit was a mystic who’s popular for his pragmatic views on modern-day problems. An entire hall of corporate honchos listened in rapt attention as Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev doled out advice on the role corporates must take on.

In his 30 -minute address, Sadhguru called on business leaders to recognise the role they now play in the scheme of things. “(In the past) power has moved from the hands of religious leadership to that of the military, and finally into the hands of the democratically elected governments. But in another 15-20 years, business leaders will dominate the planet,” he said.

Businesses have grown to a scale where they are bigger than even nations, with an ability to impact millions of lives, said Sadhguru. And, with such vast power, comes great responsibility.

“Business leadership has an albatross around its neck. People think you are a vested interest, only bothered about profits. It is time business leadership evolves from personal ambition to a larger vision, making a difference,” he said.

“You are no longer a kirana store. You have become a major force on the planet. It is time you get rid of this albatross.” After all, economic activity determines how people live on this planet.

“It is important that global business leaders understand that they need to think beyond their quarterly balance sheets and see what it is that they are creating,” said Sadhguru.

“What is their legacy for tomorrow?” It is time businesses think of the impact that they are making: positive, negative or merely fleeting. And to be able to do so, they must first invest in themselves and learn to grapple with uncertainties and navigate the unknown terrain. Uncertainty, for him, is a necessity.

It is a space with possibilities, a space where one can and one must challenge the status quo. “When we step into a new terrain, we experience vast uncertainty. Uncertainty is just a situation that you do not know how to handle,” he said.

His super tip to corporates to deal with uncertainty is to skill themselves appropriately. “You can learn to prevent a storm or you can learn to ride the storm. If you learn to ride the storm, the storm is not a problem anymore,” he said.

People routinely ask Sadhguru where India will be in 10-20 years. To them he says, don’t concern yourself with predictions.

“It is not predictions but plans that make the future. If you want predictions, it is because you do not have the ability to make a plan and fulfill it.”