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A single standard of conduct; the spirit of service; leadership is service; focus on responsibilities not rights; decisions and actions bounded by moral principles.
Keshavan Nair was born in Patalia, India, and as a young man began his study of Gandhi. Educated in the British and American systems, Nair had a background in Eastern philosophy and religion, engineering, and decision and risk analysis. He was a corporate executive and served on the faculties of Ohio State University and the Indian Institute of Technology in Kampur, India. Nair passed away in 2002.
Consultant Nair has mined the writings and biographies of Gandhi for revealing insights into his philosophy of leadership. The result is a slim volume that is long on exhortation but short on practical business applications. For example, in his section entitled "Reconciling Power with Service," Nair writes that Gandhi used his power and influence only for the benefit of humanity, and although managers need not be totally committed to the service of others, Gandhi does say that "power is given to you by others...to be used for the benefit of those whose trustee you are." While these are noble sentiments, they provide scant direction for a manager trying to figure out how to keep the competition from eating his or her lunch. Despite the lack of practical advice, organizational managers seeking a moral compass will find encouragement in this work. Also, public libraries will find this a useful addition to their existing collections about Gandhi.-Andrea C. Dragon, Coll. of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, N.J.