Lessons from the past

“I know that after you, the Mughal throne will never have a King like you. Honestly speaking, it’s your fault. You didn’t make anyone worthy of replacing you.” Prince Daniyal, the third son of Emperor Akbar of the Mughal empire wrote right before he died in Siyaasat (English: Politics), an Indian historical drama series which is an adaptation of the popular award-winning novel The Twentieth Wife by author Indu Sundaresan.

We expect that the future generation should do better than the current generation. It is a natural assumption. The future should be better than the past, of course.

Being born into a successful business family is a blessing and a burden. Trying to outshine the great leader in the family is challenging. There are two forces working against it.

The current leader knows that he is great. He measures everyone against himself and his leadership style. Nobody is good enough when he compares them to himself. After all, none of the copies are as good as the original. He is disappointed with his successors. The more disappointed he becomes, the more he tightens his control, giving less room for the potential successor to develop.

The future leader know that the current leader is great. He tries to prove himself but finds it challenging. After all, he is not the same person and trying to copy a masterpiece is futile. Every time he tries, it’s not good enough. Whenever he tries to be himself, he is rejected. He is frustrated and lost yo-yoing between trying to be a good copy and trying to be himself.