Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai has become a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact's Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) in 2013.
Leadership Experiential Project – Karma-Yoga
Trying to learn leadership in a classroom is like trying to learn swimming in a classroom. Just as a swimming pool is required to learn swimming, a live setting with actual potential followers is needed to learn leadership. KARMA-YOGA, a Leadership Experiential Program (LEP) is an integral part of the Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) and Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) at Great Lakes.
The project is a unique medium for students to connect with ground realities and experientially learn transformational leadership. The LEP creates a mutual win-win situation for both the students and the villages. While the villages get budding managers to enable the villagers to lift themselves into their better selves, the students acquire a first-hand understanding of what it means to create followers and transform them.
There are 21 villages surrounding the institute's campus that have been adopted by Great Lakes for the LEP. Students visit these Karma Yoga villages every week. The mission is to enhance the self-esteem and self-efficacy of the villagers (i.e., to empower them), so that they are able to lead a better quality life. Karma Yoga is a real life practical lab to learn and experience the power of transformational leadership. In this attempt by Great Lakers to transform people belonging to nearby villages, the key focus has been in the fields of education, health, agriculture, and small business. Over the past years, Great Lakers have been involved in organizing health camps, financial inclusion programs, agricultural training programs, activity-based learning programs, etc., in association with leading hospitals and several NGOs. Karma Yoga project runs throughout the year and has been quietly transforming the lives of the people around the institute's campus.
All knowledge gained in this project are in the form of real life challenges and situations faced and this helps the students to understand and apply leadership qualities at appropriate junctures in organisations. Mere graduation makes them managers; LEP makes them different from the other managers. Karma Yoga is far beyond social service. It creates an ability to carve the best out of any person. Seldom does one find a ground to practice and hone one's qualities of Influence, Power and Leadership. Karma-Yoga provides Great Lakers with that platform. Unlike other social service activities, Karma Yoga does not give fish to the needy; instead it teaches them how to fish. Karma Yoga is all about creating an environment of constant interaction, influencing, motivating others towards the betterment of their lives.
Facts and Figures on Karma Yoga
- 21 villages under the project
- 17+ schools our students are currently working with
- 30+ village-level events conducted annually
- 400+ school-going children attend tuition classes, science clubs and other educational activities due to Karma-Yoga each year
- 400+ participants at the Karma-Yoga First Annual Convention
- 1100+ people given individual medical attention so far