or journey to the elixir, which constituted a gift that, in India’s case, was the country’s science renaissance.

A Transformative Model: “Leadership in Action”

To illustrate, Dr. Piramal laid out a model for “Leadership in Action”: After stage 1, a Call to Adventure, one would Cross the Threshold in stage 2 to arrive at a supreme ordeal on the battlefield, the Kurukshetra of which she had spoken. The Hero’s Journey, stage 3, leads to stage 4, The Elixir or Gift. The fundamental transformation depicted by this model would be the object of her focus.

Stage 1:
Prepare to Journey

This was synonymous with the Call to Adventure. It is important here to see the world as full of possibilities, to shift one’s view of the world from one of resignation to one of possibility. The speakers of that morning who had pointed to the many things wrong with India might have been correct to do so, but one needs to leave behind the conviction that these things could not change for the belief that they could.

Stage 2:
Cross the Threshold

How is this step to be taken? Julius Caesar decided on the 11th of January in 49 B.C. to lead his army across the river separating Gaul, of which he was governor, from the Roman heartland and to undertake a civil war against Pompey, then ruling in Rome. Approaching the Rubicon, Caesar declared: “Once we pass over this little bridge, there will be no business but by the force of arms and dint of sword.” Sounding the trumpet, he continued: “Let us march on and go wherever the tokens of the gods and the provocations of our enemies call us.” Then he uttered a third and, Dr. Piramal signaled, “very important” sentence: “The die is cast.”

Stage 3:
The Hero’s Journey

“All of us, whether or not we are warriors in the Roman Empire, have this cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time,” she stated. “The difference between an average person and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this,” its being one of the latter’s tasks to remain alert to the moment and to act swiftly and powerfully when it arrives.

Stage 4:
The Gift

This is the warrior’s reward.



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