GBC College in Pune, Mar 2018

By GBC College Staff

For the first time, ISKCON Pune hosted the GBC College for Leadership Development, for the forth English edition of the Zonal Supervisor Course, in the newly-built guest-house and conference halls, from Feb 24 to March 8, 2018. Participants highly praised the quality of assistance and the devotional atmosphere.

While the participants came mostly from India, we also had some international presence: Nepal, Sri Lanka, but also as far as the United States and Chile. We were graced with the presence of two Srila Prabhupada disciples, Gaura Shakti Prabhu from New Vrindavana and Maha-karta Prabhu from Colombo, who wrote: “We got more than what I expected.”

We were also fortunate to have –teaching for the first time at the GBC College – HH Gopal Krishna Maharaja, who gave a lecture on the need for cooperation among leaders, sharing his almost fifty years of experience in serving at the top level in ISKCON.

Radhe-Shyam Prabhu, Temple President of ISKCON Pune, shared the “secrets” of his success in recruiting high-quality devotees through the years, making hundreds of brahmacaris and inspiring thousands of chanting sixteen rounds a day. In a free-wheeling interview (a somewhat novel format in formal educational settings), he revealed his heart and mind, his values and mental models in a session entitled “Inside the Mind of a Leader.” We felt that what he spoke in 90 minutes could become in itself ahandbook of guidelines for leaders.

Kaunteya Prabhu presented strategic planning – eight hours of interactive introduction of the various stages of systematic planning. He also presented guidelines for improving meetings. He then guided the participants on a series of reflections on their sadhana. He then had the participants practice the art of dialogue (as opposed to a discussion or debate in which people try to defeat each other by argument), in the spirit of “samanvaya,” or reconciling apparent contradictions and minimizing differences.

Kaunteya Prabhu also presented the seven levels – functions or roles – of leadership; as the organization grows and evolves, leaders need to also assume higher and more complex, subtle responsibilities.

Rupanuga Prabhu, President of GBC College, joined via Skype/WebEx and explained about Action Learning Project, the practical application, once they go back to their places, of what the students learned here.

Rasa Krida Parayana Prabhu, Chair of the Succession Committee of the GBC Strategic Planning Network, visited from the Gulf and introduced the participants to the importance and methods of successful succession, to ensure the smooth transition between the present and the future leadership.

GDO Director, Tapana Mishra Prabhu, presented Team Building sharing a variety of techniques and considerations to form effective working groups and not being distracted or overwhelmed by the concomitant tensions.

Bal Govinda Prabhu, who, besides serving as faculty and coordinator of curriculum development of the GBC College, also serves as ISKCON Pune’s Vice President, presented two lessons on Leaders’ Self-care: The Wheel of Life – an exploration of the performance in key areas of one’s life, guidelines for time management, Situational Leadership, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, Art of Coaching, Four Maxims for ISKCON Leaders, Need of an Institution, The GBC as ISKCON’s Ultimate Managing Authority, and Taking up Leadership in ISKCON.

Gopinath Prasad Prabhu, the chief online coordinator of the GBC College, guided the students on how to use the online platform for online coursework.

Rupesvara Gaur Prabhu, from Nepal, wrote: “Thank you for organizing the event. I’m surcharged with many tools and information to help devotees back in my country.