Leadership Lessons From The Festival of “Holi” | Aparna Sharma | Consulting Editor | The People Management

A little about Holi

holiHoli is a Sanskrit word which is also known as the Spring Festival and sometimes, also referred to as the Festival of Love.

The most colorful and vibrant festival of India – Holi – is marked with much fun and fervor throughout the country and other parts of the world. It celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad. Songs, water balloons and bright colors are the major highlights of this vivid and lively festival. Bright colored powders, known as ‘Gulal’ are smeared on everyone’s faces accompanied by splashing of colored water. These bright colors are believed to signify energy, life and joy.

Holi teaches us many things and above all, it brings out the “empathy” side of humankind which is so crucial in today’s rat-race times.


1. Honor Ethics; Do the Right Thing Always

Holi marks the triumph of righteousness, of good over evil. It reminds us yet again that Integrity and Ethics are the most important assets of any leader. Any leader adopting “shortcuts” to achieve his goals is bound to fail .It warns us not to get distracted by glittering “temporary” gains at the cost of compliance and integrity.

2. Only Relationships Matter in the End

Holi gives the perfect opportunity to appreciate, rejuvenate and celebrate all relationships that matter to us!! The celebrations bring people together and bring out the collaborative spirit in them .They come out of the houses, clean their houses, collect firewood for “Holika” bonfire and smear each other with colors, leaving their worries behind. Smart leaders use this vibrant festival to clear the “cobwebs” and “rust” which would have accumulated within the team over time and “bring the togetherness” back.

3. Love All, Forgive All, Start Afresh

Holi gives us the perfect opportunity to resolve all pending conflicts and start a new journey on a clean slate. This is a special occasion which allows us to “play” with our enemies, celebrate along with them and wipe out all differences. There are numerous examples throughout history where bitter enemies had becomes bosom friends after Holi.

4. Ignite Everything, Clean the Muck Inside Out

Holika bonfire symbolizes an opportunity to burn all that is evil in us. People collect all the junk and put that into the bonfire in the evening(Holika Dahan) symbolizing that they are burning all that is evil in their lives. It gives Leaders the impetus to again introspect all the drawbacks hat exist within them and their teams and eliminate anything and everything which prevents their goals from getting realized. Our “Inner” muck is something which is the most “difficult” to clean. Holi teaches us to start with that.

Bringing It All Together

As we celebrate Holi on March 18 th this year(2022), let’s not just treat it as yet another day of holiday and fun. Let’s imbibe some of the valuable, powerful lessons that Holi teaches us and enrich our lives with love, harmony and peace.

Wishing you and your family a very bright, colorful and joyful HOLI.