Case study: Shanti

Shanti’s Dilemma

Shanti was a very talented filmmaker. She started her career making insightful documentaries on very controversial subjects. Her talents and abilities resulted in a scholarship to study and work with some of the very best filmmakers and film teachers in the U.S.

On her return to India she was surprised and thrilled to be offered a leadership role in setting up a television production house by a prominent film producer which she accepted.

Shanti’s work gained a lot of respect, however while working with a team she didn’t find the value of work turned out by others matching her expectations. She tried to supervise the work turned in by others more directly which led to budgets being overshot. Shanti produced some of the best work in Indian television, but the paths of artistic self-expression and business pragmatics did not converge.

Eventually Shanti began to feel that she did not understand the television business well enough and her convictions deserted her. Finally, she took a sabbatical to introspect.

The transformation

With the help of a business coach, Shanti realized that when she had to work within the constraints of time and fixed budgets, she became anxious. She had fixed ideas on what was acceptable, and she was imposing that in every situation, even where it was clearly not required.

It dawned on her that she was constantly looking for adulation and recognition by her peer group of filmmakers and was ignoring what customers wanted. The more she perfected the final product, the more it won critical acclaim, the less it became accessible to the public. She wanted to be commercially successful too and this dilemma was tying her into knots.

Shanti had to ask herself many searching questions. Firstly, what did success mean to her? Who was she making her films for? What is the purpose of being in business? After a lot of contemplation, Shanti decided that what gave her joy was working on themes closer to cultural reality. She left TV to start a small boutique consultancy and began to make sensitive documentaries portraying the Indian reality.


Sahadeva: The power of curiosity and knowledge

When the tensions between one’s need for certainty and the demand for action is resolved, the Hermit archetype emerges. Sahadeva epitomizes this archetype. He limits his interaction with the environment to the minimum. He is a keen observer and the theoretician of the system.

The heroic potential in the Sahadeva propensity is the ability to convert knowledge into innovative and insightful application. In an organizational context, these individuals shine in areas that primarily require research and reflection.

The Sahadeva is a constant learner and a great innovator. However, they could have a fear of emotional engagement and become reluctant to convert ideas into concrete outcomes. Sahadevas often prefer to watch from a distance and avoid the rough and tumble of engagement with the world.