7 Management Lessons From Chanakya
Management serves an important role in our lives. Not just in the office, but also at home and in the society, we need effective management of time, money and resources to ensure things run smoothly and quickly. With so many books and essays being written on management tips and styles, let us delve into the past for some valuable management lessons from Chanakya, the man who directed the great Indian emperor Chandragupta Maurya in building the powerful and glorious Mauryan empire. His two books, Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti, are a wonderful source of wisdom and advice for daily life. Here are some tips from his treasures of wisdom to guide you in your life and career.
Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it? What the results might be? And Will I be successful? – Clever planning is key to success. If you don’t plan well before beginning your work, you may lose your sense of direction and purpose which may not allow you to function effectively. Before you begin any task, know your capabilities, the purpose of the task and the probable results to achieve clarity in your vision and execution.
A person is known for his deeds not because of his birth place – Belonging to a famous or influential region or family does not set us apart from our colleagues. It takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and discipline to get where we want and achieve fame and respect in the society. Famous people such as Obama, Steve Jobs and Angela Merkel may not have had influential or powerful backgrounds. They were self-made and have changed the world with their ideas, beliefs and hard work.
Even from poison extract nectar, wash and take back gold if it has fallen in filth, receive the highest knowledge from a low born person: Here Chanakya does not talk about alchemy! Rather he means that whatever resources you have, use it in the best possible manner to avoid wastage and to attain maximum utility from even the least important of things. No experience or circumstance must bog you down. In fact every event that occurs in your life must be converted into a learning experience, even if you gain that knowledge from an ignorant person now.
Always believe in Karma. Result is not in your hands- Just as Lord Krishna had advised Arjuna to perform his duty without contemplating the fruits of his work, similarly Chanakya advises us to complete our tasks without eyeing the result constantly or we may become too obsessed with the goal, without moving in the right direction to achieve it. Also, failure can set us back excessively, which can be avoided if we keep calm and go on with our delegated duties.
Always dominate fear. As and when you see fear around you, kill it- Fear can be a double-edged sword. If handled cleverly, it can help you grow and succeed in life. But if you allow it to control and conquer you, you will spend your entire life cowering in a corner, helpless and good for nothing. You cannot let your fears dissolve you. So face your fears today and move onto the path of self-improvement and development.
Learn from mistakes of others. Don’t try to do all mistakes yourself- Committing mistakes can help you learn from them and grow in life. But too many of them can dampen your confidence and divert you from the path of success. Use the lessons learnt by others to avoid wasting precious time and energy in committing fresh mistakes and learn from them to guide you on your desired path.
Once you start working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest – After careful planning and organising, the next step in any action plan has to be execution. But once you begin executing your vision and purpose, don’t let obstacles and hurdles demotivate you. Only when you overcome them can you see the bigger picture and reach your goal.