Chanakya has fascinated me for years now. Thanks to my father who bought me my first book on Chankaya neeti, I was just 13 then, but somehow that small book with just ten of his lessons left a huge impact on me. It was more like an introduction to leadership & management at an intellectual yet accessible level. For people to become great managers or leaders or just plain and simple successes in their respective fields, we need to embed the right seeds in their minds at the right time, the seeds of management wisdom, of people management and self management.
Seeing the youth of our country I feel the need to share those precious lessons.
|lessons from Chanakya
So who is Chanakya?? Back in 4th century BC, a philosopher-statesman Chanakya a.k.a. Kautilya wrote the first few principles of administrative management. He is known as India’s first economist/ management guru, his management theories were not just apt but thorough as well, and full of all of the vedic wisdom, which is why they guided royalty & leaders from times immemorial.
Chanakya documented his life’s labor in the Arthashastra, a list of principles that would ensure sound governance. I feel some of his wisdom can help us all pave great paths for ourselves in our career growth. Here, I share 7 of my favorite lessons from him that I found in different books I read, the practice of which can help you catapult your business/self management acumen to whole new level:
1. “Honesty isn’t the best policy always: A person should not be too honest, straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.” My interpretation is that one should define the boundaries of their honesty or rigidity. Your honesty at your workplace regarding your work may be alright but sharing too much about your personal life or honest opinions may cause a hindrance as you may come across as opinionated or rigid in your beliefs. Put a limit & boundary on what you wish to be honest about and where.
2. “As soon as the fear approaches near, attack & destroy it” He is implying that one must face the fears we have dwelling in our minds. Once we identify a fear and decide to tackle it or overcome it, it is destroyed for ever. hence making that emotional space clear for something positive to grow.
3. “Even if a snake is not poisonous it should pretend to be venomous” Even if a snake is not poisonous it should not stop hissing under any circumstances, He will only have its hiss to ward off attackers & protect it self. Without this protective pretense, even a child could stone it to death. A little ostentation is necessary in this world. Without the minimum ostentation, a man’s real worth remains unrecognized.
This is a key point, if understood incorrectly it can throw you off the hook. Chanakya is implying you to behave what you are worthy of, not too much not too less, but just what is rightly needed for you.
4. “Learn from others mistakes, you will not live long enough to make them all yourself.” This is so apt for all of us who want to achieve great things in life, learn from what you see around you, dont jump in and make the same mistakes hoping for another result. It better to save your time & efforts.
5. “Good behavior wins over an enemy too”
Wisely put, a person with good behavior can overcome even your enemies or people who despise you. Following the rest of points can get you somewhere but good behavior will get you to success even more easily. Don’t become snooty, arrogant or unapologetic. Your behavior can take you a long way!
6.”Once you start working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. people who work sincerely are the happiest.” My interpretation is simple, its all about dedication, it is meant to bring you joy. For I have observed, people who change too many jobs too often, in the hunger to grow faster than everyone are the ones mostly unhappy. So its ok if to do that one thing but do it the best, dont leave it half way beause someone got something better. Being dedicated will teach you far more about your own self.
7. “Man who desires flowers, does not water a dead tree” Implying if you want results, you must not waste your time and efforts on unproductive things or people. Value your time and use your knowledge to do the right things for the results you wanted in the first place. Wanting to be Steve jobs but getting wasted with friends every night, is not going to make you Steve!!
I wish these help you to walk & lead the right way.
Stay tuned for more!