In today’s summary, we will discuss a fantastic book, Corporate Chanakya, by Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai. This book has a lot of corporate and management lessons from the time of Chanakya. And this book will help you climb the corporate ladder and your professional career. So this summary is still for you, even if you are a college student or a businessman.
Chanakya was a well-known teacher in his time. Because of Chanakya’s brain, his student Chandra Gupta defeated Nanda Dynasty and became the king there. It is said that Chanakya was the mastermind, so Alexander got defeated by coming to India. It was Chanakya because of whom all Kingdoms came together and together developed Arya Varta. He made it a country with only one governance, and later on, Arya Varta became India.
If we talk about today’s time when the author wasn’t achieving success in his business, then his mentor suggested that he learn from not only management master Peter Ducker but also India’s great Chanakya. The author followed his mentor’s advice. He started learning from Chanakya, too, at the start.
He faced difficulties because it was tough to understand Chanakya’s rules. After all, his sutras were quite challenging. However, after following Chanakya, the author started to get success in his business at a fast speed. Only then did he think of writing a Corporate Chanakya book in easy language so that ordinary people could understand it quickly and use it in their professional and business lives.
The author has written corporate Chanakya in three parts:
We understand these three parts one by one in detail.
Chapter 1. Leadership
It would help if you had intellectual power, manpower, financial power, and power of enthusiasm and morale in today’s corporate world. Always remember that power brings responsibilities. The greatest danger for a king or leader is revolt. A revolt against a business leader means dissatisfied employees, shareholders, and stakeholders. To remain powerful, you need to understand the needs of the market. It also cares for old clients while making new ones and solves all problems immediately.
You also need to learn the art of punishment. The CEO or the leader of any organization has a challenging role. He has to get the work done by his team mindfully. Dealing with employees is a difficult task. A leader has to consider their problems, understand where they are stuck, and solve their problems immediately so that work doesn’t suffer. And along with it, he has to be disciplined. He should be flexible with the employee but focus on the organization’s goals and priorities because employees are hired to complete these goals.
It is easy to get to the top, but it isn’t easy to stay there. Once you are in the leader’s position, all rules get changed. So now your priority becomes to get everything right and maintain your position. To avoid the downfall, Chanakya advises you to learn to control your senses; you can gain control over yourself by giving up lust (kama), greed (lobha), pride (mana), arrogance (made), and over-excitement (Harsha).
If you are a leader of an organization, then you have to make rules. But before making rules, you need to keep some things in mind. First, it would help if you knew why these rules must be followed. As a leader, having a clear vision for the organization is essential. When you are forming governments, take into consideration the benefit of all, not just that of your own.
The office is an integral part of any organization. “The leader should design the things so that the treasury and the army will be collected in one place, whose charge is with a trustworthy person.” The head office is from where the treasury is monitored. Only if the treasury is well managed can other things be directly controlled. An army includes all the employees- from the CEO to the peon and the driver. And in every organization, some key people run the show. They are the friends of the commander.
Such people should be trustworthy and should be able to trust others. These key positions, decision-makers, are the backbone of any business unit. So, according to Chanakya, the leader should control the treasury (finance) and army (people) from one place (office/plant). And let trustworthy men (managers) run the Power Management.
A person who can handle any situation is compelling. Chanakya says that the three most common problems come in front of leaders:
1] People Situation: People who want to reach the top or at the top must know how to handle people. But every individual is different, and that’s why the way of handling them is also other. That’s why Chanakya suggests reading and understanding human Psychology.
2] Knowledge Situation: Companies spend crores on research and development in today’s knowledge economy because proper knowledge is essential to advance. That’s why I gain knowledge by reading books.
3] Material Situation: Under material, money, machines, technology, etc. comes. Chanakya says you can handle this situation in one way: To have a plan already, like if a problem arises, means you must have a backup plan.
2. Qualities of a Leader
Total Alert: The leader must be vigilant. A leader’s primary responsibility is to check all critical data continuously. In addition, he has to be very alert about the movements of his employees.
Multi-Tasking: In an office, various departments work simultaneously at the same time. Each of them is specialized in a particular area. Sales, accounts, marketing, HR, R&D, and many other processes continue. All this work is run out not only by various people but from various locations. Some work happens inside the office, while others are carried out outside. Therefore, the head of the organization needs to set up a sound reporting system. In corporate language, it is called MIS, which means Management Information System. The decision-makers must be trained to report all activities using the MIS.
Start Now: Don’t wait for any golden moment, and start now. While beginning any project or assignment, a few things from the Arthashastra will help you. Starting doesn’t mean just getting excited. You need to have a direction. Take a piece of paper and write down a plan. Begin with the end in mind. If you are still determining if your ideas are practical, take advice from an expert. You are then working on your plan. Take your time trying to make your project perfect.
Intellectual Power: Today, we are living in the information age. Today the one who has actual knowledge and wisdom can become successful quickly.
Man Power: In the manpower, all those who work with you and your customers will also come in this. The more powerful these people, the more powerful you’ll become. Under this, your networks and connections will also come.
Enthusiasm and Morale: According to research, the chances of becoming becomes high for leaders full of enthusiasm and energy. Chanakya says that if a person has this quality, he can develop other qualities quickly.
Art of punishment: To become an influential leader, you must be tough and know how to achieve your goals. If a leader is rigorous and always gives punishment, then people will hate him. But if a leader acts very sweet and lenient, no one will respect him, nor will anyone work properly. Therefore Chanakya says that to be powerful, you must know the art of being strict. Don’t be so severe that people fear talking with you; never be so sweet or lenient that people don’t value your words.
3. Own Land
Because of the Gravitational law, we can stick to the ground, and we don’t fly. So this law keeps us to the ground. Similarly, the entire world is running in different directions, and it is essential to have such regulations which keep everything in control. Therefore, having laws in a business is critical.
Consider Three Things while making laws:
a) Why are you making that law, and what are the benefits of those laws?
b) That law should be beneficial for all. c) A leader should make law by considering all last.
4. Maintain secrets
As for a tailor, it is essential to take measurements twice before cutting the cloth, so the tailor performs no mistakes. Just like that, every individual should think at least twice before speaking. To be an influential leader, you must keep secrets of essential things. There are two main reasons why a leader should not share a secret:
1] It will bend you.
A leader whose secrets are known by his people always lives in fear because he starts getting worried that his secret will be known to many people, and after that, a person will begin blackmailing him, by which the leader will get weak.
2] It will make you Defensive.
Sharing secrets can make a leader helpless because he will indulge in protecting his secrets instead of planning and dealing with the situation. Even Chanakya’s friend needed to learn his next move or plan.
5. A leader must avoid eight traps
1. Ignoring the potential problems- As a leader, you must address the issues, come out of a problem and get into new situations. Great leaders know how to deal with the crisis and how to circumstances. The key is not to wait for the potential problem to multiply.
2. Managing tactics and not leading growth– Leaders tend to get too tactical when they become risk-averse. They begin to follow more than lead. As a result, they forget what their teams need and what to expect from them. Instead, leaders should always be focused on growth and improvements.
3. Allowing employees to become complacent- Complacency is a common trap that leaders fall into, and it can be noticed in the performance of their employees. As a leader, you are responsible for setting your department’s and organisation’s tone.
4. Stop selling change – If you do not change of sale, you are disabling the organization. Instead, change should be embedded as part of the company’s culture. Change keeps employees on their toes and allows you to filter out the talent the organization doesn’t need.
5. Ineffective use of Resources – As a leader, be mindful of how to use those resources to strengthen the organization’s value proposition. Discover new ways to utilize resources and challenge the whole organization.
6. Mismanagement of corporate culture – Leaders must have substantial control over their corporate culture and not be afraid to test new dynamics.
7. Losing passion for the mission – Always remind your organization that you serve a mission statement and are progressing towards it. However, don’t ever forget your love for it.
8. Ignoring the management and development of talent – Your employees and your organization deserve your full attention at all times.
Chapter 2. Management
Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a non-profit organization, or a government body. It is the art and science of managing resources.
Management includes the activities of developing the strategy and coordinating with the efforts of its employees. “Run the business” and “Change the business” are two concepts used in management to differentiate between the need to continuously deliver goods and services and adapt to customers’ changing needs. Therefore, the term “management” can also be used for managers.
Larger organizations generally have three hierarchical levels of managers which are in pyramid structure:
• First, Senior managers, such as members of a board of directors and the CEO or president of an organization. They set the organization’s strategic goals and decide how it will operate. Senior managers are executive-level professionals and provide direction to middle management.
• Second, Middle managers: These are branch managers, regional managers, department managers, and section managers, who provide direction to front-line managers. Middle managers tell the strategic goals of senior management to the front-line managers.
• Third Lower managers; examples of these are supervisors and front-line team leaders. These are those who see the work of regular employees and provide direction on their work.
Managers in smaller organizations may have a much broader scope and perform several roles.
In general, control is a device or mechanism used to regulate the operation of a machine, apparatus, or system. For example, in a business setting, administrative control involves the processes and procedures that regulate, guide, and protect an organization.
A leader must have control over the following things:1) treasury which is business finances.
2) Members of the office, starting from CEO to Janitor.
3) Leaders should allow trustworthy people to handle business.
A good strategy is an essential requirement for success. Keep aside the teachings of Chanakya Neeti and look over world history. You will find that people who did anything great were not the strongest and were in no condition to begin. But they all had one thing in common: “strategy.” Not just a strategy but a good plan.
The reality is that your intentions have no significance at all. What matters most are the consequences of your actions and the actions of others. For example, suppose someone is standing on Terris and jumps from there. The person will get hurt no matter if that person is how good or bad. If a reasonable person performs some stupidity, he cannot avoid the consequences.
The rule is simple; you cannot expect profit in business by being too generous. Chanakya Neeti tells the significance of planning and strategy in life. When your actions are well-guided, the probability of hitting the right target increases exponentially. Whether be it your personal, professional, or private life, things cannot be taken for granted. It takes a lot of effort to manage life, but they are of benefit.
Choose your friends correctly and be more attentive while choosing enemies. Make an action plan and prepare a good plan B. You won’t get many chances, and your life is becoming shorter with every second ticking out. Please stop complaining and being innocent and lazy. Identify your goals, create an action plan and get your dreams.
A good leader should always take care of the safety and security of the employee because employees are the ultimate wealth of the organization. One should feel secure when he enters the organization; the organization should always spend on security. The management should hire carefully because even one bad employee can ruin the whole culture.
The natural tendency of employees is to change jobs to increase their job profile which is not wrong, but when doing that, the employee first should prepare himself and gather information about the job.
It is not only the new employees who come for employment; the ex-employees will also apply again. So, naturally, the company should be welcoming to that employee. But at the same time, the company should consider why that employee left the job.
The employees should train appropriately so that they can become of the quality which the company wants. In the same way, the employer must recognize the productive employee and reward that person; this will motivate him.
Teamwork can be broadly divided into two major categories- teamwork values and tasks.
The teamwork values are about maximum participation, improving communication, the role of appreciation, and teamwork in an organization. The authors say that since the most excellent resource in any organization is the workforce, it is essential to recognize it. Also, a leader should quickly identify the areas of expertise.
Most successful companies make it a rule to overcome differences and work as a team because all weaknesses are covered in teamwork, reducing the chances of task failure.
Radhakrishnan Pillai explains Public Relations as an essential part of any business where networking, socialization, and good PR should be top priorities. PR can be enhanced through attending meetings, keeping a mutual help loop, maintaining long-term contact, etc.
Chapter 3. Training
Training is teaching, which means teaching oneself or others any skill for any particular job or position. Training has specific goals: improving capability, capacity, productivity, and performance. After professional training, training continues to upgrade and update skills.
Generally, there are three types of training:
Physical training: Physical training concentrates on mechanistic goals: training programs in this area develop specific motor skills, agility, strength, and physical fitness. In military use, training means gaining the physical ability which performing and surviving during the fight. In it, many different skills are taught, like outdoor survival skills and how to survive being captured by the enemy.
Occupational skills training: Some occupations are inherently hazardous and require a minimum level of competence. Occupational diving, rescue, and firefighting require a minimum level of certification before starting the work.
On-the-job training: Some commentators use a similar term for workplace learning to improve performance: “training and development.” Apart from that, there are also additional online services available that their employers offer. Some examples of these services include career counselling, skill assessment, and supportive services.
The on-job training method takes place in a normal working situation. On-the-job training has a general reputation because it is perfect for vocational work. In this, employees get trained by doing the actual job. Usually, a professional trainer or a skilled employee serves as the instructor.
Chanakya says that there can be three ways to success:
1) By Counsel: Every individual needs advice; the better advisor one gets, the chances of success will increase by it.
2) By Might: A person who is in a powerful position can make better decisions without thinking much or without any worries, which is essential for success. And this is important for success. Hence you should always be in a powerful position.
3) By Energy: One can get successful by working with energy, enthusiasm, and passion.
Rome was not built in a day. So that no one becomes successful overnight; it requires time. So read the book consciously and try to understand every sutra the mastermind Chanakya provides. Then slowly try to implement these laws in your personal and professional life.
Thank you, friends; I hope you liked this summary. I hope you can live better by adopting all the lessons from this summary.
Corporate Chanakya Book Review
As a reader of Corporate Chanakya by Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai, I found this book to be an insightful and practical guide to applying ancient Indian wisdom to modern business management and leadership. Drawing from the teachings of Chanakya, a renowned philosopher, strategist, and economist from ancient India, Dr. Pillai presents a unique approach to navigating the complexities of the corporate world.
The book is organized into three main sections: Leadership, Management, and Training. Each section contains a wealth of practical tips and advice, backed by examples from Chanakya’s Arthashastra, a seminal treatise on statecraft and governance.
Dr. Pillai’s writing style is engaging and easy to understand, making the concepts accessible to readers from various backgrounds. As I applied the principles shared in Corporate Chanakya, I noticed a significant improvement in my decision-making, strategic thinking, and leadership skills.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned from this book is the importance of adaptability and the ability to learn from both successes and failures. By embracing a growth mindset and applying the timeless wisdom of Chanakya, we can become more effective leaders and managers in the corporate world.
In conclusion, Corporate Chanakya is a must-read for anyone looking to enhance their leadership and management skills by drawing on the rich wisdom of ancient Indian philosophy. Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai’s unique approach and practical advice have the potential to transform your professional life and career.