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Arthasashtra on Leadership- Unbeliavable

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Arthasashtra on Leadership- Just Unbelievable

The Arthashastra  is an ancient Hindu treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy, written in Sanskrit. Likely to be the work of several authors over centuries, Kautilya, also known as Vishnugupta as well as Chanakya, has authored the text. The latter was a scholar at Takshashila, the teacher and guardian and mentor of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya.  Chanakya has spoken a lot about effective Leadership.

Composed, expanded and redacted between 2nd century BCE and 3rd century CE, the Arthashastra was influential until the 12th century, when it disappeared. It was rediscovered in 1904 by R. Shamasastry, who published it in 1909. The first English translation was published in 1915.

Shastra are the Hindu scriptures containing rules on how to lead a life of abundance , prosperity and Peace.    The title "Arthashastra" is often translated to "the half Shastra",  but the book Arthashastra has a broader scope. It includes books on the nature of government, law, civil and criminal court systems, ethics, economics, markets and trade, the methods for screening ministers,Leadership,  diplomacy, theories on war, nature of peace, and the duties and obligations of a king.   The text includes ancient economic and cultural details on agriculture, mineralogy, mining and metals, animal husbandry, medicine, forests and wildlife.

Arthashastra, 4th century before Christ. It consists of 15 chapter, 380 Shlokas and 4968 Sutras. In all probability, this treatise could be the first ever book written on Practice of Management & Leadership. It is essentially on the art of governance and has an instructional tone.

It is astonishing to observe that several concepts of present day management theories have been explicitly explained by Kautilya in his work. As in the present day management, the importance of vision, mission and motivation was captured in Arthashastra.   Kautilya has advised Chandragupta to rule through Prabhu Shakti (vision), Mantra Shakti (mission) and Utsah Sahkti (motivation).  Kautilya’s concept of the objectives of a king seem to be virtually adopted by Peter Drucker in his book, Managing For Results.

Find few of the important lessons on Leadership from Arthasashtra:

If you start working on some mission, be sincere to it, even when there are failures and problems.  Sincere people are the happiest on earth.

A Leader should be flexible enough to handle situations.  A straight trees get impacted when there is a storm and bent trees survive any storm.

Learn from Mistakes of others.  You cannot live long enough to make it by yourself. Which means, a leader should be able to delegate his work rather than trying to do all by himself.

A snake, even if it is not poisonous, it should at-least pretend to be poisonous.  Same way, a leader, if he is not very strict by nature should atleast pretend to be strict to certain extent.

As soon as Fear approaches, attack and destroy it first.  A leader should be fearless at any given situation.

Everything teaches you some thing.  You can learn even from the smallest creature like ant.  Always be willing to learn and be humble.  Even a person born in the lowest level can teach you something.  A leader should be humble even before his servant so he can learn from him.  More learning will make him more efficient leader.

Always Know what works. Conciliate a covetous man by gift, an obstinate person by respect, a fool by humor and a learned man by truthful words.

Think, plan and Go.  Before starting any work, ask yourself this three questions: a. Why I am doing , b.  What is the outcome and c.  Will I be successful?  If you do not have convincing answers. please do not proceed.

The world's biggest power is youth and the beauty of woman.  In some cases, being tactful will make things work to achieve good results.

As a Leader, if you want to control the world, put a restraint on your tongue speaking ill of others.

A man is born alone and dies alone.  All results of his good and bad actions , he experiences alone.  Like wise, leadership is also lonely.  Be prepared for it if you want to be a leader.

No one can beat a powerful mind.  A strong leader should have a strong mind.


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