Top Five Leadership Lessons from Chanakya’s Arthashastra

leadership qualities - Chanakya - arthashastraBy Neel Achary

Chanakya was a philosopher and economist, who was also the chief advisor to both emperors of India – Chandragupta and his son Bindusara. He was famous for his political and economical thoughts.

The management gurus have been recommending the book ‘Arthashastra’ one of the finest works of Chanakya, who was also known as Kautilya and Vishnu Gupta. His teachings are applicable to modern management principles.

In my previous post, I mentioned about the leadership qualities according to Sun Tzu, you can read the post. I decided to feature the thoughts of Chanakya in regard to leadership qualities, which motivated me to write this post.

I think the book and teachings of Kautilya are very useful for the management professionals and students. If you are planning to be an effective and good leader in your career, then you could follow the teachings for Chanakya mentioned the book.

Chanakya believes that “A man is great by deeds, not by birth.” This one quote is enough to know define the leadership qualities.

Here are the top five lessons you need to learn from Chanakya:

1. Energetic and Hardworking
You will find most of the leaders do possess qualities like energetic and hardworking. I believe there is no shortcut to success, so hard work is the only key to growth and success. Your work and working style will motivate many people working with you. To become a good leader you need to love the work you do. Because then only you could put all your efforts developing it, which will give you the result. You must be sincere in all the efforts you do.

According to Chanakya, “People who work sincerely are the happiest”.

2. Effective Communication
Leaders to communicate properly on all the occasions. If you want to be a great leader, you need to focus on your communication skills. It becomes essential when you are managing an organization. An organization should have various communication vehicles and mediums to reach to their customers. All the management, including the top authorities, should available for in the communication medium.

Regarding communication, Chanakya in his book, wrote:

“When in the court, he shall never cause his petitioners to wait at the door, for when a king makes himself inaccessible to his people and entrusts his work to his immediate officers, he may be sure to engender confusion in business, and to cause thereby public disaffection, and himself a prey to his enemies.”

3. Fear of Failure & Stress Management

He says, “Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it.”

A leader possesses the quality of stress management and fair of failure. He or she must be good at managing the stress in order lead the team. A leader should not have the fear of failure. They keep them engaged in the work without worrying about the result of their work.

Regarding fear, Chanakya writes “As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it”.

Most of the people fail in their venture due to the fear of failure rather than the actual failure. There are many examples and inspiring stories are there around us, and all those are successful because they overcame the fear of failure and good at managing stress.

In order to be a successful leader, you need to follow the quality of stress management from the great leaders.

4. Decision Making
Leaders do possess great qualities, including decision making. It is an important aspect of business management and the art of the great leaders. They take the decision in favor of their business and work.

Regarding the decision making, Chanakya writes “All urgent calls he shall hear at once, but never put off; for when postponed, they will prove too hard or impossible to accomplish”.

You need to take quick decisions related to your business and for this, you need to take the help of the experts in the field and those are working with you. Any delay in the decision taking could cost you more and you may not able to accomplish those on time. Good leaders always consider all the aspects before taking any decision on their strategies and deals. They consult with their experts in order for decision making.

5. Keeping employees Happy

Chanakya writes “In the happiness of his subjects lies his happiness; in their welfare, his welfare; whatever pleases himself, he shall not consider as good, but whatever pleases his subjects he shall consider as good.”

Being a leader you need to think of the people around you, that is your first priority. You need to work for their happiness. This is an essential quality of successful leaders, those always work for the welfare of others.

These five lessons will be useful for you to become a successful leader.

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