Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Name of Paper: Times of India (MUMBAI MIRROR)

5th May 08 (Page 22)


- Radhakrishnan 'Chanakya' Pillai

(This weekly column will bring out the relevance of Kautilya's Arthashastra in today's corporate world)

Take any organisation and you are bound to find a boss who is frustrated with his subordinates. While a junior worker can be blamed for non-productivity to some extent, most of the problem is caused due to a lack of proper planning before delegating the work itself.

In Arthashastra, Chanakya had included a chapter on 'Training of elephants'. He said: "In conformity with the appearance, he should give exercise to the gentle and the dull (elephant), and to the animal with mixed characteristics, in various types of work, or in accordance with the season." (2.31.18)

So Chanakya calls for identifying a potential candidate as per its (an elephant in this case) nature and even according to the different seasons as it may affect the work which has to be given.

In human terms, we can understand how much thought has to be given to choose the 'right person for the right job'.

After all, a mistake at this stage can create real frustration in the long run.

But how does one do that?


This is the first step for effectively carrying out what is called man-management. Many bosses fail to do this. When an interview is conducted, an shrewdly written CV or resume can impress all. Even the answers and discussions in the interview itself may portray the candidate as promising one.

But there is a big difference between promises and actual delivery of work. Give yourself time before passing judgement on any person. Always observe and study a person for a minimum of three months (that's what training periods are for).

Watch them closely and observe their strengths and weaknesses. You will get a better grasp of his nature, behaviour and potential output.


A person who is very successful in one venture may not be successful if given another one in a different situation. Even the most successful salesman may fail when it comes to selling a different product or in a different region.

So understand that each person's output is not guaranteed forever. Different situations and circumstances can change a person's productivity and even performance. And you have to identify them.


Next, you really need to understand how a person's output changes in different timings. For example, students generally learn much better if they study during early mornings.

That's because the mind tends to become lazy later on in the day and, hence, memorising topics takes more effort on the student's part.

Chanakya referred to this as "seasons". So find out what are the best productive times for your subordinates and allocate work "...in accordance with the season!"

All successful businessmen and leaders know the art of delegating work. If you want to be a successfully man-manager too, then thinking, planning, studying and experimenting with human psychology will become essential.

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