Corporate Chanakya On Management
What will you learn from the summary?
Chanakya Neeti has got it all figured out, even at the workplace. If you want to know how to get your dream job, how to get promoted, or how to become an effective manager, you should read this book. You will learn many ideas here that you can immediately put into practice. If you follow Chanakya’s advice, many positive changes will happen in your career and your life.
Who should read this summary?
• For employees, so they can aim for high performance
• For all bosses and managers, so they can have a team of loyal and reliable members
• For anyone who wants to get promoted to a higher position
About the Author
Radhakrishnan Pillai is a management trainer and speaker. He is also the founder and current director of the Chanakya Institute of Public Leadership at the University of Mumbai. Pillai has more than 20 years of experience as a management consultant in various organizations in both the public and private sectors.
Corporate Chanakya On Management
Chanakya was not only a wise master in politics and economics; he also left practical advice when it comes to productivity and management. In this book, you will learn how to be a high-performing employee and how to be a good boss. And you will learn how to encourage motivation and cooperation in the workplace.
By reading this book, you will learn from the best. Radhakrishnan Pillai has many years of experience as a management consultant. He has interpreted the wise teachings of Chanakya in our modern times. Pillai knows these tips are effective because he has applied them himself. If you want to get promoted, if you want to achieve your dream job and become more productive, this is the book for you.
The First Step
Most of us don’t have a dream job. Every day, we are waiting for that perfect opportunity to come. Chanakya said that you should not wait for it. Instead, you should be the one actively creating that opportunity. Make the extra effort and take action. You should not wait for destiny or fate because you will never achieve your dream job if you just fantasize about it.
Get the proper training and learn the required skills. Seek the help of the right people. Most of all, believe in yourself. Don’t give up after a failure and keep trying. Prove how much you want that dream job and how worthy you are to have it. As the saying goes, “If the opportunity doesn’t knock on your door, go to the opportunity and knock on its door.” Therefore, here are more tips.
First, know your strengths. Before going out there, have a little introspection. Think about your strengths. What are you good at? What you can do better than anyone else? Highlight this on your resume or business proposal. Second, market yourself. Do you have a company or a person you want to work for? You can e-mail your resume. Introduce yourself. Explain your intention. You can also set up an appointment. Make sure you arrive on time and create a good impression.
When you finally have your dream job, remember that it’s just the beginning. You must now prove yourself and aim for high performance. Love your work. If you do, it will have positive effects on all aspects of your life.
Taking Care of Employees
This chapter is dedicated to all managers and business owners. If you are an employee, read this anyway because you, too, can become a boss. This is an important idea you need to know. Talented, hard-working, and trustworthy people are hard to find. Ask anyone who is working in human resources: High salary and prestige are not enough to make people stay. A boss should have a genuine concern for their employees. The organization should have a human touch.
Here are ways how to do this. First, get out of your corner. Do not just stay in your office or the conference room. Do not be a distant boss who simply gives orders through email. Make your employees feel like you are approachable. Go to their workstations and check on them. Join their conversations. Let the employees know you and know more about them too. This will foster cooperation and unity in your team.
Second, spend time with your employees one by one. For example, if an employee makes a mistake, approach him and spend a few minutes talking. Explain what it is exactly that the employee did wrong. Do it calmly and touch him gently on the shoulder. After the reprimand, give him small praise. In this way, the employee will remember it. He will learn the lesson without having any bad feelings towards you.
Third, plan an outing. Once in a while, it’s nice to get away from the office. Take time to relax and enjoy yourself with your employees. It can be in a team dinner or weekend travel out of town, or a celebration or a party. This will prevent burnout and stress. This will also establish the idea that you can rely on each other.
What is attrition? It means the loss of employees due to resignation. This is the biggest challenge for any HR department. It is an important task to make employees stay at the company. Promotions and salary increases are not enough to encourage loyalty. Therefore, HR uses strategies and planning to maintain low rates of attrition.
According to Chanakya, there are two types of employees. One is content and the other is discontent. He advises on how to handle each of them. Managers should not make the mistake of ignoring employees who seem content. They are those who do not ask for a salary increase or promotion. Yes, the employees do not express it but it doesn’t mean that they are content. Every employee works to get something in return.
If another company makes a better offer, you will surely lose these employees. So you should give content employees more recognition, benefits, and salary, even if they don’t ask for it. You will see that they will be more motivated on the job and more loyal to the company by showing them you value them. They will not think of talking behind your back or resigning. And for those employees who are expressing discontent, try your best to give them what they ask for. Give them gifts and benefits to convince them to stay.
Here are more important tips to avoid attrition. First, make human resources a top priority. Most companies focus on marketing, finance, and sales. They don’t see the relevance of the Human Resources department. Do not make the same mistake. The HRD is not just there to hire employees; trains them and keeps their records. It is very important to make the best investment in your people. If your people are good performers, your company will surely succeed.
Second, the owner of the company should be a mentor. The CEO should be a friend, a teacher, and a philosopher. Running the business is not his only responsibility. He should also be an inspiration to his employees. If the CEO sets a good example, he will encourage his subordinates to be responsible and hard-working, just like him.
Third, your organization must have its own unique culture. This fosters the feeling of belonging to the employees. They will feel they share a common goal and common interests with everyone else. This will make them loyal and proud to be part of the company.
There comes a point in any career when you feel bored because of the repetitive tasks. You feel that you do the same thing every day and are stuck in a routine. What you need are new and more challenging responsibilities. Do not let yourself feel sad and unappreciated. If you know that you are capable, and if you feel that you have enough experience, take up the courage to talk to your boss.
Explain to him your position. Tell him about your skills and achievements in the past. Ask him to give you more responsibilities and assign you to a new project or refer you to another department. Changing jobs doesn’t always mean leaving your organization. It could also mean that you are getting promoted.
Here are tips to increase your chance of getting a promotion. First, gather experience. Do not limit your knowledge and instead learn from many people. Participate in training programs and upgrade your skills. If you have the expertise, then you deserve a higher position.
Second, prepare documents. Before talking to your boss, compile your updated CV, certificates, project reports, and portfolio. These will serve as proof of your great potential.
Third, talk about the benefits. Talk about the greater value that you can give to the team if you’re promoted. Do a little research and prepare your speech. Be specific about the details. What more can you do? How is your promotion going to benefit everyone?
You don’t need to demand a promotion. You can command it from the company through your actions and results. Before you complain that you are not paid enough or appreciated enough, ask yourself first: do you deserve a promotion? Do you give more effort on the job? Do you give it your all? Chanakya has this exact standard. Promotion should be based on how much income an employee brings into the company. This is a very practical way to measure an employee’s productivity.
Think about it. Try to calculate how much income you bring in one day of work, in one week, or one month. When you have figured out your financial contribution to the company, ask yourself again. Do you deserve to be promoted? What position should be assigned to you based on the income you generate? Make an actual report. Show the exact numbers and create a graph of your financial contribution. Compile it in a folder and present it to your boss. Explain to your boss why you deserve the promotion. Tell him about your great ideas for future projects.
The next step is to think like an employer. Imagine that you are the boss. Would you consider it a good investment if you get promoted, based on your present performance? See things from your boss’s perspective. What is it that he expects from you? What is his feedback on your performance? What are the responsibilities that he wants you to fulfill?
Start from there. Improve every aspect of your performance by exceeding the expectations of your boss. What is your monthly salary? The income that you generate for your company should be more than that amount. Then you can say that you deserve a salary increase. There was once an MBA student who had a job interview on campus.
The HR representative asked, “How much is your expected salary?” The student answered, “Sir, at this stage, it is for you to decide. But after my first 6 months, we can have a performance review. I will tell you then what my expected salary is based on my actual results.” Because of this, the MBA student was immediately hired.
Make People Accountable
It’s a challenge to hire the right people. It’s also a challenge to keep them on the job. But it’s a greater challenge to motivate people to become more efficient and productive. Chanakya has a practical solution. If the workers are unproductive, then make them pay a fine. But before you get into that difficult situation, here are some tips.
If you are a manager, these will help you to deal with your team members. If you are an employee, this will guide you so that you will not be punished by the boss. First, clearly define the expectations. The main reason why employees commit a mistake is that the boss failed to give them clear instructions. Make sure that you explain all the responsibilities of the employee. If they have questions, or if they have doubts, answer them. It is best to write down the responsibilities and have the employees save them on their computers so that they can go back to them if they forget.
Second, give reminders and follow-ups. This is especially when you are assigning a new task to your employee. You need more patience in guiding them and they need to practice. But once they learn the ropes, they can work with minimal supervision. If you don’t guide the employees or if you are not patient in teaching them, you will end up doing the task yourself. If you don’t teach and trust your people, then you would be a one-man team, which is not good.
On the other hand, if the manager always gives reminders to the employees but they don’t listen and follow his instructions, then it’s time to use a more serious approach. This is where the fine comes in. Chanakya said that the manager can make the unproductive employee pay a fine.
To show that this is not an empty threat, implement the rule. Punish people from time to time. If the employees know that there is a consequences for laziness, then they will surely prevent it from happening. Make your team understand how important their task is. Help them to see that improving their performance is not only for you. It is also for them. High productivity is a win-win situation for everyone.
Selecting the Right Person
This chapter is for HR personnel and small business owners. Move away from the typical questions that are asked in the interview. You can know the skills, educational background, and past experiences of an applicant through the resume. Chanakya said that it is more important to learn about the mindset or psychology of the applicant. By this, you will know more about the person. You will know if he is hard-working, if he is pleasant to work with or if he can handle difficult situations.
The following are some interesting questions you can ask. The first question is: “Who is your role model?”The usual first question in job interviews is, “Tell me about yourself.” But isn’t this a cliché? You will get to know the person better if you ask, “Who is your role model?”The candidate’s answer will reveal a lot about his personality and way of thinking.
You will learn who he looks up to and who he tries to imitate. For example, if the candidate replies, “Bill Gates,” then you will know that he is interested in IT. He may also have entrepreneurial skills. Or if he answers, “Gandhiji”, it means that the candidate values ethics and noble ideas.
The second question is: “Who do you spend most of your time with?”This will let you know about the lifestyle or the hobbies of the candidate, which will give you a hint about what matters most to him. If the candidate answers, “My family,” then you will know that he is a devoted parent. Or that he is dutiful to his parents. If the candidate says that he spends most of his time reading, then you know that he values knowledge and wisdom. If he says he spends most of his time with friends, then you will learn something else.
The third question is: “Suppose you were asked to…”This is a situational question. You will learn how the candidate will react to unexpected or difficult situations, how he handles problems and how he manages his emotions. For example, if the candidate is applying for the position of senior chartered accountant, you can ask him, “What if we assign you to be the marketing head in the coming year?”If he answers that he will accept it, then you will learn that the candidate can adapt to change. You will know that he is willing to learn new skills and expand his knowledge.
Don’t Beat Around the Bush
Time is gold. In your emails, phone calls, or conversations, get to the point at once. Tell your boss or your colleague what it is exactly that you need. Do not overdo the pleasantries or go around the topic. This is not being rude. It only means that you know the value of a person’s time. Besides, the sooner you state the problem, the sooner you can work out a solution for it.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? John wants to discuss something very important with the manager. He spends half an hour at his desk, gathering his courage and thinking of what he will say. But when he is in front of the manager, John talks about everything else except the matter that he wants to discuss. The manager slowly becomes irritated. He raises his voice and says, “John, please get to the point right now.”
You need to understand that those in higher positions got there because they are sharp and precise. They can see and address the core issues very quickly. They are used to making good decisions under pressure. So if you are talking to the boss, don’t beat around the bush. Managers want subordinates who are also sharp and precise. They want to work with people who don’t need to be told twice; people who understand what needs to be done the first time.
You can train yourself to become part of the A-team. First, strive to be sharp, brilliant, and mature. Don’t waste your time doing mundane things. Make sure that your every minute in the office is productive. Second, be a good listener. When the boss says something, really focus. Don’t think about anything else. Listen to it carefully and plan and do the necessary action. With practice, you can be sharp and precise as well.
Third, stay in touch. Establish good communication with your colleagues. You are a team and should be in sync with each other. Focus on the objective. Everyone should understand the task and do his part.
Reward Productive People
Many people are unmotivated in their jobs. That is why managers and HR people use the concept of incentives. If the employee is more productive, he should be entitled to rewards. Chanakya talked about this. He said that if the subordinate does more than what’s expected of him, the leader should appreciate and reward the extra effort. Giving bonuses for high performance is just one part of it.
Here are more tips on how the boss can reward productive people. First, keep notes. Write in a journal or make a file on your computer. Put the names of your subordinates and record them whenever they exceed your expectation. Know the great value of employees who are sincere and dedicated.
Second, look for new opportunities. The boss should take the time to provide more opportunities for productive employees. This can be a bigger task or a more impactful project. This will show that you trust that person. He will feel empowered and greatly appreciated and be motivated to keep going. This will also inspire other employees to do their best.
Third, promote when required. Do not hesitate to promote high performers. They are a rare asset to the team. Again, hard-working people are your most important investment. These people will do more if you reward them and give them bigger responsibilities.
Want to Be a Good Boss?
Many studies have shown that one of the main reasons why employees resign is because they cannot take the attitude of the boss. It is a challenging task to be a good manager. It cannot be taught in business schools or management seminars. People management requires empathy and a human touch. You should spend quality time with your employees. A few minutes are enough.
If you are giving a new task, first, give clear instructions. Go to their desk and calmly explain things. Second, monitor their performance. If the employee does something good, approach him at once and praise him. Tap his shoulder and tell him the amazing thing he did.
Third, if the employee makes a mistake, do not let it pass. Go to him and make him understand what exactly he did wrong. After that, reassure him that you trust him and that you know he will improve. All these only take a few minutes. It requires effort but this is an effective way to manage people. The boss should be like a father, full of concern and love. But at the same time, he should be a firm disciplinarian.
A father is always there to guide his children. You should strive to be like that too. This is the most effective way to avoid losing people and, more importantly, to bring out the best in them.
As an employee, you learned that you shouldn’t wait for your dream job. You should be the one to chase it. If you are bored of your repetitive tasks, ask for more responsibilities. Actively make the change. Before you complain about the salary, ask yourself first if you are generating enough income for the company.
As a boss, you learned that you need to spend time with your employees. Get out of your corner. Know the needs of content employees and try to satisfy those who are discontent. Always give clear instructions. Take the time to reprimand or praise your employees. Learn how to be fair and how to be calm.
There is a chance for you to get promoted. Practice how to be more sharp and precise. Focus on your main objectives and train yourself to always be productive. If you are not rewarded in your current job, other opportunities will surely open for you. Just persevere and maintain a positive attitude.