Chanakya, who lived in India in the 4th Century BC, was a leadership guru par excellence. The treasure of his teachings can be found in his book, The Arthashastra, which deals with good governance based on ideal leadership. The concept of the ideal nation in The Arthashastra, called Saptanga, holds that there are seven pillars of a kingdom: Swami, Amatya, Janpada, Durg, Kosha, Dand, Mitra. For centuries, Indian rulers have used this concept as a model of successful government.
In this path-breaking book, Chanakya's 7 Secrets of Leadership, author Radhakrishnan Pillai delves into Chanakya's Saptanga with the real-life example of D. Sivanandhan. Former Director General of Police, Maharashtra and the archetype of an able administrator, Sivanandhan shares his guidelines for effective management, highlighting those that make him a dynamic leader.
In Chanakya's 7 Secrets of Leadership, theory meets practice, academic research meets vast experience in police supervision and an age-old formula is revealed in a modern-day success story. Together, Pillai and Sivanandhan bring Chanakya's model to life. Anyone can use the seven secrets of leadership to run a kingdom effectively. Apply them in your life and the magic of Chanakya's wisdom will transform you into the ideal leader.
About the Authors
Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian author and the founder-director of Chanakya Institute of Public Leadership. He has represented India in many international conferences. Pillai has authored books like Corporate Chanakya on Leadership and Corporate Chanakya on Management.
D. Sivanandhan is the former Director General of Police, Maharashtra. He has played an important role in rebuilding the defenses after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008. Sivanandhan has also served in the National Security Council Secretariat. He has co-authored the book Chanakya’s 7 Secrets of Leadership.
When you talk of leaders who played a key role in the past to shape the future of our country, one of the first few names that pops up in your mind is that of Chanakya. He is, very truly, regarded as the king-maker, his decisions leading to several milestones in the history of this country. Though he himself never ruled the land, it was his brilliant leadership abilities that have been studied and analysed since time immemorial.
Chanakya’s Arthashastra states that an ideal nation can be formed only if it has the seven key pillars – Swami, Amatya, Janpada, Durg, Kosha, Dand and Mitra. Radhakrishnan Pillai, the author, brilliantly uses these points in the context of effective leadership, explaining how effective utilization of these can lead to harmony and give birth to successful leaders. He primarily illustrates the real life examples of D. Sivanandhan, former Commissioner of Police, Mumbai and Director General of Police, Maharashtra, reflecting how his judgement and actions at times of crises proved valuable, signifying his high leadership abilities.
The seven points in Saptanga are vividly explained. Swami defines a leader and his quality, and states how he should perform his duties with utmost honesty and integrity. Amatya signifies the role of a manager, and delves into the similarities and differences between a leader and a manager. It suggests how a manager can become a good manager, and the characteristics one needs to possess in this respect. Janpada throws light on the importance of the citizens and the customers, as they are the key part of any business. The conflicts, if any, between interests of self and those of the subjects should be minimized, and serving the customers should be the top priority for any unit. Their welfare should be looked upon and help and aid provided wherever necessary.
Durg defines the infrastructure that should be created for the growth of a project. World class facilities should be the norm of the day, and no compromise must be made in that regard. Whenever required, one should also be open to inputs and assistance from others, as that might make reaching the target quicker and in a more effective manner. Kosha speaks of financial management, and how it is a key ingredient for any project. Long term investments should be considered, as that would yield more fruitful dividends. Creation of funds is importance, and so is the maintenance. Dand refers to teamwork, and how people should be inspired to do their job in the best possible manner. Training should be provided that would help the team members in building their competency, and deserving candidates rewarded.
Creating a network of friends encompass Mitra. Meetings should be organized, and inputs taken to formulate the strategy. Also, one needs to help friends when they are in need, as they are a vital part in the chain.
What I really loved about this book is the continuity of ideas and flows. The language is simple and doesn't bog you down. The numerous examples help you in understanding the seven mantras in a better manner, and how they could be applied to real life. We often consider these ideologies to be best suited for free advice, but this book teaches you to learn and work with them. Surely, the pages are packed with the secrets of leaderships.
We all aspire to be leaders, today, tomorrow, someday, irrespective of our professions. This book is a perfect guide that will help you answer your doubts and motivate you to tackle your problems and find the solutions hidden in them. A must read I would say, for all those who dream big, and aim to grow and make something big out of their lives.
Title: Chanakya's 7 Secrets Of Leadership
Authors: D. Sivanandhan, Radhakrishnan Pillai
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2014
Genre: Business, Strategy
No. of Pages: 264
Price: Rs 299
My Rating: 4/5