ABSTRACT

The book, as aptly titled, explains the myriad ways in which successful management can be achieved. The author starts by introducing Chanakya, the 4th Century B.C. scholar also named Vishnugupta and Kautilya who wrote about his lifelong work in his books Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti. The author goes on to add that the principles expounded in this book are taken from Chanakya’s techniques of management as told in these ancient texts written by him.

The book is divided into three parts- Leadership, Management and Training. The first part deals with different aspects of leadership associated with power, qualities of a good leader, what is meant by competition, how to manage people and pitfalls a good leader should avoid. An important point focused in this section of the book is how different factors contribute to the making of a powerful organization. Most CEOs, says the author, refer to the struggle for power as though it was a warfare strategy. Interestingly, first six books of Arthashastra are dedicated to the art of warfare. This part aptly discusses different kinds of ‘power’ in the corporate world, how power brings responsibilities, the art of punishment by a person in power, how one can retain the powerful position, creating one’s own law within the organization, keeping the working of the office in control, delegating power to leaders at different hierarchical levels, maintaining confidentiality and ‘secrets’ in a wellmanaged organization and spelling out the seven pillars of business. All in all a good lowdown on what constitutes power management.

Part II deals with management and how various aspects need to be managed well if holistic management of organizations is required. This part discusses the various ways in which employees must be taken care of, how finance should be well-managed, how team work should be encouraged and strategy of the company must be wellcharted out if organizations want to manage themselves well. A commendable section is the one on strategy which discusses different principles of management, managing multiple projects, strategies that politicians should adopt, strategy required to constantly stay updated, disaster management and aspects related to corporate social responsibility.

Part III deals with different levels of training- training young minds and catching young talent, training leaders and bosses so that they may perform well in their organizations, training the organization to manage their different departments well and giving sound advice and providing informed consultancy to clients. The last chapter is indeed beneficial as that explains how knowledge from the ancient text of Arthashastra may be applied to the current times so that organizations may be managed well.

The book is a good treatise on management mantras giving details about how one should create, preserve and maintain an organization in order to make it productive and constantly upgraded. What is intriguing is the logical way in which this book is written. The author focuses on the development of ‘Aanveekshikee’ or ‘Logic’ to be able to read this book well as more than anything it delves on ‘Intelligence Management’. The main aim of the book it seems is to make one into a strategist.

The book is authored by Radhakrishnan Pillai who is an ardent believer in ancient Vedic knowledge of scriptures. He studied the ancient text Arthashastra at Chinmaya International Foundation, Kerala under the guidance of Dr. Gangadharan Nair. The author is currently the director of SPM Foundation and founder-director of Chanakya Institute of Public Leadership that trains political leaders and aspirants. He is also the founder of Atma Darshan, a spiritual tourism venture. The book is unique in its subject as it gives a perspective complimenting the accepted western notions of management. Each chapter has verses or sutras from the original Arthashastra where the verse number is written in brackets. It is a must read as it has some good pointers for those seeking leadership positions in their respective organizations.

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