Give thought to where you can retreat

Give thought to where you can retreat

There are times when emergencies and crises force people to run off. Then one needs to go to a friend or an ally who will extend a helping hand.
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Emergencies do happen. Fire-fighting situations occur all the time. Even in the highly competitive corporate world of today, an enemy can attack you suddenly. And one needs to be prepared for that.

Chanakya says, “In the absence of help-mates, he should find shelter in a fort where the enemy, even with a large army, would not cut off his food, fodder, fuel and water, and would himself meet with losses and expenses” (7.15.9).

There are times when emergencies and crises force people to run off. Then one needs to go to a friend or an ally who will extend a helping hand.

But, when that is not possible, one still needs to retreat to a shelter.

Chanakya gives us tips for this:

Finding a fort

A fort is generally a well-protected place and not just some other house for shelter. A fort has got guards protecting it and will have the king in the midst of it.

In today’s corporate world, a fort would denote all those places where the heads of organisations usually sit and operate from.

Therefore, it is suggested that a king (the chairman, director or CEO) should maintain friendships with many other kings (his counterparts). So in troubled times, he can seek shelter in their forts.

Protection from the enemy

The enemy could be someone who is not only after you but can also reach you.

And when he realises that you are under the shelter and protection of another king at his fort, he will think twice before attacking.

After all, battles are won not only on the battlefields alone but also in the minds of warriors. And when you have another king on your side, you automatically gain psychologically.

Inflicting losses in return

When an enemy comes out to attack you, he does so after calculating all possible losses and expenses: Numbers that were relevant when you were alone, and when it was easy to grab you.

Now, when you are in the shelter of another fort and friend, it will take more effort, energy and time for the enemy to get at you. He will be forced to plan a new strategy, and even how many soldiers he may lose himself in the process. Therefore, it is a very positive situation for you, wherein you have upped losses for your enemy.

In all of these steps, Chanakya—being a very sharp military strategist—always thought out an ‘exit policy’ before any situation actually arose. So should you.

In the corporate boardroom or in the marketplace or even while signing any contract, it is very important to think from all aspects and leave an exit option for you too.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.

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