A child psychologist was once asked by a father, “My son is eight years old. When should I start teaching him the values of life?” Pat came with a reply: “Start right now! You are already eight years late!”
Management training is somewhat similar. Leaders usually wonder when they should start training their juniors and subordinates for taking up higher responsibilities at the management level.
Kautilya advises the teachers and students to begin management education as early as possible. He says: “For, a fresh object absorbs whatever it is smeared with. Similarly, this prince, immature in intellect, understands as the teaching of the science whatever it is told. Therefore, he should instruct him in what conduces to spiritual and material good, not in what is spiritually and materially harmful.” (1.17.31-33)
It is important for the various B-schools and corporate trainers to understand that management is not just an activity or position, but a ‘mindset’ that needs to be developed as early as possible. Training by various instructions, case studies and also giving live examples will attune the mind of young people to handle management responsibilities in a better manner.
Why should one start early?