“Politics is a dirty field – it’s not for me”. Most of us run away from the very word of politics. After all, politicians are commonly perceived to be selfish, corrupt, and totally manipulative.
It may be true to a great extent. But don’t generalise. You can benefit a lot from “good politicians”, more than from management books. Leaders of various organisations, especially form the corporate world can learn a lot from politicians on how to run an organisation, if they interact with them regularly.
Kautilya declares that a king who has not learnt politics is an unfit king: “A king who has not learnt the teaching of the science of politics in unfit to listen to counsel.” (1.15.61)
It means that such a leader will not be able to benefit from the advices and suggestions given to him.
For most people, reading this statement may come as a shock. However, it is by learning politics that Kautilya himself became a mastermind, a master strategist, a great visionary, and a king-maker, that he was. Kautilya was also an expert in the science of politics, which made him an unparalleled statesman.
It’s about dealing with people. It’s about how you can sail your ship in rough weathers.
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.