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Key to Success

The key to success is silence

While making a corporate strategy, there are certain associations and relationships that one needs to keep secret from others. And there are some that need to be given openly to the public. Learn to differentiate between the two.

For example, the brand ambassador of a company should be openly used in order to achieve the desired branding and sales target. But people being used within the corporate structure—like the key technicians or consultants—should never be publicised.

Therefore, to succeed in any project, Chanakya suggests, “In case of secret association, those concluded in secret shall succeed” (3.1.11)

Every business leader has friends, strategists, associates, and market intelligence experts, from whom he takes advice and to whom he even gives information. These are his resources for thoughts. Until and unless it is required, he should never make them public. Only after understanding this can he succeed in reaching his desired results.

Here are some steps for maintaining secrecy in a project:

Never give your opponent a second chance; you may not survive the counter-attack!


Let the idea evolve

Many people get excited when they come up with a ‘billion-dollar’ idea. They go on telling others about it. They feel they have hit a goldmine and others will come to buy this idea. However, it’s just a matter of time before someone else (including your competitors) takes the idea and may even go on to profit from it. So please let the idea mature in your heart and mind before you work on it. Take time with yourself.

Experiment it quietly

As your ideas take shape, talk to a few people—just a few, who can help you make it practically viable. Think through all the areas that are important to make a project successful—like the research involved, finance required, the people needed, the technical expertise, time to complete the project etc. Then, before you go for the full project, do a pilot project. Thus, you will know the difficulties involved. Remember, a sculptor always makes a six-inch model before the actual 60-foot statue!

Execute effectively

You should make your moves very quietly until the time to attack comes. Most importantly, you should keep all plans away from your competitor’s eyes. However, when you do execute the plan, make sure that it is complete and perfect. As the saying goes, “Never give your opponent a second chance; you may not survive the counter-attack!”

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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