All Management theories and concepts are based on certain principles. These essentials are the basic foundations on which we evaluate if the manager has been efficient, the organisation productive and the objectives achieved. Today management is not just a subject but also considered a science but also an art.
But what exactly is management? How does one define management? Various voluminous books are available to answer this question. However, Kautilya has given the most refined view of management in a single verse in as short as five pointers in verse 42 of Chapter 15 of Book one of the Arthashastra.
Kautilya says, the basic elements of management are:
When we say we have to manage, the question is what to manage? We need some project or an assignment in order to start acting upon. Without a project or an assignment, one cannot be called a manager. However, the best manager is the one who not only takes up a project given by his boss but instead ‘creates’ projects on his own. Stephen Covey in his book, The seven Habits of highly effective people, describes this as ‘proactiveness’—the highest quality of a good leader.
A manager has some resources at his discretion to be used in order to accomplish his tasks. They are the men who work under his direction and the tools that are used by him and these men. Hence other quality of a good manager is to make his men highly productive and optimally utilise materials like machinery, space, budgets etc given to him in order to reach his objectives.
When to attack the enemy is not a question to answer. It requires careful planning, analysis and also patience.