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Friday, September 10, 2010

Plan Well Before Delegating Any Work

(This weekly column will bring out the relevance of Kautilya's Arthashastra in today's corporate world)

Take any organisation and you are bound to find a boss who is frustrated with his subordinates. While a junior worker can be blamed for non-productivity to some extent, most of the problem is caused due to a lack of proper planning before delegating the work itself.

In Arthashastra, Chanakya had included a chapter on 'Training of elephants'. He said: "In conformity with the appearance, he should give exercise to the gentle and the dull (elephant), and to the animal with mixed characteristics, in various types of work, or in accordance with the season." (2.31.18)

So Chanakya calls for identifying a potential candidate as per its (an elephant in this case) nature and even according to the different seasons as it may affect the work which has to be given.

In human terms, we can understand how much thought has to be given to choose the 'right person for the right job'.

After all, a mistake at this stage can create real frustration in the long run.

But how does one do that?


This is the first step for effectively carrying out what is called man-management. Many bosses fail to do this. When an interview is conducted, an shrewdly written CV or resume can impress all. Even the answers and discussions in the interview itself may portray the candidate as promising one.

But there is a big difference between promises and actual delivery of work. Give yourself time before passing judgement on any person. Always observe and study a person for a minimum of three months (that's what training periods are for).

Watch them closely and observe their strengths and weaknesses. You will get a better grasp of his nature, behaviour and potential output.


A person who is very successful in one venture may not be successful if given another one in a different situation. Even the most successful salesman may fail when it comes to selling a different product or in a different region.

So understand that each person's output is not guaranteed forever. Different situations and circumstances can change a person's productivity and even performance. And you have to identify them.


Next, you really need to understand how a person's output changes in different timings. For example, students generally learn much better if they study during early mornings.

That's because the mind tends to become lazy later on in the day and, hence, memorising topics takes more effort on the student's part.

Chanakya referred to this as "seasons". So find out what are the best productive times for your subordinates and allocate work " accordance with the season!"

All successful businessmen and leaders know the art of delegating work. If you want to be a successfully man-manager too, then thinking, planning, studying and experimenting with human psychology will become essential.

- Radhakrishnan 'Chanakya' Pillai.
The author is a 'leadership strategy' trainer and consultant

Times of India (Mumbai Mirror
5th May 08)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tips to Improve Your Memory

Take tests - why do we push things into memory. Because, we would like to recall it when the need arises. How do you know you will be able to recall when you need it? Simple, Take tests periodically and makes repeated attempts in recalling. Regular recall improves memory.

Take breaks - if you have 3.5 hours to read, break it into 4 parts: 45 minutes followed by a 5 to 10 minute break. Studies indicate that you can't concentrate for more than 45 minutes.

Sleep on it - what you review immediately before going to sleep is what your brain will most quickly and efficiently file away. So review just before sleep.

Relax - the Thinking Brain functions best when you are relaxed and free from stress.

Reading habits - read out loud; don't bother if it disturbs others at home. Walk while you read; don't bother if it disturbs your others at home.

Draw charts - write and rewrite key ideas and formula.

Use flash cards - flash cards facilitate constant review and instantly help to check output. Rules, principles, formula should all go into it.

Revision - you should revise shortly after the learning period. At first, say within 10 minutes after learning and then, again, within the next 24 hours. The reason: when you finish learning, the brain has not had enough time to organize and store everything. It needs a few minutes to store, organise and integrate the data. Studies show that 82% of what you learn today can be forgotten in 24 hours if you do not make a special effort to remember it.

Interest is the mother of attention and attention is the mother of memory.

The best way to remember is to repeat; and the best way to repeat is to “teach” some one else.

If exhaustion or drowsiness comes on frequently, take some phosphate tonic, preferably kali phos 6x or 12x prescribed by homeopaths.

MBA Club India