KIRTIPUR, 15 JUNE 2017 — Kautilya, an ancient philosopher namely called Chanakya, is unparalleled diplomat whose knowledge is not limited to management but also sported in economics, political science, power exercise, military operation and many other fields. His theories and concept are still extensively useful and valid in modern age.
Modern age is running in template or set of protocol or rules. However, we are here to bend reality in our way to get different result for newness. Perception of technology, here, has unparalleled view.
People in modern age, especially in school of management, consider Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool which is used only to maximize productivity of human kind. In a way, human kind, technology and productivity are major elements of conventional perception respectively and in most of management ideas in school of management are designed considering conventional perception. However, this is not only the case appeared while working in technology management. Technology, especially digital technology, is also rendering our few social activities which are being neglected while managing technology.
Those neglected effect of technology can be coined with different insightful that is de-constructive perception in which technology is being viewed external factor of social activities to effect or to render social activities. It is almost reverse view of conventional perception. This perception has visualized economic and social cost, and relationship dynamics in conflict actualized by digital technology in higher e-readiness society. So, ideal scenario of higher e-readiness society having digital conversation is in higher priority and the social conversation generates conflicts with side effects of economic and social cost which turn social relationship in new dynamics (network) again.
The de-constructive perception is very vital while visualizing, managing and enforcing conflict management in technology management, especially in digital technology. However, conventional perception is also equally important while leading technical team in modern age.
Leadership in Technology Management
Don’t be a king, be king maker – Learning from Biography of Chanakya
Who do want to be a leader? Or king? Do you? All want to be a lead or want to lead the society or want to be a king. Modern school of management teaches how to be a leader or a king. However, a lesson learned from biography of Chanakya is “Don’t be a kind, be a king maker.” His lesson teaches us how make a leader to lead the society rather than desire to be leader only. A leader, even dwarf in age, with knowledge might exist but without knowledge does not make any legacy and it is not possible even to imagine a leader without knowledge.
Youth in leadership
Age does not matter, knowledge matters.
Youths are nowadays in leadership and they are leading the world. Few milliners are boys in contemporary world. Let’s take a tiny example from my own experience into this account of age and knowledge.
I was 19 years old when I was about to start up my very first start-up of technology. I established computer institute even I has only few knowledge of computer applications but I had gone through strong fundamental knowledge of computing then. Those knowledge and sensitivity of management with humanity helped me to wage out my idea in my start-up business. I unfolded this business only for meeting my goal of academic enhancement earning money for my tuition fee in college. On a way of 21 years, I led technical team of instructors in an institute for one and half years, was a project team leader in Software Company in 23 years, was leading technical team for national level project of poverty alleviation in 25 years and was leading knowledge management of international organization in 27 years. Knowledge makes us meaningful and puts us in position to lead and equally make other leaders on the way. Hence, knowledge is essential to a leader. Don’t get only information; conceive knowledge – academic knowledge, social knowledge and ideological knowledge which build strong foundation of origin and nature of ideas.
Knowledge for a leader
In a way, Kautilya advises:
“Just as an elephant, blinded by intoxication and mounted by an intoxicated driver, crushes whatever it finds (on the way), so the kind, not possessed of the eye of science, and (hence) blind, has risen to destroy the citizens and the country people.” (1.14.7)
A leader should be vivid in fundamental or principle knowledge of subject which leads him to analyze the context of knowledge or subject matter in his domain. Research and development would add additional fuel to not only in his analyzing power but also in business process. So, try to acquire knowledge rather than only information of the world and should share those knowledge to new comers to make new leader. Train youth and make vivid them in idea and knowledge to carry on your idea to next generation. Making your own idea is essential or features of the leader.
Make your own rules for your own idea or result
Following only conventional or same method is way of finding paralleled idea or result. If you are following same path, your destination would be the same as mentioned earlier. Modern age is following a pattern or template to get a same result. Unless you break the process or rules, you won’t get new idea or result. But, don’t break the law.
Let’s take an example to make new result or idea. Let’s consider product “A” has three steps in product line. If you are following same step in production line, you would get product “A” no product “A1”. Break production steps or re-arrange production steps or change configuration of steps in production line, you would get new product “A1” with original essence, and likely it is the new version of the product “A”. However, making vividly new product like “B” is defragmentation of ideas and knowledge which is based on context. A leader should know about this contextual knowledge and defragmentation of ideas to make own rules to lead.
Following few steps would help you to make your own rules. They are 1. First understand conventional rules in deep, 2. Visualize your goal and don’t deviate from your mission or goals, 3. Change configuration of steps in business process of production line or re-arrange steps of production line and 4. Make your own rules for your goals.
Ethics and Integrity
Ethics in business process is vividly essential adhering law and ethics are standing point in conflict management or in conflict scenario. Never break ethics since it is your property and identity with standing point in your decision making and working with team. Your integrity makes meaning and your self-image in leadership among team members.
Kautilya – “A king should think and exercise power for welfare of citizen, else of failure, his legacy ends.”
A leader’s consideration and priority should be in line of welfare of end beneficiary and team members tapping mission or goals. Learn for yourself and work for others – community. Decentralize your work delegating authority but work as on team for your mission. Each member is responsible for successful mission. Handle them very carefully within core governance of impact phenomena rather than goal settings phenomena. Don’t blame member for failure or low performance, rather identify capacity or skill of member and assign work accordingly to meet his goal within timeframe. Try to understand his/her personal issues not only his/her failure or low performance. His personal issues might unknowingly stop him to gear up his performance. Try to address his personal issues if it is possible within organizational capacity and context. Don’t force only to work, learn to appreciate and inspire him. And major fold is trust among team members. Step in to trust building trust among members and give appropriate credit of their work. Sometime, such carrot does not work. Carrot and stick are though the best strategy to control and govern team. In this age a leader should learn to punish since it’s an art. The leader should turn the punishment into constructive input for successful mission. The punishment is like wastes which can be re-cycle of production line which ultimately contributes his legacy in future.
Making heritage is not in fact easy in this world. Vividly visualization, community working attitude making new leader, ethics and integrity establishing own idea with sustainable approach and passion for working harder and harder contribute to legacy of the leader. While visualizing as human being, we tend to overestimate ourselves within one year but we tend to underestimate ourselves within three years. Visualize your goals vividly with five senses – touch, image, smell, voice and test. Learn for yourself and work for needy and community making new leader. Observe your ethics and integrity in the work and business process. Establish your idea with sustainable approach. Affordability and appropriateness are two core elements of sustainable development or approach. Ensure these two elements with your passion in your business.
You would be successful to establish your own legacy only working for community. Learn for yourself and work for community – legacy.
Conflict is not always destructive however it can be constructive morphing it into new horizon of hope facilitating and mediating. Conflicting parties need sometime guideline or direction to find out appropriate way out for conflict resolution which is sometime possible with simple facilitation. The leader should be good facilitator within team building through understanding ground of reality which could be possible meeting conflicting parties separately and searching for common ground to mitigate issues. Especially while working with technical team and clientele, communication gap and understanding gap between technical team like engineering team and clientele are big cause to initiate conflict between them. I have exactly an experience through which I have gone for facilitation for conflict resolution between software engineering team and clientele.
Fragile conflict sometime takes time to resolute. Beyond facilitating, sometime legitimacy has to mediate conflicting parties with lawful conditions and options to resolute conflict but without arbitration. In a same way as facilitation, understanding ground of reality, meet conflicting parties separately a leader could find out negotiation tactics to mediate conflicting parties to set common ground to negotiate with lawful condition and options. My experience during my research work in 2013 in Mamma VDC of Okhaldhunga, I have going through observation of conflict mediation by local police whom I brought to light the conflict scene connecting conflict parties to them. The conflict was about abuse of mobile use.
Decision – making in time
“He should bear (at once) every urgent matter, (and) not put it off. An (affair) postponed becomes difficult to settle or even impossible to settle.” (1.19.30)
Ignorance of people and their values sometime put you in difficult situation. Do not afraid to make decision with mindfulness. Delay in justice is no justice. So, set up a time frame to make decision or agreement for resolution. Once you made delay to take decision, the conflict might be sometimes impossible to resolute.
Also encourage team members to take decision facilitating them showing benefit and consequences of taking decisions.
Contribute to Community
Working for community with community making leader for community is impressive phenomena of eastern management philosophy. Learn, share and contribute to the community for new comers. It gives you life time happiness – which is important for your success mechanism and self-image and it also equally contribute to establish your own legacy in future.
Learn for yourself and work for other – community, a legacy.
(This article was prepared for a guest lecture in school of management of Tribhuvan University and has been published in blog – https://rajendrabanepali.wordpress.com after sharing.)