Episode # 258 – “Why should key business deals be handled as a secret?” – Vidura explains!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed an extension of the discussion on why should we make sure that we respect women at all times! We had witnessed series of instances from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana as to how an entire dynasty or clan was destroyed just because of the curse of one woman! In the case of Ramayana, Ravana’s powerful Lanka was reduced to rubbles because of the curse of the one and only Mother Sita! Similarly we’re witnessing how Duryodhana and Co. are going to be destroyed complelely because of the curse of one woman by name Draupati. Thus the reason why Vidura is stressing upon this point repeatedly time and again is that, King Dhirdiraashtra should realize that he’s committing a brazen mistake in his life by letting his sons insult women and take them for granted!

Now moving on further, Vidura explains the next important point. Here he says who should do what work! As a king, he should allocate different work to different people. This is what we call in today’s corporate terminology as “Human Resources Management”. It is wonderful to witness how Vidura has spoken something in lines with our Human Resources Management” principles, thousands of years back! Vidura explains thus:

“Pithur anthahpuram dadyaath maaturdadhyaan mahaarasam!

Goshucha aatmasamam dadyaath svayameva krishim vadeth!!”

Here Vidura lists four different jobs and four different categories of people who should take care of each of the jobs! The first one, Vidura says – Pithur anthahpuram dadyaath”This means that the duties, roles and responsibilities of the “Anthahpura” should be undertaken by the father, or in other words, the man of the house! We can of course equate the term “Antahpura” to our modern day “housekeeping”, maintenance activities at home with respect to water, electricity, etc. Thus Vidura says that the father is the person who is capable of handling all these jobs efficiently.

Next, Vidura says – Maaturdadhyaan mahaarasam”All affairs pertaining to the kitchen and food, should be supervised and taken care of by the mother, in other words, the woman of the house! Here we can see clearly that Vidura is trying to allocate the apt job for the apt set of people. Of course in today’s world both men and women need to be competent in everything, including cooking. But the point is, there are certain jobs that come easily and handy for men and there are certain jobs that come easily and handy for women. This is how the human psychology functions, irrespective of whether we accept it or not! If we look at the natural psychological trends of a man and a woman in general, men would be more interested in outdoor activities such as driving cars, bikes, identifying automobile brands with their models of vehicles that they come up every now and then, etc. Whereas if we compare it with the woman, her likes would predominantly be cleanliness at home, cooking different kinds of dishes, etc. Of course there’s no offense here with respect to any gender. All I’m trying to say is that, there are certain jobs that come naturally to men and similarly for women. In that way, cooking is one job that comes naturally for a woman and hence Vidura mentions here that all kitchen activities are to be taken care of by the woman of the house. Here we can understand from every instance of this sloka that Vidura is appointing the right person for the right job!

Next, Vidura explains – Goshucha aatmasamam dadyaath”Here he says that a cowshed should be maintained by a trusted person equivalent of us. It might be a family friend, a relative, etc. Overall, the cowshed should be maintained by a person who can be cent percent trusted by us. This is probably because, there is always this chance that cows or their milk might be stolen away to make money illegally, if there are people who cannot be trusted!

Finally Vidura explains – “svayameva krishim vadeth” – Here Vidura explains the most important point. As a king, any business dealing that comes with either a barter trade or in exchange with money should directly be supervised by him, and not by anybody else! It is because, money matters and business deals should be dealt carefully and the “trade secrets” should be protected at any cost. This is the reason why even today, many companies follow this principle – All the important business decisions would only be concentrated around the CEO of the organization or within its board members. Other employees who work down the corporate ladder would many a times not be apprised on the strategic decisions that the CEO or board members take. It is only the execution part that is apprised to the lower level employees. This is because there is always a possibility that the trade secrets would be exposed to the outside world, if it is shared with more and more employees! Although they might not do it wantedly on purpose, however there are many channels through which critical and sensitive information would leak out to the public domain!

This concept is beautifully depicted by a very famous leadership theory called “Leader-Member Exchange”. It talks about two types of followers for a leader – The “In-group” and the “Out-group”. The people forming the “IN-group” would be trusted group of people for the leader, with whom the strategic decisions are taken! Members who form the “OUT-Group” are only employed for the implementation of the decisions, and not for the decision-making in itself! Of course there are advantages and disadvantages to this concept, but this is exactly what Vidura explains here too – If it is a business deal, it is to be maintained secret and should directly be supervised by the king alone!

It is amazing to find exact relevance of modern day management and leadership theories to those explanations given by Vidura on account of the “Raaja-Dharma”. There are many more such instances that are yet to come, and we shall wait till tomorrow’s episode to take it forward! Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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