Episode # 260 – “Appointing apt people as ministers – Success ‘Mantra’ for a King!” Vidura’s key advice for modern day leaders!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed a very important point of discussion pertaining to the confidentiality and secrecy behind key decision making and implementation. We had witnessed that until a policy or decision is implemented successfully, it should be maintained a secret within the closed leadership group, by not disclosing about it in advance for other people to sense. The implication here in the business sense is that, if key policy decisions are leaked out, competitors would prey on them and would take full advantage of it to nail us left right center! For instance, if an organization is into manufacturing of mobile phones and a policy decision within the company is to upgrade an existing mobile phone product with some additional features, why do we say that these policy decisions are strictly maintained confidential? It is because, if these new upcoming features of the mobile phone are leaked out, the competitor companies who manufacture mobile phones would adopt these new features into their products and release it before we do! If that happens, where is the business opportunity for us? It is grabbed by the competitior, isn’t it? This is why, trade secrets are maintained strictly confidential within the four walls of the company in such a way that the competitor would never even have a clue about what this company is doing!

Of course once the mobile phone is out in the market, and if it gains huge popularity, the company can disclose its manufacturing secret at that point in time. This too should be done in a tactful manner and not in a rush and in a hasty manner. The procedure of manufacturing would be patented first, so that nobody else replicates or copies the procedure to make money! Such is the importance given to secrecy and confidentiality of key decisions taken within an organization with respect to its policy, especially with respect to new product/service development.

Now moving on further, Vidura explains the next important point. He explains who should be employed as the key “Mantris” or ministers by a king in his courtroom. Vidura explains thus:

“Naa pareekshya maheepaalaha kuryaah sachivamaatmanaha!”

This is an important point to ponder – Even for all of us in today’s world. This can be considered an extension of the point on recruitment, 2 episodes ago wherein we discussed that the right person should be recruited for the right job! Here Vidura talks about the ministry of King Dhirdiraashtra and warns him that he unfortunately did not have such right people to advise him. Especially when heinous crimes in the form of the infamous gambling game and public insult of a woman took place in front of the entire courtroom, none of his ministers had the guts to interfere and stop those proceedings! Hence Vidura poses indirect questions to King Dhirdiraashtra if at all his so-called ministers are even qualified enough to adorn such an important role!

Saying thus, Vidura explains the “Raaja Dharma” that when a king appoints his ministers, he should be extremely careful in doing so, by checking each and every person whether he/she is really qualified enough to be in that position. This is because, the role of the minister to a king is an extremely critical one, wherein he/she should advise the king on several sensitive matters, while decision making. We’ve previously spoken about secrecy and confidentiality in decision making and having qualified people as ministers helps a king in doing so. This is applicable widely in today’s scenario too. It is a requirement that any leader in the top position of a machinery, for instance the Prime Minister of the country or a Chief Minister of a particular state should have a cabinet (group of trusted ministers) that comprises of highly qualified people, both in terms of education as well as in terms of experience. Ultimately, the effectiveness of any decision being made with respect to policy frameworks and implementation lies at the behest of these selected and handful set of cabinet ministers. Hence the leader should be extremely careful in recruiting people for these positions.

So for today, let us introspect upon this important point in Human Resources Management and Leadership. Let us understand and appreciate the significance of recruiting the right person for the right job because this is the fundamental requirement for the success of any team or organization or even the government as a whole! We shall wait till the next episode to witness Vidura’s next important point of discussion. 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 International School of Business & Media, Pune, 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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