20 Important Lessons from Chanakya to Develop Strong Leadership Skills

Chanakya was a well-known economist and a political adviser. His works were lost towards the end of the Gupta dynasty and later discovered only during 1915. Chanakya was an Indian teacher, philosopher, and royal advisor. He was initially a professor of economics and political science at the ancient Takshashila University in Takshashila (in present day Pakistan) He is also known by the names Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta) and lived from 370 BC to 283 BC.

Here are some important lessons from Chanakya that can help you develop strong leadership skills.

  1. Learn from the mistakes of others, you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves.
  2. A person should not be too honest, straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.
  3. Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.
  4. As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.
  5. A man is born and dies alone. He experiences the good and bad consequences of his Karma alone.
  6. People who work sincerely are the happiest.
  7. World’s biggest power is youth and the beauty of a woman.
  8. Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – why am I doing this, what the results might be and will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.
  9. Conciliate a covetous man by means of a gift, an obstinate man with folded hands in salutation, a fool by humoring him and a learned man by truthful words.
  10. Even from the poison extract nectar, wash and take back gold if it has fallen in filth, receive the highest knowledge from a lowborn person.
  11. There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.
  12. The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.
  13. Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendship will never give you happiness.
  14. If you get to learn something even from the worst of enemies; do not hesitate.
  15. Avoid him who talks sweetly before you but tries to ruin you behind your back, for he is like a pitcher of poison with milk on top.
  16. An evil person causes harm even if treated well.
  17. A low-minded people should not be given a good advice.
  18. Till the time you don’t decide to run, you are not in the competition.
  19. The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of the person spreads in all directions.
  20. Time perfects men as well as destroys them.
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