New ventures are usually labours of love for entrepreneurs, and they become emotionally attached to them, referring to the business as “my baby” and using similar parenting language without even noticing. This love very often becomes a bottleneck to the productivity and growth of the very organisation they love. It becomes difficult for them to be part of teams, when someone else (Who may not even be a shareholder within the company) is leading a particular team. I have seen lot of founders trying to micro manage the resources within. I would like to share a story on How Chanakya, the chief Minister of Chandragupta, used to manage his resources.
Chandragupta’s chief Minister Chanakya was a very wise and well-read man. Ones an envoy came from china to discuss the “philosophy of politics” with him. The Chinese envoy had a royal lifestyle and was also arrogant. He requested Chanakya for an appointment and was told to go to his house at night
At the correct time the Chinese man reached the hut of Chanakya. He saw chanakya sitting and writing something under the light of a very small lamp (diya). He was surprised and wondered why the chief minister should use such a small lamp and thought himself as much better off in China.
Chanakya got up, respectfully welcomed him and offered a seat. Before the talks could begin Chanakya put the diya off and lighted another one. After the discussions were over Chanakya put off the new diya and lighted the old one back again!
As the envoy ws going out he could not contain himself from asking Chanakya why he did all this. Chanakya said, “When you reached my house, I was doing my personal study and for which I was using my diya. When I started talking to you I put it off and put the government diya on, Which I have put off as soon as the discussion were over. I am sometimes the ‘Chief Minister” and sometimes an ‘ordinary citizen’ and I know the difference between the two.
It is very important for founders to know, when they have to act like a Director, Owner and When they have to be “Ordinary employee”. Knowing the difference is what will make your team more productive, successful, participative and will help you in fulfilling your dreams.