Books

Becoming a Leader for Life

Becoming a Leader for Life

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Becoming a Leader for Life

Ego dispeller” – that’s how I’m going to be describing ‘Becoming a Leader For Life’ as the gist of it is that leadership is not merely a title on a business card. Successful leaders hold on to the belief that leadership is a living process and no matter how high we scale the professional ladder, we are always on a learning curve; and rightfully so.

Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller clearly determines the content of the book in their introduction, “the path to increased influence, impact, and leadership effectiveness is paved with personal growth….our capacity to grow determines our capacity to lead. It’s really that simple.”

‘Becoming a Leader For Life’ remains actively effective in my life – both on personal and professional platforms. I now know that for me to remain relevant in the lives of my family, loved ones, friends, and colleagues, I would need to constantly keep myself in check with a couple of non-negotiable questions:

“Will I always be ready to face the next challenge?
“Will I consciously stop applying yesterday’s solutions to today’s problems?”
Life, they say, is a lifelong learning process and this book messages “growth” very well and you are only too ready to use the learning from it across all aspects of your life.

Sometimes conceptual books can be boring if not told well. This book is NOT. I encourage you to go pick one for yourself.

Like The Flowing River

560 560 Kamal Karanth
There are just one too many apt quotes which resonates with life and work in Like The Flowing River, I don’t know which to share with you. Let me begin by imparting a few with you:

“It is part of the human nature always to judge others very severely and when the wind turns against us, always to find an excuse for our own misdeeds, or to blame someone else for our mistakes.”

“Work is a blessing when it helps us to think about what we’re doing; but it becomes a curse when its sole use is to stop us thinking about the meaning of our life.”

“everything you do in life will leave a mark”.

Outstanding

The Art of Thinking Clearly

560 560 Kamal Karanth
The Art of Thinking Clearly is an all-time favorite book of mine and something I keep reading every two years.

The Art of Thinking Clearly explains 99 cognitive errors all of us make and asks if there is a different way to approach it. Two things which stand out for me in this book

Outstanding

Outstanding

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Outstanding
‘Outstanding’ gives you 47 ways to make your company exceptional! So, what else is new, you might ask? Trust me when I say that this book offers 47 insights into the “how” in a uniquely engaging manner.

I’m partial to how John Miller starts off the book. He relays the story of an email where Steve Chamberlain, an executive with Husqvarna, wrote this: “Do people fire companies? Yes they do!” The email went on to talk about how Chamberlain fired an airline that he had been flying with for years because of the attitudes and actions, (or non-actions) of the employees which suggested that not only did they not care, but it was obvious that they were not willing to make his experience a good one.

I could relate to the opening; recalling incidences throughout my employment where we sometimes fire customers for certain company values which we know will mean close to nothing if the partnership is NOT aligned to those values at their core.

Necessary Endings

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Dave Ramsey, the New York bestselling author of “The Total Money Makeover” had this to say about “Necessary Endings” – “If you’re hesitant to pull the trigger when things obviously aren’t working out, Henry Cloud’s “Necessary Endings” may be the most important book you read all year.” This was more than enough for me to go out and get this book, pronto!

I believe you will agree with me when I say that in both our personal and professional lives, there are times when reality dictates that we must stand up and “end” something. Continuing it would be destructive to us or to the people that matter to us, in some way. Nevertheless, even with clear evidences, we find it difficult to pull the trigger. Am I right?

Let me give you some examples of these negative instances: –

Notes To Myself

Notes To Myself

560 560 Kamal Karanth
Notes To Myself
Since, Notes to Myself was first published in 1970, this book has sold over 5 million copies and has been translated into 10 languages. Not as impressive as The Alchemist but reviews for this is pretty steadfast and constant: it is a book which can either be comforting when you’re down or simply to reinforce how lucky you are in better times.

The Alchemist

560 560 Kamal Karanth
You’ll either endear or despise ‘ The Alchemist’ where the central theme is on spiritual truth/wisdom. Some choose to say it’s about taking risks to follow your dream while a group of others are inclined to refute by saying that it encourages a single-minded pursuit of something for selfish reasons. A quick note that the Alchemist is an international bestseller; with more than 65 million copies in 56 different languages having been sold; setting the Guinness World Record for being the most translated book by a living author, Paulo Coelho.

The Trillion Dollar Coach

The Trillion Dollar Coach

560 560 Kamal Karanth
The Trillion Dollar Coach
Who doesn’t know Bill Campbell! However, many books about high achievers have been damp squibs purely because of bad narration. But not The Trillion Dollar Coach, It gives some insights of how Apple, Intuit, and Google work internally. There aren’t too many aha moments, but The Trillion Dollar Coach remains sincere and sticks to what Bill did. Many things that are said are essential, but we ignore it all the time. Hence, the obvious still makes sense. the authors have highlighted the five primary themes around which Jim coached people

Under these five themes, authors weave their perspectives around how Jim coached people. The most critical takeaway not surprisingly is that it is all about people. They also highlight that more the emotional support you provide to people, the better the organization dynamics become. People operate better when they have psychological safety in the organizational context. For a company like Google or Apple, I thought intellectual capital was crucial. The emphasis on people, their well being family support based coaching was a great eye opener for me.