This is not a book for everyone – and these aren’t just my words; this is what the author has also opined in the course of this very thought-provoking book. This is for ambitious; hard working people; people willing to sacrifice; and people with a dream – and the willingness, courage and mental strength to continuously follow that dream for the elusive sweet smell and taste of success. This isn’t a book meant only for the corporate chap; anyone who has all the above – even one less wont do – can learn a lot from both, what has been mentioned in book, as well as what hasn’t been mentioned.
Any book has both positives as well as negatives; in fact – anything in life has both aspects to it. This book is no different; rather than call them negatives, I will them them things the author has missed – for silence on an issue is not the same as disagreeing. There aren’t many of them, to be honest; but nonetheless, I would be being less than fair if I did not mention them. Hence, let me first tackle the task of the issues of silence.
This is a book that identifies and gives insights on how you can succeed in any endeavor; given this theme, the most vital ingredient should be – values. There is no mention of this in the entire book; the second aspect that is needed is integrity and honesty – again, no mention anywhere. I am not a CEO; but basis my life experience, these three are among the most vital ingredients. In order that you run a clean organization, you cannot hope to survive without having these three – not with the pressures of running a modern organization. Compromising on these three will give short- to mid- term results, not long term. It may be that the author considers them a basic quality, that does not need mention. However, given the world we live in, it is vital that a straight linkage between these three and sustainable victory is established through the example of a role model.
Too many management gurus have neglected to mention quite a few of the points that find a mention in this book; and yet – it is a fact that what has been mentioned by the author is gospel, of that there is no doubt in my mind. Backbreaking hard work, sacrifice, work-life balance, belief in your dreams, persistence and resilience are all small-sounding words, and yet – there is no escape from even one of these; and no – these are not in abundance – I am in total agreement with the author here.
These aren’t so simple to understand; hard work, for an excellent example. This doesn’t mean staying late; you can stay and do nothing productive, trust me. How do I know that? Because I have on occasion seen people goof off, while adding no value. Hard work means actually working; it means making those extra sales calls; clearing those 5 extra documents from your desk and so on. Resilience doesn’t mean dogmatism – it means using your experience and judgment and effort to keep at it longer than others have been doing; this I know from personal example. I once turned around an area cause I wouldn’t admit defeat; and just doggedly kept at it. Result was an area that hadn’t performed for years gave its potential numbers. And trust me – no high-faluting management fundas worked; just hard work and resilience, just keeping at it.
These are the elusive soft skills trainers should be talking about; these are the learnings that managers should be trying to inculcate in their juniors, these are the qualities one should be looking for; sadly, these are the qualities that are far too often taken completely for granted. And these are core habits – in my opinion, you cant have a management training schedule that teaches you even one of these; you have to do it yourself.
The question will arise in the mind of everyone that why are these so important? The ones I have mentioned, and the others in the book that together create a powerful plus – these offer a person, a leader that slight edge over the competition; and in the modern world, a slight edge is frequently all that you need. There is much that is wrong with the business world; and doing all the things may not guarantee you success; but it will ensure you keep fighting fit and gung-ho even if you don’t succeed as much as you could have. For, realistically, to be at that height, you also require – as the book correctly spots, enterprise and the mental aptitude to take risk, and the education & intelligence to be among the fastest to spot an opportunity…