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What is the one thing successful managers do differently?

The best way to keep growing one’s team and creating a community of positive leaders is by carrying one’s team together and passing on the learnings. Therefore, it is imperative for the managers to exhibit true leadership skills and focus on results through teamwork and delegation.

A Tata group veteran and the author of 10 Steps to the Boardroom, Gurpal Singh Rattan, distils years of experience into lessons useful for the readers. Read this excerpt to know about the essential ingredients required to cook up your own recipe for your team’s success.

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10 Steps to the Boardroom
10 Steps to the Boardroom || G.S. Rattan

You are responsible for your team’s success and failures. You carry all of it on your shoulders. No one likes or promotes a person who will take credit for success and dump failures on the team. Giving credit where it is due, identifying the winners and throwing the spotlight on them will not only enhance your credibility in the eyes of your team members, but more so in the eyes of top management. As you move ahead in your career, remember that every year new graduates will come in, new technology will be introduced and new skills will be required to keep moving ahead. Lead your team by being the first person to upskill and learn new technology. When you lead by example, you let them know that life doesn’t halt when the rules of the game change. You learn the rules and then change the game. Your team will look towards you to lead them. Their trust in you is what will move you ahead.

Our company had a vision of introducing IT across the board and SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software) for the ease of managing business. This was announced in 1995 and computers were being introduced in all departments gradually. Many old timers like me were not familiar with computers and the company offered to train middle and senior management executives on the basics of computer learning to start with. Without any inhibitions, I immediately opted for this and started devoting lots of my spare time to upgrading my knowledge, contrary to many seniors who avoided it and delegated this job to their subordinates. The first day of class was a tad intimidating, as I seemed to be the senior-most person there. I braced myself and entered the class with a learning mindset. The trainer was far younger than me and being one of the seniors in class could be perceived as a disadvantage if I were to ask a question. It took me another hour or so to let go of my age prejudice. I knew this was my opportunity to learn. If I hadn’t clarified my doubts then, despite the snickering from the backbenchers, I might not have got a chance again. My team members started talking about my newly acquired knowledge and I quickly became at par with them and was able to discuss the subject with ease in person and virtually, I encouraged all my team members to follow suit.

Being a part of the first rush of learners paid handsome dividends as, with the passage of time, I became fairly good at it and could successfully survive the onslaught of the computerization tsunami in the organization that followed. In a couple of years, your proficiency with a computer became one of the parameters that decided how your career progressed. Letting go of my inhibitions, discomfort at being judged for asking questions and learning from young trainers was an advantage that led me far. If I had to, I would do it all over again rather than sitting in a shell and pretending to know.

Carrying a team also means that you will spend a lot of time managing people and planning ahead. If you have the right team working with you, then spend more time micro planning and foreseeing pitfalls, anticipate obstacles and look at providing timely interventions and resources for your team. Your role at the helm will be crucial till the last minute. The game is not over till the last second.

Career planning made easy

Finding the right job at the start of your career can be a hard row to hoe. Several factors such as the company’s reputation, job description, your designation, remuneration, skill set, attitude are to be considered before you embark on a career in a company.

Here are some general questions for you to think about and look answers for while planning your career. These questions may help you streamline your choices and develop your career.

  1. What roles interest you?
  2. Have you shortlisted the companies you’d want to work with?
  3. Have you made a priority list of the shortlisted companies?
  4. Have you found the right people to network with?
  5. What are the most appropriate platforms for the job you are looking for?
  6. What qualities do you have that will help you excel in the role you’d be applying for?
  7. What value will your organization add in your career?
  8. What value can you add to the organization you join?
10 Steps to the Boardroom
10 Steps to the Boardroom || G.S. Rattan

 

If you’re on the first step of your professional journey and have found answers to the above questions, then jot down the information on the template given below. It may prove to be your guiding light in achieving your dream of reaching the boardroom.

 

Your Plan 

The Company You Want to Work in:

Key Stakeholders:

What I Admire About the Company:

Vision of the Company:

Mission of the Company:

Why I Belong Here:

Job Description and Responsibilities

  • JD:
  • Responsibilities that I can take on:
  • Responsibilities that will require learning on the job:

Area of Jurisdiction

  • Performing areas:
  • What I can take a shot at:

Defining Results

  • Tangible:
  • Intangible:

Network and Follow

  • Possible Mentor 1:

Network to Follow on

  • Possible Mentor 2:

Where to Start:

Department I Would like to Start With

  • Option 1:
  • Option 2:
  • Option 3:

Attitude Matters

  • My key strengths:
  • What I need to work on:
  • What is valued by this organization?

 

Remember the words of the author of 10 Steps to the Boardroom: ‘The most important factor will always be the intensity of the fire in your belly. Everything else is either a catalyst or a deterrent.’

This fall’s book haul

Yes, we have made it to September, said goodbye to ‘hot girl summer’ and prepared ourselves for the lazy season. But before you go asking people to wake you up when September ends, you have to see all the amazing book releases you’d miss if you chose the Sleeping Beauty life. Our latest literary haul has the potential to keep you occupied until next fall. If you take our advice into consideration, we’d suggest you settle down with a strong cup of your favourite caffeinated beverage instead, because you’re going to want to stay awake for this months reading recommendations.

 

The Elephant in the Womb||Kalki Koechlin

The Elephant in the Womb

Motherhood is the greatest job in the world…right?

In this unique graphic narrative, we finally have that candid, funny and relatable book on pregnancy and parenting that mothers, expectant mothers, and anyone even thinking about motherhood have been waiting for. Actor and writer Kalki Koechlin opens up about so much that we don’t talk about-the social stigma of abortions and unmarried pregnancies, the toll that pregnancy takes on a body, the unacknowledged domestic labour of women, the emotional rollercoaster of giving birth, bouts of postpartum melancholy, the unsolicited parenting advice from every corner, and of course the innumerable moments of joy and delight in bringing a real little person into this very weird world.

With whimsy and compassion, with uproariously funny art and spellbinding honesty, The Elephant in the Womb blends the deeply private with the blazingly political. It’s an eye-opener for anyone who has ever thought that pregnancy was all about the glow and that motherhood was all about fulfilment. From fixing broken parts to enduring untimely farts, Koechlin’s nuanced prose-gorgeously illustrated by Valeriya Polyanychko-tells us the bare-faced truth about the physiological discomfort and manic expectations that make it a bittersweet experience.

With a combination of personal essays and think-pieces, journal entries captured in real time, reflections and anecdotes, this is the motherload!

 

The Blind Matriarch||Gokhale Namita

The Blind Matriarch

The blind matriarch, Matangi-Ma, lives on the topmost floor of an old house with many stories. From her eyrie, she hovers unseeingly over the lives of her family. Her long-time companion Lali is her emissary to the world. Her three children are by turn overprotective and dismissive of her. Her grandchildren are coming to terms with old secrets and growing pains. Life goes on this way until one day the world comes to a standstill-and they all begin to look inward.

This assured novel records the different registers in the complex inner life of an extended family. Like
the nation itself, the strict hierarchy of the joint-family home can be dysfunctional, and yet it is this home that often provides unexpected relief and succour to the vulnerable within its walls.

As certainties dissolve, endings lead to new beginnings. Structured with the warp of memory and the weft of conjoined lives, the narrative follows middle India, even as it records the struggles for individual growth, with successive generations trying to break out of the stranglehold of the all-encompassing Indian family.

Ebbing and flowing like the waves of a pandemic, the novel is a clear-eyed chronicle of the tragedies of India’s encounter with the Coronavirus, the cynicism and despair that accompanied it, and the resilience and strength of the human spirit.

 

On a Wing and a Prayer||Kushal M Choksi

On A Wing and a Prayer

What would you do if your life turned upside down overnight?

Witnessing the devastation of 9/11 before his eyes and narrowly escaping death, Kushal’s life was never going to be the same again. Suddenly, all his pursuits felt meaningless and he felt a void within him like he had never felt before-until one day, when he reluctantly decided to spend an afternoon with a spiritual master in New York City.

From being a Wall Street trader immersed in the material world to embarking on a quest to find answers to life’s biggest questions, Kushal Choksi writes about his doubts, struggles and revelations on a spiritual path as a left-brained sceptic.

On a Wing and a Prayer is one such (true) account of one man finding himself on a fifteen-year long journey shadowing the spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

 

The Lovers of Rampore||Ashok Chopra

The Lovers of Rampore

In The Lovers of Rampore, Ashok Chopra delves into the many mysterious forms of love thus introducing a mystic quality to the everyday lives of his characters. From the thrills of lust to the joys and fears of genuine commitment, to the exploration of desire and dispassion that exist in all relationships, this is the story of love in all its different manifestations.

Raja Rajvendra Veer Bahadur Singh married Rani Padmakshi Devi Singh, a woman thirty-three years younger to him, after losing his first wife. Theirs is a love built on respect, trust and the desire to support each other against all odds. In Rampore, their son, the dashing Yuvraj, is curiously averse to the very ideals his parents’ marriage embodies, choosing instead the path of instant gratification. In Mumbai, we’re introduced to Vikram Desai-an enigmatic architect whose principles, charm and persona change the course of all those whom he interacts with.

Ashok Chopra weaves a contemporary Bayeux tapestry of richly detailed stories which are mature, slow-burning and strum with a quiet passion that cuts across class, gender, and age, fundamentally altering the way we perceive love. In doing so, he also challenges society’s archaic understanding of the bonding between people.

 

10 Steps to the Boardroom||G.S. Rattan

10 Steps to the Boardroom

There is no linear path to reach the top. In today’s day and age, when there is so much competition and nepotism that is being spoken about, one has to wonder: Does talent and merit have a chance? In my opinion, they do. So how does one knock on the door of success and reach the boardroom?

This book takes you through the crucial ten steps you need to climb as you progress in your career to reach the top via the author’s own personal journey. Each chapter deals with one specific quality that a CEO is required to have and is accompanied with a worksheet next to it that will help you chart your growth. Peppered with wisdom and experience, each story will help you understand the implications of your decisions and the right career stage that one should look at making a move. An absolute must-have for anyone looking to make a mark in their corporate career.

 

The Battle of Rezang La||Kulpreet Yadav

The Battle of Rezang La

On 18 November 1962, the Charlie Company of the 13 Kumaon Battalion, Kumaon Regiment, fought a Chinese attack at Rezang La Pass in Ladakh, India. The company comprised 120 soldiers and was led by Maj. Shaitan Singh. Of these soldiers, 110 were martyred in the attack.

The Indian search party, which visited the battlefield on 10 February 1963, made a startling discovery-the frozen bodies of the men who had died were still holding guns in their hands, having taken bullets on their chests. One PVC (Param Vir Chakra), eight VCs (Vir Chakras), four SMs (Sena Medals) and one M-in-D (Mentioned-in-Dispatches) were awarded to the soldiers of the Charlie Company, making it one of the highest decorated companies of the Indian Army to this day. The valour of the Charlie Company not only successfully stopped China’s advance, but it also resulted in the Chushul airport being saved, thereby preventing a possible Chinese occupation of the entire Ladakh region in 1962. According to reports, a total of 1300 Chinese soldiers were killed trying to capture Rezang La. The Charlie Company was an all-Ahir company, and most of the soldiers who fought the battle at 18,000 feet came from the plains of Haryana. The Battle of Rezang La is their story.

 

Yogiplate||Radhavallabha Das

Yogiplate: The Basics of Sattvik

Ayurvedic diet varies by body type, a person’s nature, their lifestyle and the food they grew up eating. Nobody knows that better than Radhavallabha Das, who cooked for thousands of devotees and monks at the ISKCON ashram in Mumbai and the adjoining Govinda’s restaurant.

In Yogiplate, he teaches us how to identify our unique body type, lists the vegetables, fruits, grains and spices that will suit us, and e xplains how sāttvic food nourishes the body, mind and inner soul. Written in a conversational style, Radhavallabha shows us how to pair the correct ingredients, avoid the ones that are harmful to us, and focus on the oil, salt and water that we use for cooking.

This book will teach you how to tailor a unique diet that will form the foundation of a happy and healthy life.

 

The Unforgiving City and Other Stories||Vasudhendra

The Unforgiving City and Other Stories

From the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi winner Vasudhendra comes a powerful collection of stories that shock, move and amuse by turns. As the characters struggle to find their feet in a fast-changing India, they mirror our unspoken dilemmas, torn loyalties and the loss of innocence.

In the extremely popular ‘Red Parrot’, an innocuous image from childhood returns to haunt a man when he visits his idyllic hometown. In ‘Recession’, the desire for a child leads a couple down unexpected paths. In other stories, a young woman in love rethinks her future when buried family secrets are suddenly revealed; a boy learns that insomnia may be the symptom of something more ominous; lonely apartment residents discover the thrills and perils of social media.

Deftly crafted with gentle wit and a lightness of touch, each gripping story exposes the deepest contradictions of modern life. The fluid translation retains the flavour and nuances of the original Kannada, creating a rich reading experience.

 

Sita||Bhanumathi Narasimhan

Sita

Sita, the beloved princess of Mithila, is one of the most revered women in Indian history; so well known, yet probably the least understood. At every crossroad of her life, she chose acceptance and grace over self-pity. Her life was filled with sacrifice yet wherever she was, there was abundance. It was as if she was carved out of an intense longing for Rama, yet she had infinite patience. In every situation she reflected his light and he reflected her love.

In her, we find someone who is so divine yet so human.

In this poignant narration, Bhanumathi shows us the world through the eyes of Sita. We think what Sita thinks, we feel what she feels, and for these few special moments, we become a part of her. And perhaps, through this perspective, and Sita’s immortal story, we will discover the true strength of a woman.

 

Passionate About Baking||Deeba Rajpal

Passionate about Baking: Everything Chocolate

A home baker for over 20 years, food stylist and photographer Deeba Rajpal put her passion to the test when she decided to blog about her adventures in the kitchen. Soon, her simple yet delectable dessert recipes accompanied by beautiful, evocative imagery struck a chord with people across the globe, turning her blog, Passionate about Baking, into one of the most popular blogs in the country.

Inspired by her blog, this book is a collection of some of her most loved chocolate dessert recipes for every kind of indulgence. With healthy, tasty yet easy-to-make chocolate delights — from tarts, tea cakes and cupcakes to cookies, traybakes and cakes for special occasions — and simple tips and tricks, Deeba shows you how working with chocolate can be oh so fun!

 

Good Genes Gone Bad||Narendra Chirmule

Good Genes Gone Bad

The field of biotechnology has evolved over the past four decades, developing medicines which are curing diseases. But this journey of success has been tough and arduous, built upon the shoulders of major failures.
Good Genes Gone Bad highlights seven such colossal failures in drug development-all of which culminated in the development of novel drugs-weaving together various analogies through the stories and thus allowing the reader to understand complex biological phenomena. These stories include treatment of medical conditions such as genetic clotting disorder (haemophilia), childhood-diarrhoea (rotavirus vaccine), preventing HIV infection, activation of the immune systems to treat cancer, gene therapy for treatment of diseases caused by gene-defects/mutations, cell therapy for treatment of leukaemias, and finally the success of Biocon’s approval of the first biologic drug for breast cancer.
Written by the former R&D head of Biocon, India’s largest pharmaceutical company, Good Genes Gone Bad is a fascinating look at the complex world of medicine and drug development, providing the readers with a sense of magnitude of challenges and the extent of difficulty that it takes to make novel medicines.

 

Economist Gandhi||Jaithirth Rao

Economist Gandhi

The Political Economy of the Mahatma, Its Roots and Relevance.

This book is a refreshing take on Gandhi’s economic philosophy. It provides insights into the hidden facet of Gandhi’s personality, and his thoughts on economics and capitalism. The book captures aspects of Gandhi’s thinking usually missed by those who are sure they know Gandhi.

This is probably the first book on Gandhi that claims that Gandhi was not against business and capitalists. In fact, the author maintains that Gandhi was a Baniya by caste, and this is what explains Gandhi’s positive approach towards business, trade and wealth.

 

 

 

Kathmandu Dilemma||Ranjit Rae

Kathmandu Dilemma

The first two decades of the new millennium have witnessed a dramatic socio-political transformation of Nepal. A violent Maoist insurgency ended peacefully, a new constitution abolished the monarchy and established a secular federal democratic republic. Nevertheless, political stability and a peace dividend have both remained
elusive. Nepal is also buffeted by changing geopolitics, including the US-China contestation for influence
and the uneasy relationship between India and China.

As a close neighbour, India has been deeply associated with the seminal changes in Nepal, and the bilateral relationship has seen many twists and turns. Partly a memoir, this book examines India’s perspective on these developments, in the context of the civilizational and economic underpinnings of the India-Nepal
relationship, as well as issues that continue to prevent this relationship from exploiting its full potential. Though there are several Nepalese accounts that deal with this subject, there are few from an Indian point of view. Kathmandu Dilemma fills this gap.

 

A Thousand Cuts||T.J. Joseph

A Thousand Cuts: An Innocent

In 2010, T.J. Joseph, a professor of Malayalam at Newman College, Kerala, framed an innocuous question for an internal examination that changed his life forever. Following a trumped-up charge of blasphemy, members of a radical Islamist organization set upon him in public, viciously maiming him and chopping off his right hand. His memoir, told with amazing restraint and wry humour, is the moving tale of his life and family as they went through hell and beyond. Here’s the extraordinary story of a man who survived dismembering only to be betrayed by his
own Church. Let alone stand by him, it robbed him of his livelihood and isolated him from his community, driving Joseph’s long-suffering wife to melancholia and eventual suicide. Joseph’s story is one of fortitude, will power, forgiveness and compassion, told with rare wit that will make readers chuckle through their tears.
This is a tale that will leave the reader seething, weeping and smiling by turns.

 

Eternal Echoes||Sadhguru

Eternal Echoes

Beautifully designed, Eternal Echoes is a compilation of poems by Sadhguru between the time period of 1994 and 2021. These poems cover every aspect of his life and travels. There are poems on nature, environment, human nature, the experiences, and resonances he has felt during these three decades and many more. These poems seem simple at first. However, as one reads, one begins to understand the hidden layers within. The words and meanings linger on…

This book is a very special collector’s item for all the followers of Sadhguru that they can savour for years to come. It is also perfect as a gift to loved ones

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