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As a survivor of the corporate world for over a decade, I can precisely understand the analogy between corporate and jungle. There are myriads of personalities one encounters in a business day and their traits can be pertinently mapped to those of lions, cubs, fox, etc. Although this book doesn’t do vivisection of the personalities, yet the title is very well suited to the environment.

Organized by topics like advertising, burnout, leaders, networking, working hours, etc., the author gives a snippet of advice related to each. It doesn’t deep dive into the topic to explain the nitty-gritty of them but is limited to a single piece of guidance. None of the topics reach beyond a single page except a few where the learning of epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata are correlated to exciting times.

It is not intended for a specific category of employees. Whether you are fresher, experienced, a boss, a CEO, or in top management, it touches upon multiple aspects of corporate life. It is not a textbook that will walk you through the concepts with motivational examples but a quick reference guidebook.

Having gone through multiple management books and corporate training, I intended to find some pathbreaking tips. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it. Unarguably, the capsules of wisdom in each chapter hold relevance but some of them are at a pretty elementary level. For instance, being accessible, work-life balance, networking. These tips find a place in almost every management book under the sun.

Irrespective of unable to go beyond my expectations, it is still a valuable asset to people lost in the corporate jungle. Easing out your way when nothing seems to work needs a proficient support system. I believe his book can prove to be one. It is worth a read, and I would recommend it. As an add on, the book is available in Portuguese as well.

(This is where you can lay your hands on the Portuguese version of the book: http://livraria.vidaeconomica.pt/gestao/1493-como-sobreviver-na-selva-empresarial-guia-pratico-9789897681868.html)

Related Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3947874200

https://www.amazon.in/review/R171AFEHTP900Z/ref=pe_1640331_66412301_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rvhttps://www.instagram.com/p/CNudl1CLOOS/?igshid=ztqwa3ijwxy3

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Hapless leaders keep getting bombarded with an overdose of new ideas these days. Other than leading their followers into a world where the roses would always be in bloom and where the sun would never set, poor souls are expected to work upon path-breaking ideas. Consultants keep dishing out advice, followed by hefty bills. Other leaders whose scintillating speeches act like Botox shots to the sagging visage of their organizations have to be incessantly tracked. Political outfits of all hues and shapes need to be kept in good humour. Hellhounds of various taxation departments have to be kept at an arm’s length. Relentless window-dressing of quarterly accounts leaves them no time to pause and reflect on the basic meaning of life. Being connected to operations makes it impossible for them to relax and unwind.

Authors and intellectuals, whose contribution to the evolution of our species is dubious in any case, also do not leave them in peace. They keep churning out literary tomes and books which a leader would not touch with a hundred foot pole even on a space flight to a distant galaxy.

Take the case of the latest book on Leader Mindsets. Here are some reasons they can avoid picking it up.

  1. Even though the focus of the book is on universal human values, it appears to be based on an Asian view point. When leaders think of this part of the world, they only remember irrelevant scriptures, outdated religious beliefs, widespread poverty and illiteracy, and a certain lack of decency in public spaces which others on the planet could readily deride. In other words, there could not be much to learn from the book.
  2. At a time when leaders are grappling with the upheavals being caused by Industrial Revolution 4.0, the need is to understand and adapt newer technologies. The underlying belief is that in the times to come, the human dimension is going to be less important. Understanding machines is what should be a priority. Human behaviour has already been mapped thoroughly. Even if one were to understand it better, one would run the risk of ending up being a ‘soft’ leader who is unable to take ‘hard’ decisions, thereby compromising one’s effectiveness as a leader.
  3. The book appears to be based on the premise that to become an effective leader, one has to change oneself – a tough proposition, indeed. There is nothing wrong with the leaders in their present mould; hence, there is no need to tweak anything within them.

The book goes on to propose that having changed one’s mindset, one should help others to change their mindsets. If the first step is undesirable, this one is near impossible; and the next one – that of changing the entire organization – even more so.

After all, management is the art of the possible. Leaders are happy the way they are.

Smart leaders would do well to brood over these thoughts. It would save them lot of time and trouble. Their followers would heave a sigh of relief upon realizing that they have been spared the trauma of being asked to change themselves in any way; that they can trudge along merrily without a care in the world, focusing on immediate and important tasks at hand. If the critical and strategic tasks get neglected in the process, so be it.

Even if the author were to gift a copy of the book to a leader, the latter would do well to either gift it to one of his arch-rivals, or to simply throw it into the nearest waste paper basket. If the shameless author persists by sending a soft copy as well, prompt use of the delete command would be highly useful.

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/a-word-about-the-book-on-leadership)

 

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