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Understanding different shades of grey, coping with change, of leadership in sports & life (IANS Books)

By 28.1.2020         Phone:-       Mail Now Send Mail   Post Comments
Everything isn't black or white - there are overlaps and shades of grey and this primer will nudge you into finding the answers that will help you navigate through the world; then, learn about overcoming critical barriers to change; and finally, digest some out-of-the-box thinking on unleashing the leadership potential within you.

1. Book: A Pinch of Salt In The Recipe Called Life; Author: Sanjay K. Jain; Publisher: Bloomsbury; Pages: 134; Price: Rs 350.

Sanjay Jain is candid enough to admit that all that is contained in book was learnt OUTSIDE of IIM-Ahmedabad, from where he is a double gold medallist. So, what is the book all about?

"We agree everything isn't black or white - there are overlaps and shades of grey. We agree that there can be different perspectives and one doesn't have to be wrong for another one to be right. We can have win-win situations and lose-lose situations. However, the moot point is how can this help us as human beings," Jain asks and then provides the answers through 19 pithily-written chapters with titles like "Disruption Is the New Norm", "Always Be a Student", "Networking", "Best Versus Right" and "Create Our Rainbow".

What the book offers are "small, simple and obvious things" that are "as simple and common as salt. However, without that pinch of salt, a dish is never complete. Similarly the recipe of life is never complete without these basic and common things in life," Jain concludes.

You might want to add this to your bedside bookshelf to delve into every now and then.

2. Book: Alchemy of Change - Managing Transition through Value-based Leadership; Authors: H.N. Arora & Rajan Sinha; Publisher: Sage; Pages: 228; Price: Rs 550.

The only thing constant about change, it is said, is change itself. And nowhere is this more true as we step into the third decade of the 21st century with its era of disruption, AI, ML, driverless cars, humanoid robots et al.

The question is: How does one cope with the fast-evolving changes before they overtake you?

"Everyone is trying to change. Somewhere it is a planned effort and somewhere ad hoc. Somewhere it is vision driven and somewhere it lacks vision or has a short-term vision. Societal behaviours and rigid norms that are adapted in organisations are mostly based on short-term focus with emphasis on shortcuts. Perhaps because of a 'trader mentality', we do not seem to have the patience needed to bring about stable and enduring change and look for cosmetic solutions for immediate profit," say the authors.

They then hand-hold you through the maze in 23 chapters in seven parts titled "Change Is A Fascinating Kaleidoscope", "Experiences Of Change", "Manage It Or Be Ready For Oblivion", "Your Toolkit For Change", "Leadership: The X Factor Of Successful Change Facilitation", "Culture And Values As Vehicles of Change" and "Indian Model For Driving Change".

The last part covers areas like Sankalp (self-commitment) and Karta (collective) Leadership. In short, "articulate and continually communicate the reason for change and vision", the authors conclude.

3. The Winning Sixer - Leadership Lessons To Master; Author: W.V. Raman; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 180; Price: Rs 295.

A true leader has five Cs - credibility, clarity, connect, control and conviction," writes W.V. Raman, a former Test batsman and current Head Coach of the Indian women's cricket team.

He then goes on to expand on this, as first related to a journalist friend in Bengaluru a year ago: "No matter how good you are, you will be a complete failure if you lack credibility. The team will not trust you. Additionally, you must have clarity of thought and communication to enable the team to work as a whole unit, the ability to connect on the right wavelength to empower your team, the ability to control your own shortcomings and finally, have conviction in your decision making."

Do you have it in you? Chances are that you do and need to discover and channelise these in the right direction - be it on the sports field or at the workplace.

(Vishnu Makhijani can be reached at

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