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BW Businessworld

Ranga Reddy, CEO, Maveric Systems

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What are you reading at the moment? What did you recently finish reading? What have you learnt from it?
I am reading a fiction series: 'Hector and The Search for Happiness', 'Hector and the Secrets of Love' and 'Hector and the Search for Lost Time', by Francois Lelord. These books narrate the story about Hector – a young French psychiatrist who travels around the world in search of what makes people happy, love and furthermore, confronts the persistent march of time. It very subtly puts across deep insights from research around measuring life in dog’s age, a nightmare being someone else’s dream, meeting the children of the woman you love when you were younger, how many people see happiness only in their future & the mistake of thinking that happiness is a goal, and the more radical thought of happiness could be freedom to love more than one.

The one book all leaders must read... and why?
I would say three books:
1. 'Time to think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind' by Nancy Kline. This book is written on the premise that we don’t take time to think about what we are doing; we are too busy doing it. The book goes on to augment that to take time out to think is to gain time to live and the need for taking time to think is aimed at enriching one’s work, life and relationships.

2. 'Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well' by Douglas Stone. “As leaders, if one relishes criticism at work and also adheres to it in personal life. Then you may be one person on earth who can skip this book” – this was a quote by Daniel H Pink, author of 'To Sell is Human' and 'Drive' about this book. I believe this quote says it all.

3. 'Why Should Anyone be Led By You?' by Robert Goffee & Gareth R. Jones. This book focuses on bursting some myths on leadership. The book goes on to challenging a leader on why the best of talent should subscribe to someone else’s leadership style. The book further identifies four characteristics that inspire best in-class talent to subscribe to a leader viz. revealing one’s own vulnerability, relying heavily on intuition and associated timing, managing with tough empathy and highlighting differences in a way that aid progress.

One book everyone in your sector should pick up... and why?

'The Best Business Books Ever: The Most Influential Management Books You'll Never Have Time To Read'. From Sun Tzu's timeless Art of War to the inventors of modern management in the 1920s-40s and the books that have the captured the New Economy Zeitgeist, this book captures the key ideas from 100 priceless books that collectively contributed to the art of management, and is relevant to any sector including technology.

What kind of books do you normally buy while travelling?
I buy fiction. Mostly the espionage and spy thrillers genre by authors like Joseph Conrad, Fredrick Forsyth & John Le Carre. Occasionally I tend to read translated novels like 'The Fourty Rules of Love' by Elif Shafak. Off late, I have been reading books by women authors like 'House of Illusions'.

The books you grew up with? What did you like most about it?
I primarily read books for the quality of fiction. My initial reads included Chandamama. I jumped straight to James Hardly Chase, which further led me on to Agatha Christie, Irwin Wallace, Arthur Hailey, Arthur C. Clarke and Paulo Coelho, etc.

Your book shelf consists of....
My bookshelf has a good mix of philosophy, psychology and management. It also includes classics like 'Siddhartha' & Leo Tolstoy’s 'War & Peace'.

Where do you shop for books?
Mostly I tend to buy books online. Sometimes, while I am travelling I shop at a remarkable store called Watkins which has an incredible collection to choose from especially on isms, philosophy and psychology.

Have your reading habits changed in the past four or five years? If so, how?
With regard to psychology & philosophy, I have dropped reading them in the recent past and have moved towards reading fiction and management. And in fiction particularly, I am now looking for translated works. Sahithya Academy has done translations of some brilliant works in South Indian languages and

One book you cherish that you received as a gift... and who gave it to you?
'Empty Raincoat' by Charles Handy. It was gifted to me by my former boss Arvind Raj Aurora.

Which is the e-reader you read on?
I am not fond of e-readers and the only e-reader I use is on my phone. I still prefer the printed editions.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 11-08-2014)