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Sunil Manglore, CA Technologies India
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At any given time, I am reading three books at various times of the day. Recently I completed reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This book is about various individuals who have achieved success by changing just one thing about themselves — habits. The author, an investigative reporter, brings to fore in this book, investigation about human habits — why they exist and how they can be changed for individual's or organisation's benefit. As a leader, one must discover the right habits of employees within an organisation, which will be crucial for their growth. The engrossing narratives in the book provide a whole new perspective about human nature and its potential for transformation.
The one book all leaders must read... and why?
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy. Business is more about execution than strategy. Average strategy coupled with excellent execution produces better results than excellent strategy with average execution. Execution requires understanding your people which is critical to the three core processes of every business: how to link people together, strategy and operations. Bossidy and Charan show the importance of being deeply and passionately engaged in an organisation and why robust dialogues about people, strategy, and operations result in a business based on intellectual honesty and realism. As a CEO, Larry Bossidy would personally make calls to check references for key hires. This is simply because selecting and appraising people is a leader's most important job which should never be delegated. Right people in the right jobs are strategic building blocks when a company plans, taking into consideration marketplace, economy and competition. Execution does not find place in the top action list — but this is where the rubber meets the road as they say.
One book everyone in your sector should pick up... and why?
I would recommend Drive by Daniel H. Pink. If you wish to turn an idea into reality — in a business scenario, you need a team of right calibre and motivation. Many companies follow ‘monetary' compensation as a motivation technique. In this book, the author talks beyond this, and elaborates on a model to develop motivation
What kind of books would you normally buy while travelling?
I have a vast range of choice when it comes to books. Any book at that particular time that is interesting becomes part of my collection.
Have you written any books? If not, do you plan to write in future?
Currently I have no plans of writing a book.
The books you grew up with? What did you like most about it?
I have read all the comic books and possible children's' book in my growing years. Comic characters (whether Indian or not) had one thing in common — they show courage and overcome fear. I find that very interesting. In real life, we are faced with situations that can challenge us. If we remember to show courage and overcome fear then, it all works out, no matter what.
Your book shelf consists of....
I am a voracious reader. I have many books in my house library and they range from physical sciences to astronomy, management, business, finance, history, non-fiction among others.
Where do you shop for books?
I shop from Landmark or Crossword Book stores. I also buy from amazon.com due to convenience and also shop from book stalls at airports around the world.
Have your reading habits changed in the past four or five years? If so, how....
My reading habits have evolved over a few years now. My choice of topics and titles are not restricted to only my profession or career, they are far and wide. The choice of subjects broadened and interest in subjects have deepened.
One book you cherish that you received as a gift... and who gave it to you
Given my reading interests, I have picked up most books which are part of my library. People around me have found it difficult to gift me a book; chances are that I already have a copy.
(A version of this was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 23-07-2012)