Charles William Eliot once said, “Books are our quietest and most constant friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” Books are the greatest gifts one could give oneself. We contacted some industry leaders to recommend some of their favorite books. Here they are:
Sapiens: A brief history of mankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Recommended by Mohit Hira, Independent Consultant and Entrepreneur, the book is about the journey of mankind from its first steps to its current state. Mohit articulates that this book is as life changing as The Bhagvata Gita, his second selection.
The Bhagvata Gita
This book needs no introduction. It has been the guide of human life for centuries. Talking about his selections, Mohit argues, “One book is about us as a collective species and the other is about the individual. Both can dramatically change the way we look at ourselves and how we operate with others around us. There are life lessons in both these classics even if one is two years old and the other was written centuries ago.”
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss
Suggested by Apurva Chamaria, VP & Head- Corporate Marketing, HCL Tech; this book is a peep into the daily lives of the success symbols that inspire. Talking about the book, he says, “Tools of Titans is a great book. When you read it, you get to understand the daily habits of super successful people. The biggest attraction of the book is that it also shows you a way to incorporate these habits in your life.”
The One Device by Brian Merchant
Apurva’s (HCL Tech) second selection is about a device which has pierced the fabric of our daily lives. A dream phone for some, the iPhone has transformed the way we look at smart phones. Apurva argues, “The iPhone is a phenomenal device. The book is all about the technology and challenges behind the device. It is the biggest invention of our times, a path breaking innovation. Look at the disruptions it has caused- we don’t wear watches anymore, we don’t have to read maps and locate ourselves, the device has brought an unprecedented change.”
Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David
Vishwajeet Parashar, Group Marketing Head, Bajaj Capital suggests a book which is perhaps the need of the hour for most of us. If you are being honest with yourself, you would admit that there are days when balancing work and home feels like a burden heavier than what Atlas has been carrying for centuries. This book is a fine read, the author asks her reader to become more emotionally agile, using her professional research to prove that emotionally agile people are generally able to navigate through life’s setbacks successfully.
In Vishwajeet’s words, “What do you do when life throws some twists and turns in your way? You build a new mold. Change is the only thing standing between now and something better; in Emotional Agility, Dr. David advises you to adapt, citing four key concepts to help you navigate the labyrinth of life: facing your thoughts, separating your emotions from your being, letting your core values guide your every move, and tweaking your mindset, motivation, and habits to align with them.”
The Power Of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
This book takes the reader into a fascinating world of understanding how and why our best and worst moments stick to us. What can we do to amplify the good moments in our lives and what forces attract more positive energy. Vishwajeet (Bajaj Capital) believes in applying his learning from this book to improve customer experience. He says, “Defining moments are as meaningful as they are fleeting. From an epiphany where you discover the work you want to do for the rest of your life, or a flash of nostalgia inspired by a child who comes to show you his scrapbook of scribbles. A defining moment can be the difference between a handshake and a connection that never fades; a smile and a laugh that reaches your eyes; a buyer and a lifelong customer who believes in you.”
Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
An ex-Google Data Scientist, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz talks about what our data says about us. The large amount of data available, if looked at correctly could reveal a person’s innermost thoughts, political beliefs, insecurities and so much more. Karthi Marshan, Head Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Group recommends this book with these words, “This is an illuminating book that is brimming with insights into what people are really like. Seth uses big data to look inside humanity’s soul, dark recesses, warts and all. I found the nuggets of insight truly revealing, as well as very useful in my work.”
Scarcity by Sendhil Mullainathan, and Eldar Shafir
Basing their arguments on research and behavioral sciences, Mullainathan and Sharif have looked at how scarcity leads to similar mindsets in people living completely different lives, placed at different levels of social strata, even geography. Karthi (Kotak Mahindra Group) says, “Sugarcane farmers in Maharashtra have a lot in common with harried soccer moms in Dallas. Scarcity of time and money seem to affect our cognitive processes in identical ways. Some stunning insights into the problems faced by both the time poor as well as the cash poor. Very useful play book to come up with products, services and offerings that can help solve real problems people have.”
The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams by Sam Walker
Years ago Sam Walker developed a formula, researched global teams and came up with a list of 16 most dominant sports teams ever. But that wasn’t enough for the author; Walker further deepened his research to understand what made these teams the dominant forces. This book is recommended by Sanjay Tripathi, Co-Founder and CEO, Agilio, who says, “A former sports columnist, Walker researched the leading sports teams over time and realized the one thing they had in common was a captain par excellence. In the book, he analyses the seven commonalities of these captains.”
Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim
Backed up by years of research and successful stories, this book is about how leaders have created new business opportunities and markets by following the steps in this book. Sanjay’s (Agilio) second choice comes with a note saying, “Blue Ocean Shift is an essential follow-up to the bestselling Blue Ocean Strategy. In this book, Kim and Mauborgne discuss how to move beyond competing, inspire confidence, and grow beyond what you thought possible. From a red ocean to a blue ocean – they handhold as you traverse the entire spectrum.”
With the list ending here, we hope you would have great fun in reading these books. But we know, there are so many books out there with similar potential. We would love to hear from you about the books that you believe are right up the ally with ones mentioned here. Write down your suggestions in the comments below. It is always great to find great books to read. Happy Reading!