On Books & Reviews

Starting with why

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take ActionStart with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you have been motivated to pick this book after hearing Simon Sinek’s inspiring videos, by all means, go ahead, read it and re-read it at a later date and save it as a reference book or simply just download his videos!

After being hooked on to his videos for the last three months, I found the book terribly boring and repetitive. I was hoping for something new, something more all along till he came to his own story. His story is an everyday business guy story, someone you can relate to and learn from and perhaps that’s the only reason why I gave it three stars and not two.

However, if you just want to read about the concept and don’t know who this Simon Sinek guy is – then you have come to right place.

It tells us why we relate to some brands and why not the others, gives examples of business leaders and large corporations who have to stuck to their why to achieve what they have and what are the repercussions when we lose the why and concentrate on just how and what of running a business. It differentiates between being successful and making money and explains how the human brain reacts to different companies.

All in all, an interesting starting point if you feel that you just can’t move forward in your business. Further, a good read for marketers and advertising folks who need to understand why consumers respond to brands the way they do in a simplified way.

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On Books & Reviews

The story on Alibaba

Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma BuiltAlibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Most people think of Alibaba as a story, It’s not just a story, it’s a strategy.”

Rarely does the last line of a book carry as intriguing a summary as above. Having taken almost two months to complete the book on Alibaba, you don’t fail to miss out on how Jack Ma has evolved the Company from a B2B business to a conglomerate in various sectors with a clear focus.

For any business to be successful in the long-term, and I resonate with this philosophy, he says always put consumers first, people second and profits third . Without consumers you don’t have a business and without having a happy workforce driving that business you can’t have profits.

Here’s a story of a school teacher from a province in Southern China going strength to strength with his single focus on giving the best to his consumers and workforce without really concentrating on profits.

Inspirational, intriguing and detailed, the book gives a detailed account for those interested in understanding what has shaped the new internet economy of China today. Besides talking about Alibaba, it also reflects on the regulatory and competitive environment of the sector.

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Random thoughts

So, I’ve been thinking…

In the past few months I’ve written some five blog posts, edited many others, written press releases, designed more often than not, worked with a team whose attitude is greater than their capability and have been challenged at every step about my own capability and patience to take inefficiencies.

Well, when you work for someone else you need to be able to take crap and yes, huge amount of sub-standard sh*t which you would have simply throw out earlier. It’s been difficult after five years of working on your terms that you need to depend on others. After five years of being in control, you need to look at others to have some semblance of the situation.

Internally, it’s been a huge learning experience. Anger management, language management, attitude management and whole host of other things that come with working with all kinds of people. Guess, it has to do a lot with the next stage in life as well…

So, here are three things I want entrepreneurs to consider before deciding to take on something else:

  • If you decide to take something else for some extra dough cause your life stage demands it, reconsider.
    Work harder at what you are doing and think twice whether the mental exertion will be worth it
  • Evaluate what is more important. Freedom to choose the work you want to do or again, the extra dough
  • Reason and check your personality type. See what kind of a boss are you – kind and motivating or a one man show – A one man show is good when working for yourself, in a company with ‘processes’ you get agitated with bureaucratic delay

Hope this helps in making you in making your decision. Me? I’m still evolving.