Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Habit of Winning - Prakash Iyer

I like Prakash Iyer's books. Simple yet profound. Nice stories that are easy to remember and relate. I enjoyed reading his 'Secrets of Leadership' and was thrilled when Shobhs gifted me this book the other day. The book has 57 chapters divided into eleven sections ranging from Vision and Goals, Self- Belief, Perseverance, Winner's Mindsets, Giving, Hard work, The Winner's way, Winning with Teams, Other People, Finding Balance and Take Action.

My favorite stories are the ones about the nine rabbits that Jack Ma spoke about in a seminar - how if one tries to catch nine rabbits in a room he is not likely to get any, but if he goes after one rabbit at a time, he could end up catching all nine, one at a time. The story of Karoly Takas, an army sergeant and an Olympic medal hopeful who loses his right hand which is also his shooting hand and comes back to shoot with his left hand and wins two Olympic golds in 1944 and 1948. The two dollar man idea was brilliant - next time you are about to tip someone one dollar, tip them two instead because it makes you feel good and rich. Same with the Binaca toys story - only those who experienced that thrill of getting those toys know what the story is about - but the takeaway - that we could always pack in a small little extra surprise when we deliver and people never forget you. I can never forget the Binaca toys experience ever. The one about how good you are with bad news was nice too - very imp. Cannot forget the story of Lawrence Lemieux, a Canadian sailor and an Olympic medal hopeful who is second at halfway stage and then spots two Singaporean sailors in trouble and abandons his race to save them. He sees them off to safety and then goes to complete his race, finishing 22nd, but gains the True Medal of Sportsmanship . Ah, that's what the Olympics are all about. Life is all about.

Prakash takes much sports analogy and a lot of cricket analogy. I remember him being CEO of the Mumbai Indians or some team. So there are the stories of Sachin playing after getting his face hit, Kumble bowling with his bandaged and broken jaw, Sidhu coming back to be a palm tree hitter (nice to see my old friend Rajan Bala being mentioned here), Atapattu coming back after scoring 2 runs across six years (scores of 0,0, 0,1, 0,0) and scoring 5000 Test runs with 16 centuries and 6 double centuries. Some of my favorite stories - of the starfish on the beach, of the Chinese bamboo, of the butterfly trying to break out of a cocoon, the building  a cathedral story, eating the frog first thing in the day, Gandhi and his one shoe, people who seek information about the town ahead and get contrasting information, the water bearer and the leaky pot,  the Great Wall of China and how despite the magnificent wall attackers could come through because they could bribe the guards.

Overall, a lovely, well written, useful and informative read. Recommended.

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