Showing posts with label Book Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Review. Show all posts

Book Review| Show your Work

May 31, 2021 | | 0 comments |

I am an introvert and have like many always struggled showing my work. 

I dreamt hidden behind the curtains of my apartment's floor to ceiling windows and wanted to get the courage to one day tell everyone about my ideas. I was shy like many to speak up or show my work. So, when I was in school I had warmed up to the idea to write for a newspaper. Back then you had to mail them and one day out of nowhere it was published. That's how I started- showing my work.

That didn't take away from the awkwardness of thinking that if I wanted to show my work it would always be talking amidst people and selling them my pitch. Later, slowly I would send poems, articles mailed to be published in some coffee table books and journals.

Later when I had mustered the courage standing in front of the mirror holding the record button of my walkman practising speaking to a crowd I realised you could now blog. Thankfully that helped me start writing. I had a personal blog way back in college and then wrote another lifestyle blog and finally this one that you are reading today. Showing your work can be powerful, with so many platforms available now you can choose the one that makes you comfortable. I finally mustered up the courage also to start speaking up- opened my YouTube channel.

I wish I read this book before and that's why today we will talk about this book with the hope that if you are still fumbling and thinking whether you are good enough to showcase your work- you need to read this.

Show your Work

The Book- Show Your Work

Author- Austin Kleon

Price: 603 INR Kindle and 916  INRfor paperback (I have the Kindle version) 

Who Should read it- Anyone who wants to put their work in the public domain and needs a little bit of push.

"It's not enough to be good. In order to be found, you have to findable"

Put your work out there- You need to decide to put your work out there, whether it's through words, pics or videos. Kleon thinks that people will find you (yeah I am waiting for that too and thank you for reading my blog).You don't have to be a genius, rich or mater- you can start as an amateur.

Learn in front of others- The best way to get started on the path of sharing your work is to make a commitment to start learning in front of others. I think the biggest fear is that of being called a failure when you put yourself out without being an expert. I know it well enough especially when taking up a new role or a new platform. I think more successful you are in one one part of life, more fearful you are putting yourself out in another. 

Read Obituaries- To be aware that we are all going to die one day might help us treat our days as something to share our work. I recently heard it's also one of the good ways to find out what your goals are or who you want to be. thinking what will be written in your gravestone after you are long gone, is what brings back clarity on what we should be doing more of.

Think process not products- What used to matter before was just the product.  No one knew what happened behind the scenes in creating it. However now with social media available an artist /author/ideator doesn't have to work in secrecy behind the scenes anymore and can choose to talk about the process if he/she chooses to. By putting things out there consistently, anyone can actually form a relationship with customers who can now read/see the person behind the products. 

Become a documentarian of what you do- how can you show your work even when you have nothing to show? documenting your life can have its advantages because now you can get it done even with just a phone. You can choose to share when you are ready now that you have enough content ready

Share something small everyday- in early stages share what inspires you, middle stage share your process and as an expert share about how your project/products are doing.

"That's all any of us are: amateurs. We don't live long enough to be anything else" . - Charlie Chaplin

Turn your flow into Stock- Stock is best made by collecting, organizing and expanding upon your flow.

Tell good stories- Human being like to know where things came from, how they made it and who made them. always keep your audience in mind when telling one.

Shut up and Listen- if you are only pointing to your own stuff online, you are doing it wrong. you have to be a connector. if you want to get, you have to give.

Learn to take a punch- when you put your work out there, you have to be ready for the good, bad and the ugly. trick is to not care what everybody thinks of you but what the right people think of you.

"I come pre hated. Take your best shot" - Cyndi lauper

Pay it forward- Be as generous as you can but selfish enough to get your work done.

Reading this book again, opened me up to getting back to my work and start hitting the "publish" button again. Let me know if you read this book. 

(Pic courtesy: Google images)


Book Review- Digital Project Practice (managing Innovation and Change)| Giveaway

If 2021 has reading more books in your mind, you can start with this one that questions the status quo. Digital Project Practice (Managing Innovations and Change) , edited by Tobias Endress is a  collection of articles spread across 3 categories - Methods and Practices, Tools and Techniques and Culture, Soft Skill and Human resources. To check the book out please click here.

Giveaway details at the end of the post.


An advantage of having independent chapters in a book means you can start with any chapter that interests you. If you are thinking how do I know which chapter to start first start with, all of them come with a summary at the end of chapter. I found it rather interesting to see the topics that were covered  and perhaps the background of the authors from various countries and regions and profiles that make an interesting mix to not only read the book but have multiple takeaways to rethink the way you operate.

The book was written with the purpose to share the  business experience and prepare a book that introduces the methods, but also covers the practical aspect, critically acclaimed existing approaches and practices, and shows the limitations. This means the book touches on appropriate methods as well as social aspects. The social factor is actually one of the running themes in the book. I experienced in many projects that managing the human aspect can be at least as demanding as mastering the technological challenges in complex environments. It felt it might be a good idea to bring together the perspectives and experiences from various professionals with an international background and contrasting ideas in one book. 

The chapter by the editor Tobias Endress called “Ideas and Requirements for Digital Innovation” is a great place to start. Practical and yet the chapter nudges you into thinking why the initial process of ideation is ignored in so many organizations and teams and the problems it later leads to. From multiple product owners to introducing design thinking as a complementary process for Agile he writes in details how it can be of help. I have definitely seen companies who do something similar and the author cites Salesforce and their use of design thinking to bring out innovation.

He also steps into the creative area and talks why brainstorming just isn’t enough. I think the same way about brainstorming that the best idea accepted is usually from the one person who competes and wins to speak in a limited period of time (perhaps mostly extroverts). Now that might not always be the best idea and you see that’s what I like about this book that it brings up topics and issues that are humane. It’s just not technicalities and KPI and charts and graphs to track the work, it’s what really works in real scenarios where the human factor is of the utmost importance.

The author mentions: I wanted to emphasise the importance of the start phase of the project. Agile methods like SCRUM or XP seemingly support the ‘quick start’ of any project. However, even when the methods aim to provide rapid results and feedback through fast deliveries it is my experience that it’s difficult to deliver a project in time and quality when you “sprint” too often in the wrong direction. I’m convinced that it saves time and money and possibly quite some headache when the objective is well thought through in the beginning. This does not mean that it is set in stone and may not be refined during the project phase, but good preparation might significantly reduce the frictions during the following phases. The practices highlighted in our book aim is reducing frictions in the first place.

I have to say, though this book initially comes across as just theories stringed together, sooner than later it turns out to be an interesting study. It definitely is for those who have spent a few years working and is well aware of the general business and process that’s being used in small or big firms. Also for newbies who want to start with the right mindset. If you are trying to think differently or look at another perspective- this book has your name written on it.

In many projects and conversation with fellow project professionals I heard statements like “yes, we use agile methods, but not like in the textbook”. This inspired the idea to prepare a book that covers not only methods but the practical application in real-world projects. I also wanted to raise awareness beyond plain software development aspects. Complex change and innovation projects require a wide range of different skills and usually involve many stakeholders. For example HR or legal teams are highly relevant, but often neglected in agile frameworks. I asked experts from my professional network if they want to contribute to such a book project and if they want to share their insights and experiences. I’m very happy with the responses and that we managed to cover so many different aspects of the business. I think it is interesting getting some insights through the perspectives from project professionals with different background. Changing perspective can help for "reflection in action".

Another chapter that might interest a lot of people specially during these time is of Time Management written by Gunter Jeschke. His concept of "bore out" amongst others are interesting where he sees the need for anyone to cut off immediately and look for another position in order to be more efficient with their time. Time management in this chapter doesn’t limit itself to personal and work time management but continues to talk about time management in projects and how to get it done well even when resources are on leave and are leaving.

If you are a hiring manager or often involved with hiring people in your team, Dr. Bernd Thommes chapter on Talent Challenges talks you through of finding the right talent and keeping them. While we all know everyone wants to belong and contribute to something bigger  the hiring manager needs to translate the company objectives into something tangible that hired employees can see as something they can contribute.

In being a book that covers all topics, I was intrigued and surprised by this one by Elena Dinman in the chapter Team and project Management Values, she talks about how in Belarus intrinsic motivation within teams is cultivated. She gives deeper insights into team motivation and a sense of belonging. What I also found very interesting is the “horizontal management” structure  she mentions which encourages any new joiner in the team to go through all the roles within the team and then start on his/her immediate role. This is a take home for any team or individuals who often complaint about team motivation and not having the right cross functionality. The focus is on flexibility and cross functionality. In creating a system to trust human values, she focuses on burnouts, emotions and even how meditation or business yoga brings the team together.

So, what will you like about the book? It’s definitely the different perspectives and attention to details and how each one if their own specialised domain/expertise handle it. 

As the editor also kindly points out The various chapters make it very clear that there are different aspects and not one single answers. However, there are tools and techniques which may help a lot to increase the performance and also the perception of project success. The various chapters cover specific aspects of project business and provide you with the personal opinion of the respective author. I hope that this input enables and encourages the reader to reflect upon the methods in the own organization.


This has definitely been a good read and if you want to check the book out, don't forget to participate in the giveaway. 

All you need to do is join the SIPM facebook community and you can read the full interview with the Editor Tobias Endress. In the comments section of this interview about the book mention why would you like to read this book. On Feb 25, I will announce the winner  and ship you the hard copy of the book (This is for India only). 

If you would like to buy the book, links here.

Product Round Up for June

Jul 1, 2018 | | 0 comments |
This month I thought I would share my love of reading and few of my all time 7 fav books with you. Let me know if you like the list and share  some of yours. 
The mentioned books are all from my personal collection (hardcopy and kindle versions) and not sponsored or gifted by the Author or the Publishing House. However, some of the links used here are affiliate links which means if you buy anything using the links, I make a little bit of money at no extra cost to you. this helps me run the blog and bring amazing content to you.


You are a Bad Ass  - First Impression of the book can be found here

Tools of the Titans  - Tim Ferris is another of my favourites and I try to read all of his books, to read a brief review click here 

The Checklist - I am a big fan of Atul Gawande and have read a lot of his books, this one is the first of his that I read and loved it. The review is right here.

Code of the Extraordinary Mind  - to know more about the book, click here.

The Sleep Revolution- An impulsive airport buy on my way to Goa, this book taught me a lot about sleeping and a lot that comes with it. If you are way busy with your life and think sleep is the thing I can manipulate and few cups of extra coffee will work, think again and read this 

When Life becomes Breath- the book left me sleepless for a week, if you need. reason to be grateful for your own life and stop complaining read this . This is not fiction, its real life.  

Holocracy  - If you are into Agile and new findings and case studies, this one will get you for sure. The book is about creating an organisation without managers. Zappos is one of the few companies that adopted this model and there have been numerous writings about it on the web. Read the blogpost about it here. 

Thank you for reading and supporting the site.

(Pic: Soma Bhattacharya)

Top 3 Books for 2016

If you have been with me reading the blog or checking tweets and watching the occasional pop ups in Instagram, you will know that I read for work and pleasure. This year has seen me get back to it more than the last two years. 

So, if you like to red or looking for a last minute gift idea, you can check out these 3 books which I think have had the most impact on me. 



·    The 193 pg book focuses on the benefits of maintaining a checklist through various industries. 
·      A surgeon from NY, the book The Checklist is not about just to do lists. It’s a brief list that helps critical decision making in sensitive situations like the operating room by saving lives or during investment decisions or in aeronautical situation (mid air crisis).
·        
The reason I liked the book is because:
§  It’s a simple idea that’s so well researched that it makes you think that we should all implement more checklists in our work places and homes to save ourselves from complications.
§  He talks about how the checklist that was created in John Hopkins hospital that raised a possibility that people talking to each other  a minute before starting the operation was a strategy to foster team work which lead to higher success rates. 
§  It made me think that the basics of any project management should be about certain checklist like its focused a lot in Agile with the ceremonies and DOD (definition of done) and exit criteria’s all set to actually ensure that everything is in its place and chances to miss it is reduced thereby ensuring the quality of the potentially shippable product.
§  It’s a book that will make you think and has take away's that you can actually implement in your work. It also provides you with enough case studies that will allow you to make a strong case with the right set of data that you will need to get buy in from your team or management to get the checklists implemented. 

If you need an awakening of your mind and soul, if you want to grow more, need a way to organize your thoughts and dreams, want to be happier....this is what you should be reading. It shook me up literally. ·It’s a must read and will be my staple on the bedside table for the next few month definitely.          

  • 223 pages excluding the glossary and others, this book will help you understand your expectation from life and how to get them. Book talks a lot about the realities that the author faced as he tried to build his own business that thrives successfully now.
  • He gives example from his own life and multitude of other people like Dalai Lama, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and Tony Robbins on how they look at success.
  • My favorite in the book is chapter 5- where he talks about the structure that’s split into 8 sets of qualities that we need from life and for me thinking the way he has laid it down was life changing. I really knew the actions I had to take to grow more personally and professionally.
  • This is a book that helps you look inside you, fix it... so you can fulfill your dreams outside.

·         This was an impulsive buy in airport because I was looking to read something while I was on vacation for my son’s 2 birthday this August. I don’t think I have ever thought of sleep so much in my life till I started reading this book. I will be honest, I am not much of a sleeper, I like to stay awake more than I like sleeping. I have in the recent years also been very sleep deprived; I call it the Rio Effect. The book surprised me with the health benefits and the link to better decision making and yes now that I try to sleep more I do see the payback myself.  

  • ·We all know sleeps important, but the author breaks the modern myth of going sleepless and how cool it is especially for youngsters and showing why and how it’s important to achieve our goals.
  • It talks about medications, health issues, and extra cost to government dealing with health crisis that can all be reduced just by sleeping.
  •  It also talks about how from Warren Buffet to Satya Nadella all emphasize about sleeping and its bond to good decision making and the effectiveness and efficiency.
  • If you like informative and well researched book like I do and the topic is something you can relate to- it’s a good read.
For me I can connect the dots of the take away of the 3 books- I think resting the mind to work and function better in a structured way through checklists will make me happier and give me better value for the time invested in doing it. And happiness will ensure I work through my challenges better and have the capacity to fulfill the dreams.

Pic courtesy: Google and Soma Bhattacharya
Some of the links are Amazon affiliate links, you don't pay extra for it but it helps this site run. Thank you.

Project Management 2.0- Book Review

Project Management 2.0
Sent by Wiley (publisher) for a book review, this book wasn't purchased by me.

What it covers:
  • How has project management changed over the years and why?
  • It touches on all the topics you would need in project management from tools to governance and shows you the changes
  • Talks about how social impacts have made changes to this line of work like recessions.
  • Text heavy with intermittent charts and graphs

As the name suggest the book is all about the “new” in project management, but clearly through the pages, the author talks more through comparative tables and the value of the new. In trying to keep the book in a discussion mode, there are questions listed at the end of every chapter. From the Agile PM methodology to the politics and stakeholder mapping everything gets covered indepth.
Towards the end of the book he talks about the various ways of problem solving and decision making and concludes interestingly.

Total No of Pages
316

Who should read this Book?
  • Project management professionals- Anyone in the project management profession can pick it up, especially those who have been doing it for a while. It’s definitely not a quick read, however allows seeing the latest trends and changes that you can catch up with.
  • Project management Historians-Anyone interested in the project management history and how things have undergone changes will find the book interesting.
  • I don’t think it would particularly interest the millenials, because they have been doing project management 2.0 anyways.

Why should you read this book?
  • To keep yourself updated- from the latest changes in Agile Project management to the how stakeholder management has changed. 12 chapters are:
  • Project management 2.0
  • Peek into the Future of project management
  • Understanding Success and Failure
  • Value driven project management
  • Growing importance of metrics with pm 2.0
  • Project management Methodologies 1.0vs2.0
  • Project governance
  • Role of project manager in strategic planning and Portfolio management
  • R&D Project management
  • Problem solving and decion making
  • Need for project management
  • Using the PMO to spearhead PM2.0

 What’s the price and where can I find it?

Who is the author?

The Project Managers Guide to Mastering Agile- Book Review

The book was sent for review, though I chose it amongst others. The book piqued my interest because project management and agile are considered contradictory ideas.

Published by Wiley, the book covers all aspects of agile and how its different from the traditional waterfall.
What it covers is:
  • Provide a better understanding of what Agile is
  • Talk about the roles and how they are different in Agile
  • Take the main discussion points from PMBOK and explain how the same topic is looked in Agile
  • Dedicates a chapter to Agile tool- about Version One specifically.

·         The book is categorized into 4 main section:
§  Fundamentals of Agile
§  Agile Project Management
§  Making Agile Work for a Business
§  Enterprise Level Agile Frameworks
·         Chapter 11 onwards, the discussion focuses more on understanding Agile at deeper level and subsequently talk about Scaling Agile, the concept of Agile Transformation and towards the end  Frameworks
§  SAFe
§  DAD
§  Managed Agile Development Framework
·         The case studies brings in the how changes happen in reality, the challenges and how to overcome them.

·         The added benefit is the glossary of terms, so someone very new to the concept of Agile doesn’t need to go through another book or web, but can simply get all the terminologies from right here.

Total No of pages
399 (including index)

Who should read this Book?

  •        Project Managers moving into Agile- This book is caters to both experienced and new project managers. Apart from explaining the concepts, the book talks in details about all aspects of traditional project management and its changing roles- from estimation to time management.
  •          Sponsors for Agile Transformation- The case studies are a great way to look into the challenges along with the scaling frameworks. While Agile tool has been discussed here, they are a lot many options available in the market.  
  •          Managers interested in knowing the relevance of roles in Agile and how they are supposed to be handled- With self organizing Agile teams, the concern for management always lies in where does the existing roles fit in?
Why should you read this book?
Anyone interested to know where a project manager would fit in an Agile Organization can read this book. I have to say, the book is for someone who’s new to Agile, or has been working in traditional project management role for long.  

What’s the price and where can I find it?


Who is the author?
Charles G. Cobb

Book Review- Overcoming Imposter Syndrome


Motivation and manipulating office scenarios are as important as your project management skills.
Getting my hands on Overcoming Imposter Syndrome made me realise how important is it and how most of us (if not all) have encountered it at some point in my life.

This 84 page e-book has been a soul revealing experience. To know that you are not alone and it’s a psychological trait that most people go through is comforting. It’s packed with information and is extremely well researched.

 “Imposter Syndrome is not a medical condition. It is a term for the feeling you have when you believe that you do not really know what you are doing.” 
                                                       -Elizabeth Harrin,  author.    

It’s the act of not being able to measure up to yourself and the feeling of being a fraud. The 5 symptoms of Imposter Syndrome are explained in the initial chapters. She also provides with a checklist test that identifies whether you have suffered from Imposter Syndrome and I guess it’s rather tough to not fall in the group.

I especially liked Geoff Cranes story and it’s so true on what we do in reality. How every single good work we do, is always because of some other reason.  

Section 1 is all about the Imposter Syndrome- what and how.

Section 2 is all about overcoming the syndrome and the author gives 10 ways to get it done.

Along with the book comes the elaborate action plan- the to do of course to get over your syndrome if you have figured out through the 84 pages that you have one too,

Who should read this Book?
 If you feel you earn more than you deserve- oh yeah, have you ever felt that? You get more than you are worth, that someday someone will figure out you are not worth your salary.
  • If you always have someone else to thank for your success- If you think if you are not responsible for your success. If you can’t take compliments and are embarrassed hearing about it because you know you are really not worth it.
  •  If you are always unsure about yourself and your capability- When everyone is better than you, you feel inferior and incompetent.

 Why should you read this book?

  •  So, you know you are not alone and of you identify your problem.
  •  Plus you get tons of information here, which will allow you to successfully overcome it.
  • That it happens to a lot of people and its not a disease, just work on it!

What’s the price and where can I find it?
You can find it here (Disclosure: This is an affiliate link)
 Price: 8 Pounds.                                                                                                                                           

Beyond the Boys Club- Book Review

I came across this book review here and decided that I should read the book- so I bought it.

It had a waiting period of 10-15 days to import the book from US and then deliver- it was worth the wait and every single bit of the money!

This 292 pages book is a must read if you are a woman working in an organization which has a considerable percentage of men involved.

It lets you in to the secrets and science of being noticed, taking on more responsibility and being promoted. Suzanne Doyle Morris, the author interviews professionals and talks about steps taken by them to be noticed and be considered as part of the all male teams.

With this book you will actually learn and it’s a keeper .

Throughout the 14 chapters of the book she helps women see themselves in ways we have never thought about- the way women are perceived by men, how the body language, smaller things in workplace affect your image. She educates on things to change, things to act on, to do on what will make a favourable impression where you have a sponsor and an advocate for you.

It’s an amazing book and the one book which I think that will change your life and will be used over and over again.

Who should read this Book?
  • Women Starting Out- Why wait, when you can read this book and be aware from the beginning on how to manoeuvre your way through professional success.  
  • Women In the Profession- Ever felt being sidetracked when you are spending 14 hours a day head down working and producing incredible results? Not getting the right project, the right promotion, the raise? This book is for you.
  • No matter what I do; it never works out (for women)- The book reveals perceptions that are working against us ad how we can change them. The do’s and the don’ts of survival and making an impact.
  • Men in the Profession- Not all actions are deliberate, this book will allow you to see the point of view of women working with you. An in-depth study, this might be the one book that allows you or your team to understand and create ways to encourage and promote women in your team.
Why should you read this book?
  • If you have been frustrated by your career track and umpteen hours at your desk hasn’t produced any favorable results.
  • Has goals to grow and wants to know how to work the system.
  • If you are a women and a minority in your organization, this is a must read. Even if you have never felt out of th loop and get along well and are happy with your job, this might be life changing for you.
What’s the price and where can I find it?
Who is the author?
You can find all about the author here and this is her Linkedin profile.

If you want a short video to see her talk about the book click here

You can also watch her interview in the video below:



To read her interview about her new book Female Breadwinners here 

Book Review- Project Management in Real World (E Harrin)


Published by BCS, this 203 paged book is a perfect read by newbies as well as project managers.

Divided into 5 sections and including topics like “Managing Budgets” to “Managing Yourself”, the book encompasses every topic that a project manager has to handle on a regular basis to fulfil their role as a project manager.

Sprinkled all over with real life examples, the author drives home every single point with graphics, illustrations, simple narrative without many of the tongue twisting jargons. Heady and compact with information this is not a one day reading. You will find yourself bookmarking the pages for reference later.

Every chapter begins with the definition, an example followed with Golden Rules and Hint for easy reading and reference. The example doesn’t necessarily always stick to IT, it goes back and forth in all domains from media to wedding planning to offshore projects and ways to provide incentives to your team.

This book is a fantastic read for everyone who wants to attempt their hands in project management or is in the domain ( to get a different perspective). In fact the book starts with a Glossary and is a great way to learn concepts and the reality of project management if you have seen projects happening from the outer circle or is planning certifications for the near future.

Who should read this Book?
  • Newbies- Anyone interested in project management, this is a perfect read to step into the realities of project management. Book offers a detailed narrative on what happens in your dream job role.
  • Project Management Students- Great examples that you can relate to the theories or the PMBOK chapters. The book displays how the formulas, theories and expertise keep the projects running in reality.
  • Just Promoted New Managers-Great read to know how to manage teams, find solutions to complex problems and accounting, how much risk to take, how to get your team together.
  • Ambitious Professionals- Anyone from any domain and position (job title) looking forward to impress your bosses and finding ways to make yourself stand apart and get more responsibility.


Why should you read this book?
  • Real life examples those are easier to relate to than theories in the PMBOK.
  • Examples from all domains, so everyone can relate to it and find ways how you can use project management in your everyday job or your field. You don’t have to be in IT to implement project management techniques.  You also don’t need to know all chapters of the PMBOK to understand this, however if you have read the PMBOK this book might turn to be  a great guide to see how all those theories really are implemented in reality.  
  • Expert comments on their insights and mistakes and how they handled it.
  • From Peer Reviews to finding a mentor; the author covers it all. It’s a one stop guide/book for all project managers.


What’s the price and where can I find it?
$41.99 at Amazon US
21.05 (pounds) in Amazon UK
325(INR) in India

Who is the author?
The author is Elizabeth Harrin, who runs the award winning blog A girls Guide to Project Management  and is currently the Head of IT Program Delivery and author of 2 books- Social Media for project Managers and Project Management in the Real World. She is also the director of Otobos Group which provides writing services to the business. You can also find her at this twitter handle @pm4girls  


Disclosure: The links provided in this review are NOT affiliate links.

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office - Book Review


I was shopping for another book (review to come soon) when I spotted this one- Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office- Lois P. Frankel, PhD; had a great review so decided to add it to the shopping cart as well.

And I loved reading it (twice) and it’s a keeper.

Recently I read this article on Sheryl Sandberg here  and more at NY Times, so with this book  and what women are achieving I think the definition of “Nice” is ever changing! You can also see this video of Sandberg talking about the balance of her career and family here.  

The book with 268 pages starts with defining the workplace as a game where learning to play chess can come in handy! The book formatted as 101 tips are individual chapters which make for easy read.
Throughout the chapters, the author emphasizes on building relationships at work which are great way to network and use your job as a way to grow and let others know about you. Men usually are more naturally tuned to taking breaks and networking unlike women. Women take pride in being hard workers and not good networkers.  

She mentions that women shouldn’t take up low key assignments and agree to making coffee and taking notes; building your career is a lot more about choosing the way you present yourself at work! You need to give reasons why you should be considered for the next promotion!

The book gives helpful tips and elaborates on the way women behave in similar situations and can be far away from how men do. She also suggests in most chapters, books and articles to read and refer and take away lessons in bullet point for a quick referral later.

Investing in relationships is stressed over and over in the book. I read this somewhere else (not this book) and I think wrote about it in the blog as well, that keeping a budget for meeting people is also highly recommended. And it’s a known fact that influencer’s network well! Sheryl Sandberg hosts monthly meet ups at her place and has been doing it for sometime now. Most #PMOT influencers I know are great at networking, a lesson to be learnt.

The book is witty and funny with a lot of real life examples like that of a woman stuck in a man’s world job, where she had to start smoking to stop being considered a woman and being accepted easily by her peers. Although she later said, she stopped smoking and with her credentials in place, she had nothing more to prove. But those initial days, smoking got her easily accepted among men.

The book handles regular work life example and states on the required changes in behaviour or body language and things to be avoided. It’s always not beneficial to keep your head down at work, sometimes it’s considered lack of interest in leadership or taking more responsibility, instead they are considered good workers who are then bogged down and delegated more work. While the networkers and who take more breaks and tell about their interest in other roles are given the chance to grow.
Your brand is important and this has been going on for some time now. You are what you bring to the table as an individual and not the list of companies you have worked before. Build your brand and let people know about it. Getting a professional coach is recommended in the book, if you can’t afford, find a mentor at least.

If you like something people do, don’t be shy to tell them that and ask for guiding you, in most cases they reply back and help out. Especially in the age of social media, it isn’t really difficult to get access. If you are looking for people whose careers you want to emulate, ask them how they did it or look at their Linkedin profiles- it will give you something to start with.

Take up volunteering opportunities, keep a watch for the next job- the day you start a new one and start talking to people.  I know one of my friend; based in Chicago who is hugely successful and is constantly meeting friends and attending parties every weekend, sometimes 3 in one day. Twice a year, she makes  a list of all the people she has met and been invited over to and clubs them into 3-4 groups of people who will get along well with each other and over the next 4 weekends, invites them over for dinner. I went for one and loved it very much. Over barbecue and dinner and a beautiful home and pre-planned list of guests, they all get along well and talk about new opening and job trends to more networking opportunities. You’ll be surprised how many job openings are discussed over and candidates pushed for those.

Personally I think, don’t sideline yourself, I have seen women in meetings who don’t sit, like to stand in the corners and never speak in meeting even when they are given opportunities to. Somehow lack of taking initiative and displaying their presence and opinions don’t allow them to get invited to the next meeting.

Dress and make up plays a vital role, you can read up on some tips here  and Peter Taylor in his book The Lazy Project Manager also talks about the advantage of putting on a well cut suit to make your presence known, if not everyday at least during meetings. 

The book is a good read, must read if you will and definitely allows you to change positively and perhaps an avenue for a promotion or two!

Linchpin- the book

Jun 27, 2011 | | 1 comments |
It’s a book you will read at one go and you should- an eye opener in every sense of the word.

How does it help new Project Managers?

It tells you how to avoid the “lizard brain” (your inner resistance) that takes over when in doubt, anxiety and stress. It’s the negative emotions that stops you from being the “Linchpin”.

Linchpin’s have 7 abilities:
·Delivering unique creativity
·Inspiring staff
·Possessing a unique talent
·Managing  situation of great complexity
·Providing an interface among members of the organization
·Leading customers
·Providing deep domain knowledge.

Linchpin’s lead without being told or even holding a fancy title. Sound’s familiar? A quality must for aspiring PM’s.

He gives plenty of examples- like that of Richard Branson who encountered a situation where his flight was cancelled. So instead of waiting forever he went to the airports charter desk and chartered a flight. He then borrowed a blackboard and wrote $39 for seats. He went back to the gate, sold enough tickets to cover the price and reached his destination.

He gives example of the “lizard brain” and how a simple eye contact can get someone attacked. He talks about the Rotterdam zoo where Gorilla visitors have to wear glasses like those in 3D movies.  And what the Gorilla sees painted on the outside the glasses- eyes looking sidewise. This has saved many attacks by the gorilla. Avoiding direct eye contacts doesn’t trigger the “lizard brain”.

A great book- informative and inspiring and a complete  guide to understand why we choose the easy route of being a worker and not an “artist”.

(Pic courtesy: Google images)

Delivering Happiness - Book Review

Jun 11, 2010 | | 1 comments |
"Wow" has never been so perfectly expressed as it has in the new book by the Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

I love business books and they have a way to influence me even in my sleep. Its funny, witty and interlaced with moments of inspiration like how he wrote a sonnet in school with morse code.

The book is about his life, inspiration, struggle and the pressures of dealing with Asian parents. What I like the most is the fact that it is written so simply and yet is so powerful. It’s real- there are no theories, no rules, no charts and diagrams that you have to follow. It’s simply the passion and the belief that it will happen.
I think the book is amazing because the passion comes through.

I couldn’t stop reading it and as a way to spread the happiness ended up giving away one of my copies hoping that it will change them too, the way it did to me (Yeah, I have more than 1 copy because I applied as a blogger and got 2 copies and the wow factor came in yesterday, when I had the hard bound final book mailed again).Wow!

I have always been a fan of Zappos, I like how they do things and it got me into buying a shoe from them (see picture).

So, if you are bored with your job or need something inspiring to read or is witness to your organization falling apart- read the book it might change you forever.

If you are a project manager- you will pick up some amazing team building tips and learn the importance of building the team culture and how it can affect productivity. Dreams do come true; with a lot of passion, hard work and the right group of friends (or team)!

Happy reading everyone! To know more about the book, you can follow at @DHBOOK

The 4 Hours Work Week by Tim Ferris- why you should read it?

Feb 14, 2010 | | 0 comments |
Ever thought you need that push to get over the conflicting emotions? The strength even when you sleep, the dream to free up some of your time to go travelling or sit in your backyard and sip bubbly, create something of your own that is bigger than yourself- this is the read for you.

The book is focused and will not waste your time- will get your attention to the point where you cannot put it down unless you have read the whole thing. As much as the title suggests like its some magic scam like pill where you delegate all your work, not work and have long vacations- not true.

The 396 page book, talks about a concept, tells you how to implement it, gives you links to resources like websites, companies etc and then quotes people who have used the concept. Overall- I think it will make you think like never before.

The books is for everyone, if you are busy professional, starting your own business , stay at home mom- everyone will find something special here.

And if you are project manager- you will wow’d by all the statistics and charts, the logic behind his thinking; if you are not- don’t be mortified – this book is all text and has sparse use of flow charts. I think after you finish reading you will take in what you have read and create something of your own out of the whole experience of simply reading the book.

A must read and I have to say- I’m using some of the ideas from the book and it works! Adding this book to my library and among my favorite reads.

So, happy reading!

The Red Diary

Jul 27, 2009 | | 3 comments |

While I have been running around for the last few days for some work (one of the reasons I haven’t been able to blog much), there’s something new I recently started.

It’s the Red Diary.

It’s really red and in China considered an auspicious color. A gift that was completely sidelined for long. It was stacked away with my folders and bunch of papers; waiting to be used for something special.

Then it just happened.

This weekend I bought a couple of good reads- Cold Steel by Tim Bouquet and Byron Ousey- the book about steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittals battle with Arcellor and The Making of Barrack Obama by Richard Wolffe.

Cold Steel is a gripping read, the hugeness of which can lead to sleepless nights thinking about the force behind it, the power of the strategies and most importantly the urge to do something on such a huge scale can blow your sleep to a thousand glittering stars.

That’s what happened.

Sometimes a powerful thought will come to you that you want to hold on to. That’s what you do with your Red Diary.

It’s the diary of your dream that you will need to reach your goals. It’s the awestruck moment captured in words, mesmerized by innovation and ideas. This is your true raw essence of thoughts, uncensored and the pure you in the most inspirational of moments captured.

(Pic Courtesy)