My Favourite Books

I love to read and listen books on leadership, management, self-improvement, current-affairs, etc. I have learned a lot from these books and implemented ideas in my life.

  • Fierce Conversations – Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Coversation at a Time – Susan Scott
    I found this book so useful that I think it should be a must read book for anyone – it shows how to overcome barriers to communication, increase clarity, handle strong emotions, and transform oneself to a leader. It showed me where I was lacking in my conversation, what was I doing wrong and what help can I use from this book. Book shares the 7 principles and I learned a lot from it. Here are some pearls of wisdom from this book-

    • Companies and marriages derail because people do not say what they are really thinking.
    • The person who can most accurately describe reality without laying blame will emerge the leader.
    • Your version of reality is as good as anybody’s.
    • Come into coversation with empty hands. Bring nothing but yourself.
    • Sometimes we put so many pillows around a message that the message gets lost altogether.
    • Would you prefer to continue limping, or are you ready to remove the stone from your shoe?
    • A careful conversation is a failed coversation.
    • Your confusion is an asset; your search for clarity may blaze a path for others.
    • If you wish to drown yourself, do not torture yourself with shallow water.
    • Don’t sacrifice results in favor of efficiency.
    • Learn to deliver the message without the load
    • Never mistake talking for conversation
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful – Marshall Goldsmith
    This book is highlight of my 2007 read. I enjoyed each and every page of this book. If you are in any kind of leadership or management role, get this book and read with open mind. Many of my senior people read and absolutely loved it. Marshall Goldsmith talks about 20 habits leaders have and how to overcome those not-so-good habits and get to the top. These habits mentioned (e.g. not listening, passing the buck, punishing the messenger, clinging to the past, etc.) seem very general and common but these small habit are kind of leak in leadership boat. Highly recommended.
  • The Secret of the Seven Seeds : A Parable of Leadership and Life – David Fischman I finished listening to audio book and it was a book that I not only enjoyed but also got answer to some of my own questions. I would say it was one of the best. The best thing in the audio book was the Indian master who guides Ignacio Rodriguez with his Indian accent and help Ignacio to discover happiness in his personal and professional life by giving very simple and practical examples. If you find there is imbalance in your personal and professional life (i.e. work-life balance) or you want to improve your personal effectiveness and enjoy the meaning of life; listen to it. Its not any religious speech. Master is Indian Yogi, who himself was a successful businessman, has gone through corporate culture and discovers something meaningful. This is based on author’s personal experience.
  • The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
    My wife gave me this book as a gift. She had never bought me any book to read and I had doubted that I would read it at all since the title was not telling anything and author was never heard of. But once I looked at the book, printing and paper, I found it interesting. I read couple of paragraphs and then I could not put the book away. It was something interesting that was never presented with the perspective the way book explained. ‘The Secret’ talks about Law of Attraction, in other words power of our sub-conscious mind. I learned from this book that we can easily program ourselves to think positive, we can put a positive perspective on all outcomes and positive things will happen. You can find tons of material about Law of Attraction on Internet, if you enjoy that, then its a good book to read. Personally, I liked it as it teaches to think and expect positive.
  • Project Management: Achieving Competitive Advantage -Jeffrey K Pinto
    One of the excellent books on Project Management with lots of practical case studies. Basically book refreshes PMBOK concepts with real life examples. It also included MS Project, internet exercises. I learn faster when I read books with modern layout, multiple colors, with lots of figures and tables.
  • If You Can’t Climb The Wall, Build A Door! – Dr. Charles Lever.
    This is very motivational book. This book talks about the the people who faced adversity in their life and quitting was not an option for them. This books makes you to rethink about the life you are leading and how it can be improved. I used to take things in negative light when something went wrong, now I have got another perspective, I take any obstacle as challenge. As Dr. Lever said, “Walls are temporary not permanent”. Nothing is impossible and persistence is the key to success.
  • The 13 Secrets of Power Performance – Roger Dawson.
    I just got this book recommended on Amazon when browsing and got a copy. Wonderful addition to my personal library. I would steer clear of risks, but this book taught me how these risks are opportunities in disguise. Mr. Dawson’s first secret of power performance is: They have learned to make life an adventure. Mr. Dawson talk about his personal experiences, his adventures in mountain climbing, risks he took and his writing style is very captivating. I admire his writing and refer this book often to recharge myself.
  • Life Is a Contact Sport – Ten Great Career Strategies That Work – Ken Kragen.
    I got this book from local library when browsing the section. It is excellent read; Ken comes from entertainment business management, but ideas/strategies can be implemented anywhere. His main points are –

    • Build your career by concentrating several events in a short period of time.
    • Crate a road map to where you want to be by thinking backward.
    • Your life is not your career. Your career is only a tool to use for a better life.
    • Optimism and enthusiasm are two vital keys to success.
    • Life is a contact sport; start developing your network today.
    • Life is an opportunity; everything, even the negatives.
    • The power of giving is the law to get back more than you give.
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – Tim Ferriss.
    I finished reading this book today (16-Jul-2007). Although I did not try speed reading it as I was enjoying reading it. It has valuable advice, I personally liked it. Would I act on it? Not completely but will start with something. I would recommendit to anyone who wants to have other perspective on things. Here are some key points from the book I like to share- quoting exactly from different chapters…

    • Different is better when it is more effective or more fun.
    • Too much, too many, and too often of what you want becomes what you don’t want.
    • If yo are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.
    • Unreasonable and unrealistic goals are easier to achieve for yet another reason.
    • Doing big things begins with asking for them properly.
    • Living like a millionaire requires doing interesting things and not owning enviable things.
    • Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now!
    • Lack of time is actually lack of priorities.
    • Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant.
    • Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.
    • Problems, as a rule, solve themselves or disappear if you remove yourself as an information bottleneck and empower others.
    • Hard feelings pass. Don’t suffer fools or you’ll become one.
    • Being able to quit things that don’t work is integral to being a winner. Going into a project or job without defining when worthwhile becomes wasteful is like going into a casino without a cap on what you will gamble: dangerous and foolish.
    • Most situations are simple – many are just emotionally difficult to act upon.
  • Little Black Book of Connections – 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships – Jeffrey Gitomer
    I had an appointment in Toronto downtown and was early as traffic was not that bad. I went to bookstore and found this little black book. Printing and format was eye catching. This is another book that I would suggest people to buy and keep; you got to reference it very often to keep you on track. This book tells that “To climb the ladder of success, you don’t need more techniques and strategies, you need more friends.” and guides you how to do that. Here are some key points; if you want to succeed in 21st century – Networking is must –

    • Treat everyone who tries to make contact with you with respect and dignity.
    • Joining organizations is not an option, its an imperative if you seek to make powerful connections.
    • What you say to others is a reflection of who they think you are.
    • The real rule of “give and take” is: Before you can take, you gotta give.
    • To be successful at networking, go where your customers and prospects go, or are likely to be.
  • Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand and Fighting to Keep It -David D’Alessandro
    This is one of the best audio book I listened to. I enjoyed the stories and examples given by the author. Author talks about 10 basic rules for personal branding and I found that everyone can learn from this book. We must have our personal brand in business/work and our brand should convey the qualities and value of our work/contribution/style. Ten rules are as follows –

    • Try to look beyond your navel.
    • Like it or not, your Boss is the co-author of your brand.
    • Put your Boss on the couch.
    • Learn which one is the pickel fork.
    • Kenny Rogers is right.
    • It is always show time.
    • Make the right enemies.
    • Try not to be swallowed by the bubble.
    • The higher you fly, the more you will be shot at.
    • Everybody coulda been a contender, make sure you stay one.

  • Change The Way You See Everything – Kathryn Cramer and Hank Wasiak.
    This book gives you positive perspective on looking at things. It promotes ‘asset based thinking’ over ‘deficit based thinking’. Publisher has done a great job, book is very modern looking with colorful pages, lots of images and nicely formatted pages.
  • It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be – Paul Arden
    Its very short 127 pages long book, filled with good piece of advice/ tips. Paul says, “Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without having a goal it’s difficult to score.” Read it and learn whatever applies to your situation. Excellent read.

5 replies

  1. i want book ” if you can’t climb the wall, build a door – pl. inform, from where i can get this book

  2. Hello ,

    Thank you very much for this beautiful information.

    Best regards,

  3. Gold nuggets of information Virk. Thank you!


  1. Great PMs BAs & Agiles Know How To Smile! Project Management Lessons with Humor :pduOTD – PDU Of The Day
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