From Change to Clarity: My 2023 Reading Journey

As 2023 draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on the incredible journey this year has been—a tapestry woven with challenges, opportunities, and, above all, the profound impact of the books that accompanied me through it all.

In the realm of managing change, “The Leader’s Handbook,” “Amazon Unbound,” “Catalyst,” “The Upside of Uncertainty,” and “The Coaching Habit” stood out as guiding lights. Each page turned felt like a step toward mastering the art of navigating uncertainty and embracing change.

In the pursuit of personal and professional excellence, I found solace in “Build,” courage in “Skin in the Game,” clarity in “Clarity,” emotional mastery in “Master Your Emotions,” and a guide to staying focused in an ever-distracting world with “Indistractable.” Also “The First 90 days” helped me navigate my professional change!.

To stay ahead of the curve and catch the elusive trends, “How Data Happened,” “Power of Prediction,” and “Game Theory” became my trusty companions, offering insights that proved invaluable in both my personal and professional spheres.

The motivational force of “The Code Breaker,” “Educated,” “Lesson in Chemistry,” “Katha,” and “The Lego Story” fueled my spirit, reminding me that the human experience is a rich tapestry of stories waiting to be explored.

And in the realm of fiction, “Contact” and “Station Eleven” etched themselves into my all-time favorites, transporting me to worlds that stretched the boundaries of imagination.

As I bid farewell to 2023, I eagerly anticipate the surprises and discoveries that 2024 holds. May this new year be filled with joy, growth, and a plethora of captivating reads. Wishing you all a delightful holiday season, a Happy New Year, and countless adventures within the pages of wonderful books! 📚✨

Ethics 101 : Beginner’s guide in Ethics

“Ethics 101: From Altruism and Utilitarianism to Bioethics and Political Ethics, an Exploration of the Concepts of Right and Wrong” by Brian Boone is a beginner-friendly guide that explores various ethical theories and concepts. The book covers a range of ethical perspectives, from historical theories like utilitarianism and deontology to contemporary issues in bioethics and political ethics. Boone provides a concise overview of each concept, breaking down complex ideas into easily understandable terms. The book is designed to introduce readers to the fundamental principles of ethics, making it accessible to those who may be new to the subject. It serves as a primer for individuals interested in understanding different ethical frameworks and their applications in various aspects of life

Major topics covered

  1. Introduction to Ethics: Basic definitions and the importance of ethical considerations.
  2. Historical Ethical Theories:
    • Utilitarianism: The idea that actions should maximize overall happiness or utility.
    • Deontology: Emphasizing the importance of following moral rules and duties.
  3. Virtue Ethics: Exploring the development of good character traits as the foundation for ethical behaviour.
  4. Applied Ethics:
    • Bioethics: Ethical considerations in the field of biology and medicine.
    • Environmental Ethics: Ethics related to the environment and our impact on it.
    • Business Ethics: Moral considerations in the business world.
  5. Political Ethics: Examining ethical principles in the context of politics and governance.
  6. Social Justice: Addressing issues of fairness and justice in society.
  7. Metaethics: Exploring the nature of ethics, including questions about objectivity and subjectivity.
  8. Religious Ethics: Considering how various religious traditions approach ethical questions.
  9. Current Ethical Issues: Examining contemporary ethical challenges and debates.

What do I like in this book most?

The book is designed to be a primer, providing a concise introduction to key ethical concepts without overwhelming me with unnecessary details. It explores how ethical theories can be applied to real-life situations, making it relevant to everyday decision-making. The book also covers a wide range of topics within ethics, from historical theories to contemporary issues.


I made small timelines on various philosophers and ethicists which are mentioned in this book.

This book also recognizes a potential avenue for my further exploration. The primary discussion and renowned theories originate from the Western perspective. Even though the Eastern tradition has a longer history of engaging in ethical discourse, particularly from the perspective of virtues, it is an area that I find intriguing and may delve into as my next in-depth study.

A 200+ page, easy read book is a good leisure read, but be prepared to learn new insights on Ethics.

Have a good read!

Join my reading challenge Sumit’s 2023 reading challenge | Goodreads

Book Review : The Upside of Uncertainty

The Upside of Uncertainty: A Guide to Finding Possibility in the Unknown, The book is about framing uncertainty as a possibility. This involves shifting the mindset to see uncertainty as a potential source of positive outcomes and personal growth. Great Read!

The book backs up its strategies based on research from psychology, neuroscience, and behavioural economics. The book is not a guide to “success”, but more of “questioning” the anxiety of the uncertainty.

The book is divided in three parts,

  • Part 1: Understanding Uncertainty: This section explores the nature of uncertainty and how it affects us. The authors discuss the different types of uncertainty, the brain’s response to uncertainty, and the psychological biases that can lead us to make poor decisions in uncertain situations.
  • Part 2: Thriving in Uncertainty: This section provides tools and strategies for navigating uncertainty effectively. The authors discuss how to develop a healthy relationship with uncertainty, increase your possibility quotient, and build resilience in the face of unexpected challenges.
  • Part 3: Living in Possibility: This section explores the benefits of living in a world of uncertainty. The authors discuss how uncertainty can lead to more creativity, innovation, and connection.

Key strategies listed in the book:

  1. Embrace change: Accept that uncertainty often accompanies change, and change can lead to personal and professional growth. Embrace change as an opportunity to learn and adapt.
  2. Focus on what you can control: While you can’t control all aspects of uncertainty, concentrate on the factors you can influence and take actions that are within your control.
  3. Develop a growth mindset: Cultivate a mindset that sees challenges and uncertainty as opportunities for learning and improvement. Embrace failures as valuable lessons.
  4. Set clear goals: Define your objectives and aspirations, even in uncertain situations. Having clear goals can provide a sense of direction and purpose.
  5. Experiment and innovate: Use uncertainty as a chance to experiment, try new things, and innovate. This can lead to discoveries and breakthroughs.
  6. Seek diverse perspectives: Engage with people who have different viewpoints and experiences to gain new insights and ideas when facing uncertainty.
  7. Build resilience: Strengthen your ability to bounce back from setbacks and adapt to changing circumstances. Resilience can help you thrive in uncertain situations.
  8. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques can help you stay grounded in the present moment and reduce anxiety related to uncertainty.
  9. Maintain a positive attitude: Cultivate optimism and focus on the potential positive outcomes that uncertainty can bring. A positive attitude can be a powerful asset.
  10. Continuously learn and grow: View uncertainty as an ongoing opportunity for personal and professional development. Keep acquiring new skills and knowledge to stay adaptable.

By reframing uncertainty in this way, you can turn it into a catalyst for growth and possibility, rather than a source of anxiety and fear.

The key takeaways from this book are :

  • Uncertainty is inevitable. It is a part of life.
  • Uncertainty is not something to be feared, but rather embraced.
  • Uncertainty can lead to innovation, creativity, and personal growth.
  • There are tools and strategies that can help us navigate uncertainty effectively.
  • Living in a world of uncertainty can lead to a more fulfilling and impactful life.

Join my reading challenge Sumit’s 2023 reading challenge | Goodreads

Book Review : Power & Prediction


“Power and Prediction” discusses the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to transform decision-making through improved prediction. The authors argue that AI can change the balance between rules and decisions, and that better predictions can give businesses a competitive advantage. However, the adoption of AI requires a systems mindset, as the entire system of decision-making and its processes may need to adjust. The authors also explore the potential for AI to change who holds power, as well as the challenges in building judgment associated with AI prediction.

Key Questions answered in this book

  1. How does AI prediction change the traditional decision-making process?
    AI prediction changes the traditional decision-making process by reducing the cost and increasing the accuracy of prediction, which is a key input for any decision. Decision-making can be broken down into three components:
    1. data,
    2. prediction, and
    3. judgment.
    Data is the raw information that is available for the decision, prediction is the process of using data to forecast what will happen under different scenarios, and judgment is the process of determining the value or utility of different outcomes.
    Traditionally, prediction was expensive and inaccurate, so humans relied more on their intuition and heuristics to make decisions. However, with the advent of AI, prediction becomes cheap and precise, so humans can use more data and scenarios to make better-informed decisions. AI also enables new types of decisions that were not possible before, such as personalized recommendations, dynamic pricing, and real-time optimization.
    However, AI does not replace human judgment, which is still needed to evaluate the predictions and choose the best course of action. Human judgment also involves ethical, moral, and social considerations that AI cannot capture. Therefore, the optimal decision-making process in the age of AI is a combination of human and machine intelligence, where humans delegate prediction tasks to AI and focus on judgment tasks that require creativity, empathy, and wisdom.
  2. What are some potential benefits and drawbacks of decoupling prediction and judgment through AI adoption?
    • Benefits:
      • AI can improve the accuracy and efficiency of prediction tasks, which are essential for decision-making in various domains.
      • AI can enable new types of decisions that were not possible before, such as personalized recommendations, dynamic pricing, and real-time optimization.
      • AI can reduce the cognitive load and bias of human decision-makers, who can focus on judgment tasks that require creativity, empathy, and wisdom.
      • AI can enhance the value of human judgment, which is needed to evaluate the predictions and choose the best course of action based on ethical, moral, and social considerations.
    • Drawbacks:
      • AI can increase the complexity and uncertainty of decision-making environments, which may require more data and judgment than available or feasible.
      • AI can create new challenges and risks for data quality, security, and privacy, which may affect the reliability and validity of predictions.
      • AI can shift the power and profits among decision-makers, intermediaries, and stakeholders, which may create conflicts and inequalities.
      • AI can undermine the accountability and transparency of decision-making processes, which may erode trust and legitimacy.
  3. How can AI reduce bias and change power dynamics in organizations?
    • AI can reduce bias by identifying and correcting the human biases that affect decision-making, such as affinity bias, confirmation bias, attribution bias, and the halo effect. AI can also help to diversify the data sources and algorithms that are used to generate predictions, and to monitor and report the potential issues and impacts of AI applications.
    • AI can change power dynamics by enabling new types of decisions that were not possible before, such as personalized recommendations, dynamic pricing, and real-time optimization. AI can also shift the power and profits among decision-makers, intermediaries, and stakeholders, by creating new value propositions, business models, and competitive advantages.

Key Focus

  • AI is a prediction technology that enhances decision-making by reducing uncertainty and increasing accuracy
  • AI can transform industries by enabling new decisions, redesigning systems, and shifting power and profits.
  • AI poses challenges and opportunities for innovation, regulation, ethics, and geopolitics
  • A framework for understanding the economics of AI and its implications for the future of work, competition, and society.
  • Helps to understand about the potential and pitfalls of AI, and how to leverage or protect their position in the coming AI disruptions

Key highlights

  • We have entered a unique moment in history—The Between Times—after witnessing the power of this technology and before its widespread.
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that “AI is probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on. I think of it as something more profound than electricity.” Google has already seen a benefit from AI. Many companies haven’t. A 2020 study by MIT’s Sloan Management Review and BCG, a global consultancy, found that just 11 percent of organizations reported significant financial benefits from AI.This wasn’t for lack of trying. Fifty-nine percent said they had an AI strategy. Fifty-seven percent had deployed or piloted AI solutions.
  • AI Soluton Types
    • AI POINT SOLUTION: A prediction is valuable as a point solution if it improves an existing decision and that decision can be made independently.
    • AI APPLICATION SOLUTION: A prediction is valuable as an application solution if it enables a new decision or changes how a decision is made and that decision can be made independently.
    • AI SYSTEM SOLUTION: A prediction is valuable as a system solution if it improves existing decisions or enables new decisions, but only if changes to how other decisions are made are implemented.
  • The biggest increase in the adoption of AI is, if history is any guide, going to come from changes in systems. But such change will also be disruptive. By disruptive, we mean that it changes the roles of many people and companies within industries and, alongside those changes, causes shifts in power. That is, there are likely to be economic winners and losers, especially if system change occurs relatively quickly.
  • System solutions are typically harder to implement than point solutions or application solutions because the AI-enhanced decision impacts other decisions in the system, However, in many cases, system solutions are likely to generate the greatest overall return to investments in AI
  • When people think about AI, they think about the intelligent machines littered throughout popular culture. They think of helpful robots such as R2-D2 or WALL-E. They think of brilliant teammates such as Data from Star Trek or J.A.R.V.I.S. from Iron Man. They also think of those that turned rogue like HAL 9000 from 2001 or Ultron from The Avengers. Whatever their quirks or intentions, these representations of AI have one thing in common: no one disputes that they can think, reason, and have agency, just as we do.

Book Review: “Skin in the Game” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell

I read somewhere that the technology keeps on changing, but the economics do not. However, I recently encountered two books with thought-provoking and belief-conflicting theories. Both Nassim (writer of the famous book Black Swan & Antifragile) and Thomas Sowell (Known capitalistic economist) are subject-matter expert, and both are working in economies of scales.

The challenge was for me to read these books together, in order to gain a greater perspective on risk management and how economies work. The books are on different topics, but the genre is the same… how the environment manages/appreciates/supports risks.

Nassim’s writing is complex, and sometimes you may feel highly biased, but don’t fall for it, what he does is ask questions, and make you dwell deeper in to conflict, as there you may realize the fundamentals. Sowell is straightforward, easy to read, and I can see bias, but the examples given and logic explained make me conflict with my belief system, which gives me better insights on the subject.

I’m unable to make a mind map this time around; however, the following summary will give you some insights.

Both “Skin in the Game” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell are well-regarded books, but they approach the subject from different angles and with different emphases. Here are some potential points of conflict or difference between the two:

1. Approach to Risk and Uncertainty:

• Taleb: In “Skin in the Game,” Taleb stresses the importance of personal risk in decision-making. He argues that systems are more stable and ethical when individuals have a personal stake in the outcomes of their actions. Taleb is also known for his focus on the impact of highly improbable events (“Black Swans”) and how they can disrupt systems.

• Sowell: “Basic Economics” is more of a foundational overview of economic principles. While it touches on risk in terms of costs and benefits, it doesn’t delve deeply into the philosophical or ethical implications of risk in the way Taleb does.

2. Role of Experts:

• Taleb: Taleb is often critical of experts, especially when they don’t have “skin in the game.” He believes many experts can make predictions or decisions without facing the consequences of being wrong.

• Sowell: While Sowell also criticizes some experts, especially when discussing the potential pitfalls of central planning, his approach in “Basic Economics” is more to explain economic principles clearly rather than to critique the role of experts in decision-making.

3. Government Intervention:

• Taleb: Taleb doesn’t necessarily oppose government intervention, but is sceptical of interventions by individuals or entities that don’t bear the risks of their actions.

• Sowell: In “Basic Economics,” Sowell often points out the unintended consequences of government interventions in the market. He leans towards a free-market perspective, emphasizing that many government interventions can lead to inefficiencies or distortions in the market.

4. Nature of Economics:

• Taleb: Taleb’s works, including “Skin in the Game,” tend to be more philosophical and touch upon a wide range of subjects, not just economics. He typically integrates ideas from probability, ethics, and epistemology.

• Sowell: “Basic Economics” is more focused. It’s an introductory text that lays out the foundational principles of economics in a straightforward manner.

5. Writing Style:

• Taleb: Taleb’s writing can be polemical and is frequently interlaced with anecdotes, historical examples, and philosophical musings.

• Sowell: Sowell’s writing in “Basic Economics” is clear, direct, and educational, aiming to explain economic concepts simply.

Both Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Thomas Sowell have expressed political viewpoints, albeit from different angles and frameworks. Here’s a brief summary of their political stances based on their writings and public statements:

1. Thomas Sowell

— Free Market Capitalism: Sowell is a strong proponent of free market capitalism. In “Basic Economics” and other works, he argues that market mechanisms are the most efficient way to allocate resources and that many problems arise from government interventions.

—Conservatism: Sowell is often identified with conservative viewpoints, especially in the American context. He has critiqued various progressive policies, especially those that, in his view, don’t consider the economic consequences.

— Race and Culture: In books like “Race and Culture,” “Black Rednecks and White Liberals,” and “Intellectuals and Race,” Sowell argues against a victimhood narrative and suggests that cultural factors play a significant role in the success or challenges of different groups.

2. Nassim Nicholas Taleb:

— Decentralization: One of Taleb’s recurrent themes is the idea that smaller, decentralized systems are more robust and antifragile. He regularly critiques large-scale top-down interventions and bureaucracies.

— Scepticism of Experts: As mentioned earlier, Taleb is sceptical of experts who don’t bear the consequences of their decisions, which has political implications in terms of policymaking and governance.

— Ethical Framework: Taleb’s “skin in the game” concept is as much an ethical principle as it is a practical one. He believes that decision-makers should bear the risks of their decisions, leading to more ethical and robust systems.

—Political Classification: Taleb has resisted being easily classified under traditional political labels. He often critiques both left and right viewpoints, focusing instead on principles like antifragility and skin in the game.

While both authors might overlap in their scepticism of certain types of top-down interventions, their reasons and frameworks differ. Sowell’s critiques frequently come from an economic efficiency and individual freedom perspective, while Taleb’s come from a risk, ethics, and systemic robustness viewpoint.

In “Skin in the Game” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the concept of asymmetry plays a central role. Taleb uses several examples and situations to illustrate the idea that when there’s a misalignment of risks and rewards, or when one party bears more risks than the other, it can lead to systemic problems. Here are some examples of asymmetries discussed in the book:

1. Bankers and Bailouts: One of the most cited examples is the 2008 financial crisis. Bankers had incentives to take large risks because they reaped the rewards when things went well but faced limited consequences when things went wrong, as many banks were bailed out. This is an asymmetry because the risks were effectively transferred to taxpayers.

2. Consultants and Decision-making: Taleb talks about consultants giving advice. If the advice works, they get paid and hailed, but if it goes wrong, it’s the company that suffers. The consultant doesn’t have “skin in the game.”

3. Bureaucrats and Wars: The decision-makers who opt for war might not have personal risks involved (they or their loved ones are not on the frontline). This disconnect can lead to poor decision-making because those making the decisions aren’t bearing the full consequences.

4. Centralization: Larger, centralized entities making decisions for a diverse range of smaller entities can lead to asymmetries. Decisions made centrally might not consider local nuances, and if those decisions are detrimental, it’s the local entities that bear the brunt.

5. Minority Rule: Taleb describes how a small, intransigent minority can dictate the preferences of a more flexible majority. For instance, if a small percentage of the population has a specific dietary restriction and is inflexible about it, food producers might find it easier to cater to that restriction universally, making the minority’s preference the de facto standard.

6. The Bob Rubin Trade: Taleb often cites the example of Robert Rubin, a former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Citigroup executive. Rubin received large bonuses when the risky investments he endorsed did well, but when those same investments later resulted in significant losses, he didn’t face corresponding personal financial consequences.

These examples underscore the central theme of the book: that it’s vital for decision-makers to have “skin in the game” to ensure that risks and rewards are aligned, leading to more ethical, robust, and effective systems.

Have a nice good read

Join my reading challenge Sumit’s 2023 reading challenge | Goodreads

Book Review : Clarity

The Book

The #goodreads , Clarity by Jamie Smart, explores the importance of clarity in achieving success and well-being in life. It explains how understanding innate thinking leads to clarity, intuition, and resilience, guiding individuals through uncertainty and change. The book helps catch an understanding that is aligned with how our mind and life work, resulting in symptoms of increasing clarity, resilience, and peace of mind. The author shares reflections and resources to deepen readers’ understanding of innate thinking and clarify their perception of life’s challenges.

Key Concepts

The key concept is looking from inside out than outside in. Not setting goals to make feel need to achieve something to move forward, to get the happiness. The inside out thinking help us to understand from where the feeling of ‘need’ or ‘anxiety’ is coming, and distinguish between what really matters.

Principle Thought, Mind and Consciousness

The book focuses of three principles as 1. Thought (Understand its origin, accept all feelings are result of mere thoughts and not situation), 2. Consciousness (Bring the awareness of surrounding, being aware of the surrounding help avoid blaming the situation, and get focused on Thoughts ) and 3. Mind (Mind is power source behind life)

4T Principle

While doing distinction between Information vs Implementation, I liked the key concept of 4T Principle.
Typically, we fall pray to get more insights and information before taking any decision, this is mainly due to fear of failure, again this is outside in thinking, to see from inside, its important to focus on Implementation. The implementation will only occur if we get more clarity. the clarity will come when we follow the 4Ts.

  • Taking responsibility,
  • Taking decisions,
  • Taking risks and
  • Taking action.
    These can often bring up superstitious thinking. When you can see through the mirage of that thinking, implementation is relatively straightforward. When you can’t see through it, more information can look like an attractive proposition.

Join my reading challenge Sumit’s 2023 reading challenge | Goodreads

Book Review : The Coaching Habit

Coaching is one of the most important tools a leader can use to make his team more efficient, productive, and interested in achieving the common goal. However, knowing this fact, we typically struggle to ask the right question to coach one. Some time, coaching becomes mentoring and loses its focus. The focus of Coaching is to make one more productive and help him achieve his short-term goals. It’s significant to note that coaching is a collaborative process, where the coach and coachee work together towards the cochiee’s goals. The coach provides guidance, support, and expertise, while the coachee actively participates, takes ownership of their development, and implements the recommended strategies.

The process necessitates a focus on short-term objectives, thereby necessitating the coachee’s efficacy in assisting the coachee in attaining their desired outcomes and enhancing their effectiveness. This goal makes this book a useful guidebook for a leader to be a better mentor.

The book is about seven questions, which a leader can ask to be a more effective coach. These questions are:

  1. Whats on your mind?
    • It is a question that says, ‘let’s talk about the thing that matters most., it is a kick-start question.
  2. And What Else?
    • You create more opportunity to create more insight on the topic.
  3. What is the real challenge here for you?
    • This makes you pay attention to the things that immediately need scrutiny.
  4. What do you want?
    • Is the listener aligned to coachee? This helps bring the trust between coach and coachee.
  5. What was most useful for you?
    • People don’t learn while seeing or doing things, but rather when they recall and reflect on something
  6. If You Are Saying ‘Yes’ To This, What Are You Saying No to?
    • It’s a strategic question. It asks people to be clear and committed.
  7. How Can I Help?
    • It’s a lazy question, this is a clear and direct question.

Each question, is an open-ended question, few are enticing to give an alternate to the proposed solution, few are challenging one to explore further, few are helping in finding the other side of the story.

Each question is powerful, but they need additional information to be more effective. Based on situation, requires, these questions can be tweaked and sequence can be changed, or a few questions out of seven can be asked.

Our job as manager/ leader is to help create the space for people to have those learning moments. And to achieve that, we need to ask questions which will make them die deeper to find solution and learn in the process.

Get this #goodreads as one tool in your toolbox. And following mind map for more insights.

Quick Book Summary

Join my reading challenge Sumit’s 2023 reading challenge | Goodreads

Distraction at work

There are many ways to be productive, many tools to use and many methods to follow. However, the tools which we use to be productive on our workstations and mobile, are all fighting for our attention. And the best way to get our attention is to brighten that screen when new notification comes or ping when it arrives first.

Ping for upcoming meeting in 15 min, ping for an email arrived in outlook, a ping someone put something in teams chat box, ohh a bigger ping, someone mentioned me in the chat! That’s cool, it’s all office and they want me on the top of all topics! Another ping from my mobile, this time my family is discussing something in WhatsApp group, as well as my “old school friend group” is on some topics. Let me not mention the constant screen popping from Facebook and Instagram! They all want me be around and participate to make me feel more socially connected!

For sure, both my workstation notification and mobile notifications are designed with good intent to keep me productive and be socially connected! But in second thought, too good is devil! There is no free lunch!

Desktop notifications are constant source of distraction
Teams made us more productive, specially post pandemic, however it’s also eating our focus time
Such mobile screens are not helping me with my productivity but bogging me down to be procrastinating more.

Fortunately I think under obligation all these platforms are offering to shutdown all these notifications! For sure these settings are difficult to find and enable. (We can guess why).

Spend time and follow these links to disable those focus eating notifications from your desktops. I use them regularly for not only for myself but also for my teammates.

The theme I follow is, when I feel need to check something, I’ll go and check, I don’t want something to remind me to do that. Mostly these notifications are not life saving one, and can be ignored. Anything urgent, they will reach to you, don’t worry. Focus on what’s in hand.

The fear of missing out

The fear of missing out is major incentive for one to go on check all those notifications. But to realise that the most important thing is front on oneself and a commitment to complete that Tak’s at hand has higher returns than the activities which demand my attention!

It is the perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you. And this perception is completely false because it’s I’m who is creating the perception. So the way distraction works due to FOMO is the perception of missing out, followed by compulsive behavior to ensure one is not missing out. Hence the control over our feeling is very important to keep us on the track.

It’s not that easy as it said above. I understand. But the way forward is at least “awareness”’of the fact that such FOMO is impacting you and robbing you of your time and your focus. The realisation of this fact itself is a half war won! The rest half, is discipline and constantly reflecting on your journey of recovering your time and focus.

Visit following blogs and get yourself equipped with better tools.,-Even%20though%20FOMO&text=Some%20of%20these%20symptoms%20include,mentally%20exhausted%20from%20social%20media

Book Review : Stolen Focus

“You don’t get what you don’t fight for.”

Stolen Focus

We all struggle with our focus, whether we know it or not. How long it takes us to disconnect from the world and have a thought without distraction? How many times do we glance at our mobile devices and observe its pinging or illumination? Do we experience fatigue from inactivity?

The current environment we find ourselves in encourages us to achieve our goals by being busy in constantly looking around for information. Starting with notification on laptop/workstation/mobile. All of them try to get our attention, whether it is work-related or social. These services are incentivised to keep our gaze on them continuously. This happens with applications on our mobiles, laptops, or even TV and printed media. The content is meant to make us check them again to get that dopamine satisfaction.

“Stolen Focus” a book by Johann Hari that explores the causes and solutions of our attention crisis. It is based on his three-year journey across the world to interview the leading scientists and experts on this topic. He argues that our focus has been stolen by powerful external forces, and that we can get it back if we fight for it!

The book talks about forces, which are stealing our focus. Few of them are:

  • The rise of consumerism and advertising : mass production and mass consumption created a new culture of distraction and dissatisfaction. Advertisers learned how to manipulate our desires and emotions, and make us crave more and more things that we don’t really need or want.
  • The fragmentation of our work and leisure : Our work environments have become more stressful, demanding, and interruptive, with constant emails, meetings, and deadlines. Our leisure time has also become more fragmented, with endless entertainment options competing for our attention.
  • The design of social media and smartphones : Technologies are deliberately engineered to hijack our attention and make us addicted to them. They exploit our psychological vulnerabilities, such as our need for social approval, our fear of missing out, and our curiosity for novelty.

This book has provided me with an understanding of how the focus is being diverted, given the limited time available, and the importance of identifying how resources are being wasted or invested. The book provides additional insights into not only problems or reasons to lose focus, but also helpful tips to avoid them. The more I explored the book, the deeper I went and got a deeper understanding of this subject.

Definitely a good read, and highly recommended. Checkout summary below in my mind map.

Join my reading challenge Sumit’s 2023 reading challenge | Goodreads

Book Review: Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric

“Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric” is a book written by Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann. It provides a detailed account of the decline and downfall of one of America’s most iconic companies, General Electric (GE). The book explores the internal culture, leadership decisions, and strategic missteps that led to GE’s dramatic decline and loss of its once-stellar reputation. It sheds light on the hubris, excessive risk-taking, and financial mismanagement that ultimately brought the company to its knees. Through extensive research and interviews, the authors paint a compelling picture of the unravelling of a corporate giant and offer insights into the lessons that can be learned from GE’s collapse.

Winning was my one if the first book when I started reading leadership and management book. Jack Weltch’s unapologetic style of “winning at all cost” and building “winning team” by yanking 10% underperformers each year.

The book got me on “the other side of the coin”. The approach fostered a cut-throat and high-stress work environment, leading to short-term thinking and a lack of focus on long-term growth and innovation. Additionally, this strategy led to a loss of valuable talent and demoralized the workforce. Welch’s heavy reliance on financial metrics has also been viewed as prioritizing shareholder value over other important aspects of the business, such as employee development, customer satisfaction, and long-term sustainability.

The book starts with “winning” by Jack Welch and its heavy focus is post 2001 era, which was led by Jeff Immelt. One can see how the big company like GE struggled with the 2001 slow down, impacted by moving focus from organic fuels to green energy, and how it was struggling with red tapes and decisions of few at the top.

The book also provides insight on corporate governance and the importance and role of Directors in shaping and safeguarding the company. An insightful book written to get almost all the aspects of how (not) to manage the big company and insights on how (not) to catch up with upcoming trends and be wary of fads.

Each chapter could be a case study, on how management takes decisions based on external stimuli and how things might go wrong or become a success. Many insights and definitely a good read for my fellow friends!

Find below MindMap to get more insights.