Five must-read books for a printer

Faheem Agboatwala is as passionate about reading books as he is about print. He lists five management books which according to him will benefit the printing fraternity. As told to Mihir Joshi

17 Jan 2013 | By Mihir Joshi


Title Emotional Intelligence (First edition: 1995)

Author Daniel Goleman

So the myth that higher Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a determinant of economic success or general happiness is well and truly defeated. Based on brain and behavioural research, Daniel Goleman argues that our IQ centric view of intelligence is far too narrow. Instead, Goleman makes the case for “emotional intelligence” being the strongest indicator of human success.

Goleman, psychologist and science writer for The New York Times, explains how the rational thoughts and emotions work together to shape intelligence, using intriguing new information from neuroscience and psychology of the brain. It details why IQ is not the sole predictor of success, and it reviews powerful academic studies that show how emotional intelligence impacts important life outcomes. Goleman shows how the brain can easily succumb to an emotional hijacking, where emotions overpower your reason.

Faheem’s take: All humans are emotional entities. Goleman explains emotional intelligence in terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, ambition, empathy, and the ability to love and be loved by friends, partners, and family members.



Title First, Break All the Rules (First edition 1999)

Author Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

The greatest managers in the world seem to have little in common. They differ in sex, age, and race. They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. Yet despite their differences, great managers share one common trait: They do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom.

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organisation present the remarkable findings of their massive in-depth study of great managers across a wide variety of situations. Buckingham and Coffman explain how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience; how they set expectations for him or her -- they define the right outcomes rather than the right steps; how they motivate people -- they build on each person’s unique strengths rather than trying to fix his weaknesses; and, finally, how great managers develop people -- they find the right fit for each person.

Understanding and measuring “Talent” is what this book is based on, and is worth learning. It is not as “out there” as personality typing, and makes good business sense. Put people where they will naturally do well, and your business and clients will do well as well.

Faheem’s take: The authors arrived at their conclusions after analysing data collected by Gallup over 25 years - using an impressive sample size of 80 thousand managers and one million staff from 400 companies. Gallup has used its expertise in survey research to link employee engagement to business performance.



Title Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth (First edition 2012)

Author Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja

Innovation is a key directive at companies worldwide. But in these trying times, we can’t rely on the old formula that has sustained innovation efforts for decades—expensive R&D projects and highly-structured innovation processes. Jugaad Innovation argues the West must look to places like India, Brazil, and China for a new approach to frugal and flexible innovation.

Jugaad is an innovative fix or improvised solution whose primary requirement is the optimum utilisation of the limited resources. The book also features case studies of some of the biggest corporation like Google, Facebook, 3M, Apple, Best Buy, GE, IBM, Nokia, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Tata Group, and more—that are actively practicing jugaad innovation.

Faheem’s take: According to the book, jugaad innovation depends upon six basic principles: Seek opportunity in adversity, do more with less, think and act flexibly, keep it simple, include the margin, and follow your heart.



Title Out of the Crisis (first edition 1982)

Author William Edwards Deming

Out of the Crisis analyses quality control and productivity in all aspects of industry. Dr Deming provides a full account into improving quality, productivity and competitive position while seeing how the key role of management plays a part. The emphasis of the book is a better understanding of the causes and resolving them in the industry business.

Deming is one of the leading thinkers of modern management as a key originator of total quality management. The book would benefit managers of any organisation who need to learn how to achieve success by focusing on producing high quality products and services that the customer wants. The book provides readers with knowledge on the meaning of “quality” and the use of some essential quality tools in their organisations.

Deming is perhaps best known for the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” cycle popularly named after him. In Japan, from 1950 onwards, he taught top management how to improve design (and thus service), product quality, testing, and sales (the last through global markets), through various methods, including the application of statistical methods.

Faheem’s take: Deming offered 14 key principles to managers for transforming business effectiveness through this book.



Ttile Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (first edition: 2011)

Author Simon Sinek

Have you ever wondered why some people and organisations are more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Simon Sinek’s answers that question in his book Start with Why. Sinek studied leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world and realised that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way - and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does.

Start with Why is a great book for entrepreneurs and leaders struggling to create a long-term vision and guiding principles for their company or cause. The book can provide just the inspiration needed to get started in the right direction. You’ll learn that the most important thing you can do as a leader is to figure out WHY your company or organisation exists and WHY that should be meaningful to customers and others in society.

The book explains the Golden Circle concept, which shows business leaders how to inspire instead of manipulating customers or employees to act. Sinek explains that trust is built naturally when you target customers understand and believe in your WHYs.

Faheem’s take: Only after asking the right questions can we expect to get the right answers.


Faheem Agboatwala is the director at Hi-Tech Printing Services, a Mumbai-based pharma specialist company. He is also the vice president of the BMPA and founder of the Share to Benefit Forum.