A Handy Guide to Organisational Leadership

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I picked this book up on the recommendation of a friend and read through it in a 3 hour flight. It is the first time I’m reading an Indian business author and I found the style easily readable. The book is a glimpse into good practices in running an organisation by a true blue Indian entrepreneur.  Over the course of time Subroto  Bagchi has developed into an industry veteran and the book is peppered with his experiences while taking Mindtree into the giant it is today.

The main ‘lessons’ presented in the book are on scaling up, branding, people management, hiring the right talent, curating a board and sales force management among others. The book is in an authoritative tone and one needs to keep their own experiences in mind in applying the advice dished out. That being said the book presents examples of successes and failures in equal measure which might truly reflect the state of many start ups and growing organisations.

I would suggest this book as a must read for any body responsible for running an organisation and even people lower down the chain. despite the author being indian, the scope of the book is not limited to the Indian context but draws on a global experience of Mind tree. The book might not be an MBA guide to business yet is an honest reckoner for businesses model.

I’m personally involved in a budding not for profit with a corporate outlook and found the lessons from the book practical. The title elephant catchers is based on elephant catchers of Odisha and was my personal favorite in the book. The analogy points out the importance of planning in turning a great idea into a structured and viable enterprise. So often in da wah work, organisations start out with the right intent and hope that the enthusiasm of the founders would allow it to scale into a force on the social scene.

However the reality is different, a few dissapointments along the way and the enthusiasm of the members begins to wane and the organisation flutters. In da wah especially the results may not be tangible and efforts and tasks might be disproportionate to perceived status of the members. Hence the importance of planning and foresight is essential to running a dawah organisation. This is not to say that victory is from Allah SWT but in the organisational context it means ‘Tie your Camel and Trust in Allah SWT’

All in All a great read and I might try out other books by the author.

For those looking at building dawah organisations I would also suggest the video series by Nouman Ali Khan – When Muslims work Together

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