Books to guide you to leadership, personal growth

New Delhi (IANSlife) The beginning of the year is the perfect time to refocus on personal and business growth. From a practical book on preventing your brain from aging to a guide to leadership and entrepreneurship, here are our picks from the literary world.

Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at any Age by Dr Sanjay Gupta

An exciting new science-driven guide to protecting your mind from decline. Throughout our lives, we are always looking for ways to keep our mind sharp and effortlessly productive. In this book, globetrotting neurosurgeon Dr Sanjay Gupta offers insights from top scientists all over the world, whose cutting edge research can help you heighten and protect brain function and maintain cognitive health at any age. ‘Keep Sharp’ debunks common myths about ageing and cognitive decline, it explores whether there’s a ‘best’ diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction.

Discover what we can learn from ‘super-brained’ people who are in their eighties and nineties but showing no signs of slowing down – and whether there are truly any benefits to drugs, supplements and vitamins. Dr Gupta also addresses brain disease, particularly Alzheimer’s, answers all your questions about signs and symptoms, and shows you both how to ward against it and how to care for a partner in cognitive decline. The book also provides readers with a personalised twelve-week programme featuring practical strategies to strengthen your brain every day.

‘Change: How To Make Big Things Happen’ by Damon Centola

From the spread of Covid-19 to the rise of political polarization, from implicit bias to genetically modified food, from NASA to Netflix – it’s time to think differently about how change works. Professor Damon Centola is the world expert in the new science of networks. His ground-breaking research across areas as disparate as voting, health, technology and finance has highlighted powerful and highly effective new ways to ensure lasting change. In this book, Centola distils over a decade of deep experience into a fascinating new theory that challenges previous assumptions that new ideas are either contagious or not.

Change shows that beliefs and behaviours are not transmitted from person to person in the simple way that a virus is. The real story of social change is more complex and much more interesting. When we are exposed to a new idea, our social networks guide our responses in striking and surprising ways. Drawing on deep-yet-accessible research and fascinating examples, ‘Change’ presents a paradigm-shifting new science for understanding what drives change, recognising our blind spots and how we can change the world around us.

Entrepreneurship by Rajeev Roy

The third edition of ‘Entrepreneurship’ by Rajeev Roy is designed to meet the needs of management students and entrepreneurs. The book explains concepts based on original research and the author’s own experience in setting up and running entrepreneurial ventures. It aims to combine theoretical elements with a practical outlook. The book is meant to be used not just as a textbook for a course, but also lends itself well to being an actual guide to students wishing to start their own ventures.

The book starts with the concept of understanding entrepreneurship and throws light on contemporary approaches to it.. It discusses the various issues related to doing business in India and support given to SMEs and entrepreneurs; elaborates on the steps involved in composing a pitch deck; describes day-to-day operations of an entrepreneurial enterprise, such as human resources, networking, etc; and discusses growth and exit strategies. The book has case studies exhibiting recent business dynamics.

Hot Seat: Hard-won Lessons in Challenging Times by Jeff Immelt

‘Hot Seat’ offers a rigorous and candid self-interrogation of Jeff Immelt’s tenure, detailing for the first time, his proudest moments, missteps, and the lessons he learned battling one crisis after another as he led GE in the 21st century. In ‘Hot Seat’, Immelt, the former CEO of General Electric shares the hard-won lessons he learned during his sixteen years at the helm of one of America’s most iconic companies.

Marked by straight talk and humility, it is not a typical business book. As Immelt writes in the prologue: “In October 2017, as I stepped down after thirty-five years at General Electric, I wasn’t sure I could write this book. My sixteen years as CEO had given me a front-row seat to history, and I’d learned some tough lessons I believed others could benefit from. But my tenure ended badly. Many business books begin with a tacit promise: ‘Let me tell you how to be like me: an unmitigated success!’ Clearly, I couldn’t say that. My legacy was, at best, controversial. GE won in the marketplace but not in the stock market. I made thousands of decisions impacting millions of people, often in the midst of blinding uncertainty and second-guessed by countless critics. I was proud of my team and what we’d accomplished, but as CEO, I’d been about as brilliant as I was lucky, by which I mean: too often I was neither.”

As the business world continues to be rocked by stunning economic upheaval and a global pandemic, the likes of which have not been seen in 100 years, ‘Hot Seat’ is an urgently needed, and unusually candid, guide for decisive leadership.

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