Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Reading 4

Laxman Narasimhan is a celebrated Indian American business executive, whose rise to success is an inspiration for others. After graduating as a mechanical engineer from Savitribai Phule Pune University, he earned two more international degrees including an MBA in Finance from University of Pennsylvania.

After an extended stint of success in McKinsey, Narasimhan joined PepsiCo as Chief Commercial Officer. In 2019, Reckitt Benckiser hired him as the CEO. Narasimhan is also a trustee of the Brookings Institution, Washington DC and a member of New York’s Council on Foreign Relations.

Here is a descriptive account of three books that Narasimhan is reading at the moment.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Some books have an eternal shelf-life because they present facts that are so primal and rigid that they remain relevant in every age. This book belongs one such publication. First published in 1994, it is a time-honored best-seller that has influenced and changed lives of many people for the better.

In this book, the celebrated author Jon Kabat-Zinn charts out a simple method to cultivate mindfulness in life. The craftsmanship of the author makes the book equally appealing for both first time meditators and the seasoned practitioners of meditation. The book speaks to anyone who wants to reclaim the richness of their life’s experiences to become more at peace and one with their inner selves.

Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Authored by Pulitzer Prize winning Doris Kearns Goodwin, this book offers an enlightening exploration of development, growth and exercise of leadership. Goodwin exposes the intricacies of leadership while studying four presidents – Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Goodwin starts at the beginning while portraying the makings of every leader. She tracks the development of their leadership skills and styles unique to each personality, building upon the circumstances that made them the leaders they were.

Leadership examines the basic concept of leadership and probes in great depth – if leaders are born or made. The book tracks the struggles, dilemmas and dramatic reversals that all the four presidents faced at some point. It reveals how they won over each crisis and how a sense of morality guided in them in the hardest hours. Goodwin does an excellent job in providing a road map of leadership that aspiring and established leaders can draw from.

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry

In the current context, most leaders are trying to find a parallel in history that can teach them something about the present pandemic. The Great Influenza, being an account of the deadliest pandemic in history is a favorite among the present leaders. The meticulous research that anchors the narrative of the book is one of the primary reasons of its popularity.

The book covers the flu that broke out in 1918 in a Kansas army camp and traveled east with the American troops at the height of World War I and ended up killing 100 million people worldwide. The book registers the first impactful clash of science and an epidemic disease. The author also puts a special focus on the role of truth in defining the impacts of a pandemic. The Great Influenza is a timeless best-seller that can teach you everything about a pandemic most effectively.








Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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