Being an alumnus of a prestigious institute like IIT Bombay, has it’s own advantages. One of them is being able to have a network of very accomplished individuals from various fields. A few days ago, on the alumni grapevine, I received a mail from Hemant Karandikar, a renowned management coach. The mail said that his book, Lead to Regenerate, would soon be available in bookstores and he would be happy to make it available for reviews. I jumped at the opportunity, and wrote to Hemant, and soon, I had the book in my hand.
The look of the book reminded me of a workbook, and as I started going through the book, it became evident that it was one. Hemant doesn’t believe in giving you reams of advice to digest with nothing to practice. Instead, he gives you some words of wisdom and then gives you clear exercises to experience the wisdom on your own, so it internalizes. He calls his exercises “workouts”. A very apt term I would say. Just as workouts in the gym build one’s muscles, these workouts build your thinking muscles.
Another thing that I found very unique is action orientation of each workout. Each workout has two parts. The first part asks you to introspect with help of specific, pointed questions. As you answer these questions, it then makes you write an action plan based on your answers, with the dates. And he doesn’t stop by urging you to just write the action steps, but also guides you on making sure that they are not just good intentions, but either are tangible actions, with tangible results.
In some ways, I would compare these workouts to Edward De Bono’s Thinking Tools, or CoRT tools, specifically applied to different areas.
I was intrigued by the use of word “Regenerate” in the title of the book. What does regenerate mean in the context of leadership? That is explained very nicely by Hemant. Regenerative leadership regenerates your own time. You will need less time to do what you do today. And when you use the freed time to things that regenerate, you will set in motion a regenerative loop. What kind of things regenerate? Ideas generate ideas, values generate values and so on.
You would come across many thing in the book that you have read / known / seen earlier, but this book looks at things from different perspective. So you do encounter Stephen Covey’s time matrix, and fundamentals of process and project management. The book explains complex ideas very simply, without making them simplistic.
One thing I would love to see in the book, is actually filled out workouts by real people. No doubt there are summarized examples after each workout. And since the same characters repeat through the examples, you start drawing a mental picture of them. However, I would love to see handwritten, filled workout sheets from the same people.
Another thing that may actually help the book is to have a separate tear-out section at the end with the workout forms given there.
All in all, the book is equally useful to you, irrespective of where you are in your career and I will highly recommend it for everyone. The book is currently available on Flipkart, and also at Crosswords.
I will also recommend that you visit Hemant’s website Learning Leadership, and avail of some of the free stuff there. It would be definitely useful.