Management gyan for CEOs

Arindam Chaudhuri and A Sandeep draw on their own experiences for their latest management book, Cult, which focuses on out-of-the-box leadership and strategy ideas

After penning Thorns To Competition, a marketing book reflecting our times, along with his wife and marketing guru Rajita Chaudhuri, just a few months back, Arindam Chaudhuri is back with yet another tome, this time co authored with his long time friend A Sandeep.

While fictional books do get their regular claim to fame on Indian streets, it's rare that one gets a global management book written by Indian authors.
Cult a leadership and strategy book written by management gurus Arindam Chaudhuri and A Sandeep smashes this dearth of Indian business books with aplomb.

Not only does this hard hitting 450-page CEO treatise break notions on strategy and leadership at the top level, it also presents new global theories on how to build and manage transnational corporations.
What perhaps sets this book apart from other leading management books is that the authors have brought together a stellar mix of their personal experiences, leading scholarly strategy research, and as Arindam Chaudhuri says, "management lessons that might not necessarily sound good; but those that work."

The book, targeted at CEOs, is the final part of Arindam's management trilogy after Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch and Thorns To Competition. It includes two clear sections: Leadership and Strategy. In the first section on Leadership, the authors move with ease from one CEO leadership lesson to another.

While the chapter on Vision beseeches CEOs to envision overarching targets beyond what is possible, the next chapter analyses how authoritarian CEOs are better performers than employee-friendly CEOs.
Similarly, in the subsequent chapters, using a set of arguments, the authors prove how the best performing CEOs are moderate risk takers, passionate multi-taskers, who believe in sustained sincerity, recruiting youth, and who make no qualms about firing non-performing (or even unhealthy) personnel.

If the first section is radical, the second section trapezes into the brazen realm of extremely critical research based analysis about which CEO strategies work and which don't.
From globalisation, diversification, advertising, R&D, Six Sigma, first movers' advantage, controversies to public equity, M&As, CSR, and China, the two authors deal with a variety of subjects. 

The definitive implications and lessons drawn out are insightful not just for the simplicity of the final learning in each chapter, but because of the indisputable manner in which the co-authors reach the conclusions.

The second section of the book also provides staggering concluding commentaries on recession and on the unquestionable and non-negotiable requirement of ethics in a CEO.

There's a word of caution though. This book is not meant for the newbie in the management world. It's targeted directly at the top management and specifically at the Chief Executive Officer; and thence the number crunching and experience sharing moves to the top realm.

CULT: Leadership and Business Strategy, Ruthlessly Defined (Arindam Chaudhuri and A Sandeep; 2011, Vikas Publishing)

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