Book Review: The Habit of Winning by Prakash Iyer
When I heard of the book for the first time, I didn’t think much of it as the name was not very impressive. ‘Habit’, ‘Winning’ being some of the most abused words not only by authors but also by bloggers and email marketers. But when I started reading I realized that the author has much to offer given the depth and breadth of his experience. The examples he quoted in the Introduction was not only fresh but very relevant. In the first chapter author had me when he mentioned about how stories help you register your message in hearts of people. What made it more interesting was that he was using examples which were more relevant for Indian audience.
Many of the interviews the author has quoted in the book, especially from the field of cricket, even I have been a witness of, but I was amazed by author’s ability to capture them, dissect them and to create valuable lessons out of those. The story about Climbing the Mountain made me seriously think about some of the things I have been doing. The author through his stories was able to convey his thoughts in a very convincing manner.
Somewhere in the middle stories became more predictable and stories less intriguing. Especially the story of the Starfish reminded me of many similar books I have read before. Too many stories and too many chapters or sub-chapters was distracting at times especially it became difficult to structure my own thoughts arising while reading the book. But author was able to recoup my attention every time with some very refreshing content. The author’s narration of the importance of getting bad news conveyed across organization as quickly as possible to take corrective action was a new perspective for me. When the author derived 10 lessons of management and team work from Dahi Handi festival in Mumbai my respect for him increased multifold.
Fresh thoughts and concepts was the theme throughout the book except some parts where it became a little monotonous. He has captured some of the most enriching experiences of his successful career in the book and will be a good guide for people who are in the beginning stages of corporate career. It is also a good read for people who are bored of reading western authors. It could disappoint you if you are expecting narration of incidents from author’s own life given he had a long and illustrious career.