Book Review : The Secret of Leadership by Prakash Iyer

Storytelling is an enchanting art. And as an organisation, as it must be evident from our blogs like 4 Short stories to spark conversations, we are absolutely in love with it. Some of the most celebrated business books are also written in a similar format. The 5 dysfunctions of a team is one of the celebrated examples of the same.

Another insightful book written “The Secret of Leadership” by Prakash Iyer. Rahul Dravid has written the foreword for this book. And, in it he talks about the beauty of storytelling and how it teaches us without even appearing to do so. Storytelling imparts wisdom while keeping the listener engaged and entertained.

Prakash Iyer uses 60 engrossing stories to cover the entire spectrum of personal, professional growth, and organisational development. The book starts with inspiring leadership insights derived from Edmund Hillary’s life. His perseverance was so strong that he once went to base camp, looked up at Mount Everest and screamed,

‘I will come again and conquer you! Because as a mountain, you cant grow. But as a human, I can!’

His journey stands as an inspiring example of how we all can climb any mountain, no matter how high, if we set our sights on it. The portrayal of Hillary’s leadership qualities in the introduction of the book is done beautifully. Here are a few other stories from the same book that I found very fascinating:

1. PhD Mantra

The PhD refers to a leadership mantra for success. It stands for Passion, Hunger and Discipline. These qualities are a must for any individual trying to succeed. Olympic Gold medalist was once asked about her success, to which she answered ‘

I practiced when I felt like it. I practised when I didn’t feel like it!’

2. Adkins and the One-Man Band

This one is an intriguing story of a man who proved that unlike the dictionary, in real life, belief comes before ability. Born in a family of modest means, Adkins grew up with a belief that to become a musician he needed to learn all the musical instruments such as guitar, piano, drums, harmonica, etc.

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He worked hard to learn every single instrument played them all in every composition he made. The story of how? and why? he did that is the real hook. His interesting journey will inspire you to start working on your belief system. His story stands in testimony to the fact any of us can change the outcomes in our life simply by changing our beliefs.

3. This is good

This one will take you down a magical land of myth and truth. It is the story of an African king and his friend. The friend was a very positive and a cheerful person. In all adversities, he would smile and say, ‘This is good’. The entire story revolves around the simple yet infinite power of perception. It brings to the surface the importance of positive thinking. The story focuses on the simple fact that the more we complain, the more our mind gets conditioned to look for a difficulties, even in the midst of opportunities.

4. The Frog and the TV tower

Another light yet powerful story, this one talks about a frog that climbs the tallest TV tower in the city, despite the other forms discouraging him. The story delivers the powerful message that we should chase our dreams, while paying no heed to the naysayers. Giving up should never be an option.

5. Keep your Cool

A little boy is prone to losing his temper and saying hurtful words to his family and friends. He goes about displaying this behaviour without considering the impact his words have on people around him. The story will leave you with a heartfelt lesson. Words have infinite power and careless words can leave scars that’s re impossible to erase.

The story will move you, while inspiring you to be mindful of every word you say.

6. The Elephant’s Trunk and the Mahout’s Stick

There once lived a Mahout who took his elephant out for stroll, every morning, through the lanes of a busy bazaar. The elephant would wreck havoc by plucking and eating flowers and fruits in the shops by the side of the road. No amount of beating and punishing was able to stop this habit.

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The story revolves around the persistence of the Mahout and how he finally gets the elephant to behave. His methods bring to light the importance of staying focused towards our goals and doing everything it takes to achieve them.

These are just some of the stories from this little book packed with Infinite wisdom. It’s a completely inspirational read, right from the word go. Pick it up today – you can thank us in the comments!

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