Dr. Bala Balachandran.

The events leading to the economic meltdown of U.S. has raised doubts about the quality of Western leadership and education. The focus has thus shifted towards the East, and especially India, for ethical and moral guidance. Because of its Democracy, Knowledge Base and the Technological Revolution including IT, India has proved that its leadership extends beyond the basic business framework and also that business here does indeed include a moral component that is integral to the well-being of mankind in retaining the fine societal balance. Ethics, Investor Protection, Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility are macro issues, and the Individual is at its core.  Individuals Need Growth – not physically but mentally, morally, socially, economically, and, of course, as a family and spiritually.  When an emerging economy like India merges with the developed world, it is important how the person steering this engine of growth is viewed.

In the sequel to his book “You Can Become a Complete Manager”, published in 2003, Ramki has provided through Oxygen Press, a lot of ‘Oxygen’ for every Professional’s growth. The four-stage cycle of professional “LearnING, GrowING, MaturING and ContributING” through his characters has been handled in an effective narrative pedagogy, enabling every reader to personally identify with at least one of the characters.

Being a professor, one of the joys of teaching is being in touch with the future and having the chance to mould the mindsets of the future leaders of the world. It also allows you to remain eternally young in spirit and every interaction becomes an opportunity for the teacher to grow as well.

The importance of developing and maturing with skills and abilities and with humility, passion with compassion, mobility in career with nobility and finally integrity with transparency are beautifully articulated in the eighteen chapters of the book with stories, scenarios and anecdotes.  Also the art of story telling is Ramki’s traditional strength and the narrative is sequential.  In each chapter, he summarises the Key Takeaways or the clear messages to remember, and the approach of generalising behaviour patterns into four quadrants like a BCG two by two matrix with the north east corner leading to a STAR and the south west corner the DOG are all real gems making this book a true jewel.

We in business schools have definitely a leadership or human resource horizontal or functional concentration. In business, People, Process and Technology must lead to the Growth of Planet, Purpose and Profit. For those of us engaging in all or any of these, this book is a Must Read and Must Emulate.  We are now talking not only about Intelligence Quotient, but also Emotional Quotient, Social Quotient and Spiritual Quotient, all of which are hallmarks of great Leadership. Ramki’s book is great poetry in perpetual motion. In his lucid and inimitable style, he has replaced pedantic phrases with easy English making for an interesting and entertaining presentation.

Our Beloved President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said, “By lighting another candle, the entire world gets brighter.” I am confident Ramki with his “I Need Growth” will make the entire world grow with glee and grace. A must read for every business student, business professional or manager, business leader and business partners. I most strongly and enthusiastically recommend this marvellous piece where Theoretical Elegance meets Practical Relevance for your growth in both professional and personal life. I hope you all enjoy the book just as much as I did!

Padmashri Dr. Bala V Balachandran
J L Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting and Information Management (Northwestern University, Illinois),
Founder and Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management (Chennai, India)
Executive Professor and Strategy Advisor to the Dean, Bauer College, University of Houston, (Texas, USA),
Founder and President, Mumbai Business School (Mumbai, India)

(The writer is a management guru from Kellogg, Northwestern University, USA and academic entrepreneur widely respected both in the US and in India. He has been credited with setting up of some of India’s best b-schools like the ISB as well as Great Lakes Institute of Management and is also a Padmashri awardee.)

Photo Courtesy : Northwestern University.