Christina Lamb wrote the bestselling book, ‘I am Malala‘ along with the Nobel Peace Prize winner. This is one of her eight books. She has won 14 major awards, including five times ‘Foreign Correspondent of the Year’ and Europe’s top war reporting prize, the Prix Bayeux. So, you can imagine the quality of advice she gave for newbie authors and writers when I interviewed her for the First Book Podcast. Stellar stuff. Coming soon. Do follow the FB page to listen to upcoming podcasts.
A morning well spent with Prakash Iyer, author, speaker and business coach. Recorded two excellent podcasts. What resonated deeply with me is his opinion on being authentic and comfortable with who you are. Look out for the podcasts. You’ll love his style of storytelling. After breakfast and podcasts, our conversation extended on our drive as I dropped him at the airport.
I look forward to interviewing Prakash Iyer for two podcasts tomorrow. One for the leadership podcast titled, ‘Movers and Shakers‘ in The Hindu Businessline and the other an author podcast titled, ‘The First Book Podcast‘ in association with NotionPress.
Prakash Iyer is a best-selling author, motivational speaker and leadership coach.
He was until recently the Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark Lever and was earlier the Managing Director and CEO of Infomedia India Limited (formerly Tata Infomedia). Prior to that, Prakash was Executive Director at PepsiCo, responsible for the company’s operations in South India and Sri Lanka. He later moved to PepsiCo China as Regional Vice President. An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, he started his career with HindustanUnilever Limited.
If you have any questions for Prakash, please feel to email me at Kiruba@Kiruba.com
One of my favorite podcasts that I have recently started listening to is ‘Masters of Scale‘ by Reid Hoffman. In the latest episode with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, there is this one point that really spoke to me. This is something that I will personally internalize and imbibe in our company culture.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO: “Leadership is about having people follow you enthusiastically. People will do what they are supposed to do if they work for you. That’s not what you want. You want to have an aligned mission. Rather than tell people to march four steps, you want to tell people where we are heading and encourage them to get there as quickly as they can. You have to repeat your mission and your purpose and the values you care about over and over again. Sometimes you think to yourself, ‘doesn’t everyone else know this already’? It doesn’t matter. Starting out your meetings with your mission…why are we running Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp…is very powerful. Even if everyone knows it by heart… because it reminds you where you are headed and why you are going there.”
Reid Hoffman, Linkedin Founder, agrees: There is one plan you can’t break. There is one variable that must stay constant. And that’s the company’s mission. It’s the true North Star that everyone orients around. For Linkedin, it is ‘Connecting People with Opportunities’. For AirBnB, it is ‘Belong Anywhere’. For Facebook. it is ‘Connect the World’.
Co-founder of Infosys, creator of the Unique Identity (UID) Aadhar in India, an author, and an investor — there are many hats that Nandan Nilekani wears with panache! How does he still manage to be so active and enthusiastic? I asked Nandan himself this question for the podcast and this is what he said. “Well, I continue to be excited by seeing what’s happening in the world, in technology. I’m a big believer that India’s challenges can be met by technological leapfrogging,” he says.
Being a serial investor — he has invested in 12 start-ups so far — he says the one thing he looks for in a prospective company is the people. “I always look for a great team. For me, people are the most important. Then, of course, the idea and business plan, and the desire to build a company. I look for those who want to change an industry and a sector.”
One interesting factoid about him is that he owns a house in Coonoor that once belonged to the grandparents of the father of computing, Alan Turing!
Listen to the podcast, where he talks about all this and more.
You can catch over a dozen interviews I have done with Movers & Shakers here at The Hindu Businessline.