One of the things I look for in a book is how I can adapt principles and ideas into the business. One that falls into this category is Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm, by Verne Harnish. It really helped me get my thoughts together and get the structure of running an organisation, especially a small organisation. As we grew, the book made more sense. The book talks of planning, setting up priorities and measuring performance on certain metrics: Priorities, data, and rhythm. We often use that in our meetings, structuring our goals and measuring performance.
Another book I enjoy re-reading is E-Myth, by Michael Gerber, about the entrepreneur myth. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to start an organisation. Often, we get bored with our jobs or we have a number of years of experience and we say we are going to become entrepreneurs: The book talks about whether you have it in yourself or not to take the big step. It left quite an impression on me, because it dispels the myths that managing an organisation is the same as starting and leading one, that if you are a good manager, you can be a good entrepreneur, that if you have the ability to do something really well, it will help you be successful.
If we can put in place systems, and people who can run these functions, and step aside, we can learn how to grow the business, how not to make ourselves indispensable, which is dangerous. This book opened this concept to me and helped me think in the right direction. Whenever I look at a task, I make sure I can delegate it at a certain point of time. It may not be in the first instance, but in three months time, I hope it can be done so with just my signature required at some point. In this sense it becomes a process dependent and system dependent task.
(As told to Nilofer D’Souza)
Ex Libris features business leaders on the books that influence them.
(This story appears in the 30 April, 2010 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)