Updated: December 11, 2012 20:04 IST

From the office files

Anusha Parthasarathy
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R. Gopalakrishnan. Photo: V. Ganesan
R. Gopalakrishnan. Photo: V. Ganesan

R. Gopalakrishnan’s book What The CEO Really Wants From You on how to be an effective employee was launched recently

Ask not what your boss owes you but what you owe your boss is one of the issues tackled by R. Gopalakrishnan’s new book, What The CEO Really Wants From You. Launched in the city recently, the book dwells on how to be an effective employee.

Gopalakrishnan, executive director, Tata & Sons, who has previously authored, The Case Of The Bonsai Manager and When the Penny Drops, delves into the book with his signature style; personal experiences sprinkled with ample anecdotes and stories of real people.

“It’s not a book with a unique message,” says the author, “But one that is uncommon and the reason is that it allows you to look at your boss not as an akshaya patra but as a customer. This way, you don’t expect him to be perfect. You need to guide him.”

Gopalkrishnan’s book includes a section where employees were asked what their boss owes them and the other way round.

“The first section usually gets filled up rather quickly and we get up to nine responses,” he laughs, “But the latter has only three or four standard replies. This causes an asymmetry in the relationship. I try to address this in the book. Asymmetry is the root of all misery.”

There are colourful stories from all over the world, his workplace and even Indian mythology that spruce up the book. “Ideas from India and its culture, has many lessons to give in management.”

The author also talks about the four As that culminate the message of his book; Accomplishment, Affability, Advocacy and Authenticity (a topic that he found challenging).

“Authenticity is speaking the truth but society will not function on it. Instead, if you remember who you are, you will not lose your authenticity,” he says.

While his first book was on intuition and the second on self-awareness, the third is about looking down the ladder. “It became a trilogy of sorts,” says Gopalakrishnan.

“The realism of this book lies in the story of Arup, who could be anybody. We can all relate to a story like his.”

The book priced at Rs. 399 is available at leading bookstores.

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