There is something inspiring about books, and they can be the spark that fires you up to embark on an enriching journey of self-discovery and determination. Presenting to our readers a few good books recommended by 4 hospitality veterans –
1) Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance by Louis V Gerstner Jr
Recommended by: Arindam Kunar, VP Operations, Fortune Park Hotels
The memoir “Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance” was written by IBM CEO Lou Gerstner in the 1990s. Gerstner is credited with bringing the company back from the brink of bankruptcy. It is an amazing story of how a company turned around its fortunes within a very short period of time, a unique account of how a crisis was handled, and a reflection on the principles of leadership. A major transformation occurred under Gerstner when he diversified into software and services and exited many hardware businesses.
Kunar credits the book’s significance to the fact that he happened to meet Gerstner, who stayed in his hotel, and had the pleasure of getting his hardcover signed.
A major reason for my admiration is the fact that a large company like IBM was turned into a competitive business by someone who headed the world’s foremost tech company without having any technology background. Additionally, this book teaches leadership lessons such as perseverance, persistence, and people management. His statements are so powerful that anyone reading them will be inspired to take action. Furthermore, he shows how culture and people are crucial to the survival and renewal of an organization.”
Gerstner writes: People don’t do what you expect, they do what you inspect. Some other inspiring quotes from the book are Move fast. If we make mistakes, let them be because we are too fast rather than too slow and I’ve had a lot of experience turning around troubled companies, and one of the first things I learned was that whatever hard or painful things you have to do, do them quickly and make sure everyone knows what you are doing and why.
Additional recommendation: Four Seasons : The Story Of A Business Philosophy by Isadore Sharp, the founder of the Four Seasons brand.
2) Dare to Dream – The Life of MS Oberoi by Bachi Karkaria
Recommended by: Dilip Puri, Founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality
MS Oberoi is the man who has built a well-known international hotel chain from humble beginnings in Dare to Dream. Oberoi started his career in the hospitality sector at Shimla’s Cecil Hotel and, through sheer determination, grit and hard work, climbed up the ladder to establish his own brand. “One of the first books I read after becoming a hotelier was Dare to Dream, an autobiography by Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi. As an Oberoi Hotels employee, obviously this book inspired me. I have since been very interested in reading biographies or stories about great hoteliers around the world. For hoteliers, these books are inspiring because they provide insights into the industry and make you prouder of what you do.
3) The Four Powers of Leadership by David T Kyle
Recommended by: Suresh Kumar, Founder, Kue Management Services and Founder & Mentor, ROSAKUE Hospitality
The Four Powers of Leadership teaches readers how to be promoted to a high-powered position of leadership. According to the author, leaders must use the talents and abilities that put them into their current high positions in diverse ways in order to sustain them. “In my experience, while interacting in both professional and social circles, I have realised that many managers get influenced either by their immediate boss or organisational culture. These learnings don’t, at any point, address the overall wisdom of dealing with the ‘ups and downs’ or nuances in their journey of life. Managers, therefore, continue to focus on task completion without imbibing the ‘strategic mindset’. They acquire skills without knowledge and wisdom and lead to ‘midlife crisis’. This book provides insights and tools to equip professionals and help them navigate through crisis situations in a fast-changing world,” shares Kumar.
Additional Recommendation: First, break all the rules – What the world’s greatest managers do differently by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
4) The Oriental Bangkok: The Most Famous Hotels In The World by Andreas Augustin and Andrew Williamson
Recommended by: PK Mohan Kumar, Founder & CEO, Turnstone Hospitality LLP
This book details the history of 145-year-old hotel – The Oriental, Bangkok. With thorough research and an entertaining story accompanied by unique photography, this book is hard to put down. “The Oriental Bangkok where I was trained and retained the number one position in the world for years.”
Additional Recommendation: Dare to Dream – The Life of MS Oberoi by Bachi Karkaria