Name of the book: 21 success sutras for CEOs: How Global CEOs Overcome Leadership Challenges in Turbulent Times to Build Good to Great Organizations

Author: M.S Rao

Publisher: Jaico Publishers

Price : Rs. 269/- (Paperback)

Reviewer : Puja Roy

Puja is an avid reader who loves to explore life’s various facets and bring them out through her short stories. A Copywriter by profession, she also blogs at

~ Review ~

Professor M.S Rao’s 36th book, 21 success sutras for CEOs: How Global CEOs Overcome Leadership Challenges in Turbulent Times to Build Good to Great Organizations is an interesting mix of wonderful success mantras, practised to perfection by great leaders, real life situations and challenges faced by them and how CEOs of today must take a leaf out of the book of these great men to overcome difficult business scenarios.

The book talks about 21 success tips or thumb rules for all CEOs who encounter innumerable leadership challenges on a day-to-day basis.

Out of all the skillsets/success mantras that he mentions, ‘communication’ plays a big role as Rao mentions that it is imperative that a CEO speaks his mind and expresses his vision effectively. Hence, ‘communicate clearly’ is his top suggestion to the CEOs. To elucidate this point, he mentions in some detail the achievements of the longest serving prime minister in the world – Lee Kuan Yew, the 20th century visionary leader who converted Singapore into a world class nation and the leadership lessons other leaders can learn from him.

Building trust, getting along with people and making employees happy are the next three success sutras that he talks about. He mentions ‘zappos’ here as one of the shining examples of a brilliant organizational culture and credits its CEO Tony Hsieh for this huge achievement as he transformed his start-up company from his apartment to a billion-dollar brand considered one of the best places to work in the country.

Learning to being adaptable, taking feedback positively and encouraging innovation are the next three thumb rules of success as per profession Rao.  While speaking about the importance of ‘innovation’, he elucidates the point with a quote by Steve Jobs that reads, ‘innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower’. He writes that Steve Jobs emphasized excellence and innovation and raised his bar constantly and is remembered globally for his innovations and inventions.

Professor Rao then talks about how, apart from planning and strategizing, ‘seeing the big picture’ is imperative for any business and says that CEOs must see the upcoming challenges from multiple perspective with a big picture. Rao shares how Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO of the biggest shareholder company saw the ‘big picture’ and invested in companies reaping a great harvest.

Rao shares his own story of focusing on the ‘big picture’. His vision of creating one million students as global leaders by 2030 through a website, a non-profit initiative, was ranked as one of the top 10 finalists in the ‘not for profit’ category of Leadership 500 excellence awards 2015.

Professor M.S Rao concludes his book by talking about other additional traits that CEOs must acquire. He advises how CEOs with cross-industry experience can also create great success stories. He shares how Allan Mullaly, former CEO of Ford, worked in airline industry before (Boeing) and proved himself as a successful CEO in automobile industry (Ford). There are many such examples, so CEOs should be open to such dynamic leaderships. The book also highlights the importance of ‘soft leadership’, a new innovative leadership approach that leads through soft skills and people skills.

This book aims at sharing some precious success sutras, woven together dexterously with great examples of leaders’ world over, who have lived these principles throughout their lives. I recommend this book, especially to all those budding entrepreneurs and thought leaders, who are striving to build great organizations globally, and wish to make a difference with their leadership skills. Go give it a shot!


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