Peeping through the keyhole
The name Saurabh Mukherjea is synonymous with solid asset management advice. His new book with Ana Lueneburger titled ‘Unfiltered- the CEO and the Coach,’ clearly indicates that this time, he is talking about the biggest asset you can manage - yourself, your mind and your productivity.
Ana Lueneburger was Saurabh Mukherjea’s coach before he decided to become an entrepreneur and later, through it. That’s the preface because you have to read to book to understand the nuances.
Here are our Bookstrapping insights.
You can train a turkey to climb a tree, but I’d rather hire a squirrel, is one of the many gems in the book. This is used to explain why when it comes to coaching, it's far more useful to leverage the clients’ strengths than work on fixing their weaknesses. The book genuinely attempts to explain the coaching process, end to end. Whether it is the culture maps or conflict resolution models, or even a graph that shows how Saurabh’s strengths changed from 2017 to 2021, the authors keep it real and don't gloss over the details.
Anyone who has hitherto dismissed coaching as wishy-washy, will be surprised by the extent to which psychological models and constructs are employed to advance the process; and how complex coaching can be.
Ana describes a good coach as ‘a chisel that works away at the stone’- just as Michelangelo’s believed that the sculpture lay within the stone. She also cautions that the coaches themselves need to be part of a community because they need supervision as well. For example, a supervisor will not allow a coach to brush over gaps in judgement or to therapize.
Saurabh talks about how his own deep exploration of human psychology, complemented his sessions with his coach. Among his own exhaustive readings is one of my favourite books, 'Things hidden since the foundation of the world’ by Rene Girard.
Saurabh and Ana’s brave decision to be transparent can potentially trigger two kinds of reactions. One, why are they stating the obvious? Or two, look how honest they are!
For example when Saurabh talks about the moment when he realised that ‘he had nothing to prove to anyone…. and is the master of his destiny,’ you feel a mix of both. But then you realise that whether you study the Vedanta or any other philosophy, the basic learnings are all extremely simple and internally focussed. Saurabh’s methodical approach towards these realisations is what stays with you.
In terms of its content, the book is a worthy successor (in tone, not in time) to the author’s 'Victory Project'. My pile of Saurabh Mukherjea books is growing and it's not just Tsundoku!
Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta is a columnist and bestselling biographer. She is credited with the internationally acclaimed Red Dot Experiment, a decadal six-nation study on how ‘culture impacts communication.’ On Twitter @OfficialReetaRG.