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Book Review - Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

Rajiv Ramarathnam



The Self Help/Business motivation market in the United States is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Motivational gurus like Tony Robins, Stephen Covey, Deepak Chopra, Dennis Waitley, Wayne Dyer   and several others have marked their territory in this vast but ever-growing arena. It was only a matter of time before someone tapped into the growing young, ambitious professional population of our homeland.


He sports a ponytail, is professionally attired and is an effective communicator. But don’t let his yuppie appearance fool you. Arindham Choudhuri is as Desi as they come. Quoting Gandhi and the Gita, Arindham presents his self-help/management Philosophy in ‘Count your Chickens Before they Hatch.’


In the first couple of chapters, Choudhuri has borrowed many a page from the works of Tony Robbins on passion and from Dale Carnegie on winning friends and influencing people. However, in the third chapter he does branch into his own analysis of different personality types like Friendly, Thespian, the Stern face and the Poised and offers suggestions on how to handle each type.


While Americans are used to job insecurity and use it as motivation, Choudhuri claims, the Japanese are guaranteed job security. It is the latter’s patriotism that helps them perform effectively.


Having been part of the American workforce for over a decade, I know that loosing a job affects Americans as much as anyone else. In fact, it has been said that job-loss is the second worst calamity that can happen to any individual, the first being a death in the family.


In one of the early chapters, Choudhuri suggests that if you call a spade a spade, you risk being hit by one. It would have been better if he had followed his own advice.


Indians, Choudhuri says, tend to be complacent if given total, unequivocal job security. (Raghupati Ragav Raja Ram, Poora paisa Kuch Nahin Kam). He then goes on to propose his own ‘Theory-I’ management theory . This Theory-I states that Indians need a mix of both American and Japanese management strategies.  A company must give an employee the feeling that he is part of the team, but must not give him total job security. The company must make it clear that it expects positive results from each individual.


 He goes on to claim that Gandhiji’s ahimsa theory worked because it appealed to the Indian public because of their complacent, laid back theory. While his Theory-I does provoke thought and may even work, Choudhuri needs to polish up some of his words when presenting his ideas in a book.


This book does have some useful nuggets. Choudhuri rightfully criticizes the legal system in India for routinely taking up to ten years to present a verdict on any case. Most of the time the criminal does go free.


His thoughts on different types of leadership, namely by seduction, association and delegation are quite noteworthy. He also ingeniously explains how the Gita’s distinction of people into three types, the Tamas, the Rajas and Satvic applies to modern day Indian employees.


While I disagree with a lot of his views, I believe some of his theories hold water and can be applied in Indian companies. His enormous potential does show in this book. We will hear a lot more about Arindham Chaudhuri in the coming years. This book is certainly worth reading. However, you may hav to order you copy from India. I picked mine up from a recent visit.




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