Apurva PurohitA highly successful business executive, one of the very few women to reach the top of a business talks about her experiences as a working woman, as a woman leading other men and women and as someone who has used not very different skills to manage the home and husband. Divided into three sections, book talks about accepting oneself as woman and the challenges and opportunities thereof, adapting to the situation as required and finally making way for oneself to be an achiever. Each section gives 10 tenets / nuggets.

I loved the first section. It is just plain common sense that as the cliché goes is not so common. It talks about accepting that you are a woman and hence inherently different than men. There are certain things in life that you will have to cater to, no matter what and the best solution is to accept it and I possible enjoy it. Author has got a humor laden conversational style where she gives examples from her work life – some of which may be fictional but nonetheless make the point. I loved her description of how and why women around the time they are 40 start wearing small clothes suddenly and how it does not suit them, as they are never comfortable and are always trying to look less than their age. I have always said, if you try to enjoy your 40 as 30, when will you enjoy 40 and every age has its own beauty, you only need to know how to enjoy it. May be I found a lot of resonance with Apurva in this section based on my experience of corporate world.

Second section tends to be a bit preachy, but very rightly points out some problems that women create for themselves. I could think of so many examples from my own corporate life where the privileges provided to women employees were royally misused by them or where they always played victim to get that extra advantage. She also points certain areas where women are not so strong like networking, she tries to give some solutions to make steps in solving these problems, though I think given the time constraints and the multi-tasking women end up doing, the practical aspect may have been ignored sometime and they can be very different for different background depending on the families and responsibilities they have. Third section tends to motivate women and gives some practical tips on how to manage the career to reach the top. I liked her practical insights on how managing male and female sub-ordinates require different skills just like somewhere else she tells you how to get most out of your husband at home.

What I liked about this easy to read and easy to relate book is the fact that author is always putting the torch inwards and trying to find a solution inside one’s own self. Everything and everyone else is environment that you can so something about to a varying degree. This does not mean giving up your dreams or letting go of your ambitions, it only means understand the environment well and change your response or management style accordingly. There are a lot of practical tip along with scenarios where they have been used or can be used and the keyword here is practical.

If you are a woman with dream to be a CXO someday, you would definitely pick up something from Aprurva’s experience. Men, you would probably understand women around you at home and at work a bit better.

A light, fun, practical read.

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