catalyst book review

Review by Dr.N.Asokan

I initially believe that success at work place is the combination of my Talent, Attitude, Knowledge, and Skill (I acronym as TASK), later I included Growth Mindset and Environment also one of the ingredients for success. When I come across, Peter Senge’s  ‘Fifth Discipline’ , The Personal Mastery matters. In  ‘First, Break All the Rules’ book Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman stated that Talent Matters. R.Gopalkrishnan said in his book ‘What the CEO really wants to know’ The Practical Intelligence Matters. Success at work place and in life needs to be catalyzed- it does not happen by itself, even if you have all the ingredients you believe you have.

Do read the book to form your own learning from the book based on your own experience.

 Real Individual Growth:

My career will grow only as much as I am able to grow as an individual and as a professional towards deserving more.

Career Growth = Real Individual Growth

Most people assume that if they work hard and spend years at work, then they are growing their skills, knowledge and capabilities, but Mouli has drawn from personal experience to construct a “learning model”  (TMRR model: Target Measure Review Reflect) to convert time and activity into experience.

 Time Spent at Work Does Not Equal Experience:

Mouli asks insightful and thought- provoking questions

How many years of experience do you have walking?

How many years of experience do you have sleeping?

How many years of experience do you have in finance/sales/production/teaching?

Mouli defines the purpose of experience is not to measure what we have done in the past, but to use it to do better in the future.

Mouli provides practical advice on the combination of learning model and learning cycle develop the ability to respond to a situation and get to the right answer and the ability to generate solutions to complex problems.

 Senior Position:

Mouli has abstracted from his personal experience, what is expected from “Senior Position”. It is definitely easy to follow, practicing guide. He shares to identify the variable which are under your direct control and spend most of your time to produce maximum output. He has given a new definition for Frustration at work as ‘you are doing your best and yet things are not moving ahead’, called Sand Rock Disease.


First Half and Second Half of Career:

Greater Career Achievements are often in the Second Half, Mouli claims. Most people succeed in the first halves of their careers, very few in the second half.

His questions are

Are you managing your first half to succeed in the first half?

Are you managing your first half to succeed in the second half?

Are you managing your first half to build foundation to succeed in the second half?

 Depth Over Width:

One of the Three Career Management  Principles in First Half  help you realize your full potential to succeed in second half explained with analogies.


 Work Pyramid:

The similarities and differences between Motivations of Life and Motivations of work, Mouli has his own insights from every day events in workplace that happen to people’s achievement, mastery and purpose.

 Building Leadership from Leader:

Leadership = (Position + Content) X  ‘loadstar’ Values

Mouli’s favorite quotes “You r are not as good as your best success; you are not as bad as your worst failure”

 To find Answers to the Questions:

How long should one work in one company?: Career Decision

Who is a good boss?

Why so many senior and successful people were gravitating to Golf/Cycling/ Marathon?

How do you develop loadstar values?

Why do you want to succeed in your career?

I could connect lessons from my own work place of present and past. If you want to help your team realizes their dreams, understand themselves better and become their best selves at work place and in personal life, I recommend to read, to make small differences every day at work place and personal improvement in life.