Home' HR Monthly : April 2018 Contents April 2018 HRM magazine 39
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THE BABA RAMDEV
MOSHA TO MARKET
BY KAUSHIK DEKA
India’s Baba Ramdev overcame
many obstacles to become a formidable
businessman and spiritual leader. Kaushik
Deka covers the rise of this fascinating leader
and offers related insights into India’s politics
and commerce. getAbstract recommends his
illuminating biography to executives who have
operations in India or who wish to invest there.
BY STEPHEN BODIAN 2006 $12
Given the array of complex and
confusing advice out there on
meditation, Stephan Bodian’s
clarity and reassuring tone are welcome. Many
meditation tex ts are partisan and seek to
advance one school of meditation over another.
In contrast, Bodian is scrupulously fair and
inclusive. getAbstract recommends it to both
novices and advanced practitioners. If you like
the user-friendly format, you’ll find the sidebars,
The KPIs of a Yogi
This month we look to the Indian sub-continent’s
religions for business ideas.
BY GIRARD DORNEY
THE GOOD HUSTLE:
CREATING A HAPPY,
BY DR POLLY MCGEE
ALLEN & UNWIN 2018 $19.95
By rigorously embedding her
self-help book The Good
Hustle with the precepts of
established religions, Polly McGee ably avoids
the common pitfalls of the genre. However, the
theological gymnastics she has to perform to
pull it off come with their own problems.
The premise of the book is that by drawing
upon the tex ts and ideas of Hinduism and
Buddhism, readers can create “a happy, healthy
business with heart”. Essentially, McG ee
is d rawing parallels between the personal
search for enlightenment and the creation of a
On the face of it, that seems pretty dicey. It’s
no su rprise that most of the book’s problems
involve over-simplifications and contradictions.
For example, McGee devotes a section to the
second yama: satya, or truth. She mentions that
“we look to say what people want to hear” and
“often choose to stay silent”, and one of
the reasons is that “we are frightened that it
[the truth] might impact our careers”. She links
satya with the early conversations you have
about your business. She says you need to tell
the truth to reach enlightenment and to have a
Given the book’s subject, you might expect
McGee to have a PhD in business studies,
theology or philosophy, but a quick internet
search reveals her doctorate is in gender studies.
Although impressive, it’s hard to escape the
conclusion that she forgoes “satya” in this
instance because people can be persuaded to buy
a book on the credibility of a doctorate. And,
rightly or wrongly, the credibility of a gender
studies PhD isn’t related to business acumen.
As for oversimplifying, McGee is sometimes
reluctant to fully commit to the principles she’s
drawing upon. While she mentions treating
your staff well, she hardly goes full Gandhian
economics. The pointier end of class politics isn’t
something she chooses to ponder.
On the other hand, she does say that making
money is not the end goal of a good hustle.
She even goes so far as to write “the hustle
is undertaken in service to others”. Though
again, she does stop short of outlining what
an immoral business would be, and frequently
stresses that the teachings are subjective.
But putting aside all quibbles, it’s hard not
to admire a book that takes doing good – by
yourself and the world at large – as its premise.
For instance, there’s this striking passage:
“Truth speaking for justice is a much-needed
intervention, and is often a frightening exposure
to power and the force of public or majority
opinion. As a good hustler, this will be a
lightning rod for you, as your practice will be
based on working and sometimes fighting for
something that is bigger than you.”
You won’t find many self-help books that
command you to do good and advise you to
have unpopular opinions. That’s old-time
religion – which is welcome in a genre that so
often borrows the mysticism from spiritual tex ts
while blunting every hard edge.
By leaving a few of those edges, McGee
gives a lesson that’s always worth hearing. We
shouldn’t do the right thing because we’ll be
rewarded. We should do the right thing because
it’s the right thing. •••
graphics and short segments handy. If you
seek only serenity, the pages might be a little
too busy. So, absorb the information, close
the book and close your eyes, which you’re
going to do anyway. Now, ommmm.
22/3/18 5:45 pm
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