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The Seductive Illusion of Hard Work
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The Seductive Illusion of Hard Work



September 2020 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
People take great pride in flaunting their punishing work routines. The Seductive Illusion of Hard Work establishes that hard work is necessary but insufficient for success. In fact, misdirected hard work is way worse than no work at all. This book includes various real-life examples from the corporate world that has constantly exaggerated the role of hard work and underplayed the critical role of choices and mentorship in creating conditions for success. The young workforce is experiencing burnout and it is suspected that the romantic proclamations and obsession about hard work has lots to do with it. This book discusses all these issues and finally offers a solution-oriented approach to the myth about succeeding in work life.
 
Foreword by Klaus Schwab
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
 
PART I Principles of Shaping a Meaningful Career
 
Don’t Follow Your Passion
 
Why ‘Be Yourself’ is Bad Career Advice
 
Bubbles of Competence
 
Art of Being a Deep Generalist
 
How Confusion Leads to Personal and Professional Growth
 
Why Early Failures in Our Career Set Us Up for Long-term Success
 
Why AQ Matters More than IQ and EQ
 
What Grandmothers Teach Us About Reinventing Oneself
 
Transforming Your Adversity into Competitive Edge
 
An Ode to Mediocrity
 
It is Time for the Passion Economy
 
When Should You Quit Your Job
 
PART II Building a Tribe of Mentors
 
The Mentoring Paradox: Necessary but Insufficient
 
Learn to Network the Paul Erdos Way
 
Why You Need a Coach and a Mentor
 
Why Weak Ties Make a Strong Network
 
Paradox of Trust: Talking to Strangers
 
PART III Navigating the Modern Workplace: Millennial Matters
 
Millennial’s Search for Meaning
 
Tyranny of Job Descriptions
 
The Puzzle of Great Expectations
 
Why Moonshots Matter
 
What Social Movements and Workplaces Can Learn from Each Other
 
The IKEA Effect
 
An Ode to Envy
 
Negotiating the Non-negotiable
 
Why Wage Transparency Matters
 
How Frustration Leads to Innovations
 
Millennials Have a Subscription Powered Future
 
What You Do Is Who You Are
 
Groups That Sing Together Stay Together
 
The Avengers and Diversity Quotient
 
What Start-ups Can Learn from Flea Markets
 
Why the Modern Workplace Needs More Rebels
 
Let’s Stop Talking about Generation Gaps
 
The Art of Making a Compelling Argument
 
Look Outside Your Building
 
Should You Discuss Politics at Work
 
The Art and Science of Gatherings
 
Why It Is Hard to Make Friends at Work
 
Modern Love: Couples that Work
 
PART IV Augmenting Personal Productivity
 
The Power of Compounding
 
Overcoming FOBO and FOMO
 
Why Too Much Self-reflection Can Be Bad for You
 
When Do Millennials Work?
 
The Hard Work Delusion
 
PART V Learning from the Best
 
The Pomodoro Technique
 
Paul Graham
 
Haruki Murakami
 
Maya Angelou
 
Yuval Noah Harari
 
Richard Feynman
 
Naval Ravikant
 
Susan Cain
 
Brené Brown
 
Elizabeth Gilbert
 
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
 
Charlie Munger
 
PART VI Clarity is Power: Mental Models and the Art of Deep Thinking
 
Our Quest for Clarity
 
Mirages
 
Illusions and Biases
 
Maxims and Cautionary Tales
 
Precision of Thoughts, Common Pitfalls
 
Thinking Thoroughly
 
The Art of Fooling Oneself
 
Sharpening How We Think
 
The Last Lap
 
Conclusion

This is the book every millennial needs to read! Utkarsh’s engaging storytelling provides a roadmap for what it means to ‘find your passion’ and other misconceptions of the business world. Insightful and practical—you won’t be able to put it down!

Marshall Goldsmith,
New York Times #1 bestselling author of Triggers, Mojo, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

As the creator of the term FOMO, I loved how Utkarsh explored its nuances and offered tangible principles for shaping meaningful careers. The case studies in The Seductive Illusion of Hard Work are powerful—from the cognitive biases of the creator of Sherlock Holmes to the quirks of Paul Erdos, the legendary mathematician and networker. Given its cross-cultural and multi-generational appeal, I recommend it to anyone interested in understanding the future of work.

Patrick McGinnisis,
Creator of the term FOMO and leading Venture Capitalist

Utkarsh’s book is an uniquely interesting take on career intelligence and the future of work. It is sprinkled with original insights and relatable stories that will resonate not only with millennials but also with senior executives and founders.

Pramath Raj Sinha,
Founder of Ashoka University, Harappa Education

This book is a fascinating collection of mental models and career principles for discovering one’s purpose. Utkarsh is a powerful storyteller whose narratives cause us to rethink how to work effectively.

Tarun Khanna,
Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School

Utkarsh has a very interesting and sometimes counterintuitive take on the paths to success in life. This book is a very practical guide with tips that will make you rethink many things that you assumed or took for granted, especially your definition of success.

Sri Rajan,
Partner in Bain & Company, San Francisco, US

This book hits so many sweet spots: It is broad (containing examples from science, arts, sports and, of course, business) but deep; it is academic yet actionable; it offers complex ideas but in bite-sized, readable, simple prose. One reason for this is Utkarsh Amitabh’s career achievements, which span mainstream career success, entrepreneurial achievement and academic knowledge. The book contains none of the self-promotional clichés typical of business successes—he speaks as a trusted advisor who has the authority, experience and compassion to be the voice of his generation.

Tanya Menon,
Organizational Psychologist and TED Speaker

Community, collaboration and courage are timeless. In the new world we live, these three defining themes will determine how we relook at work and life itself. Utkarsh has captured beautifully how these will work together and their interplay. An important book. An essential read.

Farzana Haque,
Patron, The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and The Juilliard School; Global Head for Strategic Group Accounts, TCS

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ISBN: 9789353885250
£16.00