Catalyst Book Summary - Catalyst Book explained in key points
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Catalyst summary

Chandramouli Venkatesan

The Ultimate Strategies on How to Win at Work and in Life

4.2 (98 ratings)
21 mins
Table of Contents

    summarized in 8 key ideas

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    Focusing on personal growth is much more fulfilling than fretting over promotions.

    Today’s business world is a rat race. Getting ahead means moving up the ladder – the higher, the better. That’s the general idea, at least. In reality, careers rarely progress as swiftly or smoothly as we’d like. It’s easy to feel frustrated.

    So let’s take a fresh look at your relationship with your job.

    A good way to start is by letting go of the illusion of control. Remember, your career progression isn’t solely up to you. Like a ship sailing its way across the ocean, a typical 40-year career has to make the best of unpredictable headwinds and tailwinds. Sometimes an industry booms and people in that sector with specialized skills are suddenly in high demand. If you’re one of those people, this tailwind will help carry you toward your destination: promotion and a bigger paycheck.

    At other times, though, headwinds check your progress. Just think of someone who’s been a committed, loyal employee of the same company for years, waiting for an opportunity to get promoted. Then, when her boss finally announces his retirement, management announces a new strategy and the position she worked so hard to reach is eliminated completely!

    Careers might be unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you need to let the worry over promotions and raises stress you out. Instead, your best bet is to focus on your own personal growth. That means gaining professional experience, and improving and expanding your skillset.

    Imagine you’re a baseball batter. If you concentrate on hitting each ball tossed your way as perfectly as possible, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll win the game. Step up to the plate with nothing on your mind but winning the game, though, and you’ll probably be so nervous that you’ll end up missing every time you swing.

    Careers are just like that. If you take your professional life one swing at a time rather than obsessing over the big picture, you’ll end up excelling.

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    What is Catalyst about?

    Catalyst (2018) is the ultimate A to Z guide to navigating one of life’s trickiest journeys: your career. Jam-packed with actionable insights rooted in author Chandramouli Venkatesan’s years of first-hand experience with today’s most successful corporate go-getters, these blinks shed light on key topics from picking the right boss to the value of taking it slow and becoming an effective leader.

    Best quote from Catalyst

    I believe career growth is something like that - the more you focus on it, the less effective it is.

    —Chandramouli Venkatesan
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    Who should read Catalyst?

    • Ambitious professionals
    • Executives and managers
    • Coaches and work psychologists

    About the Author

    Chandramouli Venkatesan is an author and management expert with over 26 years of experience on the corporate front lines. His previous employers include Asian Paints, the largest manufacturer of paint in India, British confectionary giant Cadbury and Mirc Electronics. Venkatesan is currently the CEO of Pidilite Industries. He is also the author of Get Better at Getting Better.

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