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Education through English medium tends to cut people off from the beauty and wisdom contained in Indian languages. It is to the credit of Shashikant Joshi that using the same medium of English he has conveyed the distilled wisdom of ancient Indian maxims, selected from the vast sea of Sanskrit literature. Moreover, he does so in a language to which the modern SMS-texting generation can relate.
We live in an age of information overload, in which we often lose sight of the distinction between information, knowledge and wisdom. The objective of Attitude Shift is not only to communicate ancient wisdom in today’s idiom but also to make it applicable in day-to-day life. One must remember, though, that wisdom is an end in itself and not just a means to better management practices. The very first nyāya, Ahibhuk and the Boatman, is about spiritual realization and not merely about mundane concerns. In Indian tradition, there is no dichotomy between material life and spiritual life. The maxims chosen in Attitude Shift point towards that continuum; they are applicable to worldly as well as spiritual pursuits. They are meant for contemplation. Their real purpose is to make us better human beings first, and subsequently better managers.
Shashikant has used a light conversational style to drive home the message, in his words “The take home message,” but I find the language notes at the bottom very interesting. Interpretation of the maxims is subjective; the language notes take the reader to the original source. One can draw one’s own conclusions. Therein lies the usefulness of this book, which for Shashikant has been a labor of love. It should interest both young and old readers; the older ones will get the perspective of the youth and the younger ones the insights of the old.
Former Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Karnataka
Former Ambassador of India to UNESCO
"The photo captures the basic traits of a leader. No one is born as a leader. Only money can be inherited, and in some countries, even the position. We call it as dictatorship, not leadership. Title is not a cause, but the result of leadership. Titles do not make leaders; leaders make titles. So, step out of your titles, your big shoes; or the big sandals, as the case maybe.
Have a vision as grand as the ocean, nothing less will suffice. For when you aim for the ocean, you may be lucky enough to get a lake. Do not be afraid of your vision.
Go embrace it with passion and have courage to take on the ocean, even if on your own! Everything else – determination, execution, persistence etc. – is required for success even if you are not a leader. However, these are essential to be a leader – courage to dream, courage to think beyond oneself and courage to start alone!"
BTech, Computer Science (IIT Kharagpur)
MS, Computer Science (University of Minnesota)
Author, Speaker, Sanskrit Enthusiast.