An engrossing, energetically told story of one entrepreneur’s rise to personal and professional success.

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A prosperous hotelier offers a debut memoir and motivational manual.

“All my successes are built on a foundation of failures,” writes Ohri in his book. He then proceeds in these pages to detail both the setbacks and the successes that brought him from a poor but loving childhood in an impoverished district of New Delhi to the head of a chain of luxury hotels and resorts. “Luxury is an experience that creates memories for a lifetime,” he reflects about this particular aspect of his success story. The author goes on to assure his readers that “every simple joy can be a luxury.” The relative nature of the luxury experiences that he provides for his customers prompts him to observe that entrepreneurship is an intensely personal thing—the fuel for it varies and is tailored to the individual. He writes about his growth as an entrepreneur, delivering an affectionate tribute to his mentor, Joe Santiani, who taught him what he refers to as the biggest lesson of his life: that self-respect derives from others—it’s a two-way street. “My mentor’s behavior showed me that no one is inferior,” he asserts, “respect is given to those who deserve it, and to those who have talent and skills.” In the course of his apprenticeship (including visiting the United States), Ohri learned from this mentor many of the lessons that would stick with him for the rest of his own triumphant career. “He taught me that our efforts are never in vain; even the smallest efforts are important in the journey to becoming perfect,” he writes. “There are no short-cuts to success.”

Readers familiar with business memoirs may groan a bit when encountering a shopworn line like “There are no short-cuts to success.” Those readers may be further discouraged by the appearance of other sentiments and platitudes that are a bit too simple or pat (“It’s not easy recognizing failures in yourself”). Fortunately, Ohri has enough awareness of his gifts as a writer to know where to put his stresses. He’s an instinctively strong storyteller. In this well-crafted account, he presents a series of episodes that are genuinely gripping. He carries readers along expertly, writing his various adventures in very involving ways. Readers will get caught up in the story of how he was betrayed by his partner in an early venture, for instance; he lost everything and had to face the humiliation of returning home to India and facing his father as a penniless failure. This disaster and other hurdles are skillfully related. When the author describes his initial success as the owner of a chain of restaurants, for example, he will keep readers on the edges of their seats: “We had created a buzz in the city. I gained confidence in exploring the levels of hospitality service and everything was going great. Until it wasn’t.” This interweaving of self-effacing humility and the kind of make-or-break business world stories that will be familiar to many of the financial hustlers in his target audience saves Ohri’s book from being just a protracted exercise in self-congratulation.

An engrossing, energetically told story of one entrepreneur’s rise to personal and professional success.

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-957807-83-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Waterside Productions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2022



Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Want to get ahead in business? Consult a dictionary.

By Wharton School professor Berger’s account, much of the art of persuasion lies in the art of choosing the right word. Want to jump ahead of others waiting in line to use a photocopy machine, even if they’re grizzled New Yorkers? Throw a because into the equation (“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”), and you’re likely to get your way. Want someone to do your copying for you? Then change your verbs to nouns: not “Can you help me?” but “Can you be a helper?” As Berger notes, there’s a subtle psychological shift at play when a person becomes not a mere instrument in helping but instead acquires an identity as a helper. It’s the little things, one supposes, and the author offers some interesting strategies that eager readers will want to try out. Instead of alienating a listener with the omniscient should, as in “You should do this,” try could instead: “Well, you could…” induces all concerned “to recognize that there might be other possibilities.” Berger’s counsel that one should use abstractions contradicts his admonition to use concrete language, and it doesn’t help matters to say that each is appropriate to a particular situation, while grammarians will wince at his suggestion that a nerve-calming exercise to “try talking to yourself in the third person (‘You can do it!’)” in fact invokes the second person. Still, there are plenty of useful insights, particularly for students of advertising and public speaking. It’s intriguing to note that appeals to God are less effective in securing a loan than a simple affirmative such as “I pay all bills…on time”), and it’s helpful to keep in mind that “the right words used at the right time can have immense power.”

Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.

Pub Date: March 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063204935

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper Business

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023


Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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