Book Intro : Navigating the Maze – Simple and Smart Strategies to Fast-track Success

Book Intro : Navigating the Maze – Simple and Smart Strategies to Fast-track Success

Sridhar Rao

Management Coach & Business Mentor


In our fast paced lives, there’s only that much time available to read books. At , we thought it would therefore, be interesting to introduce some useful books, once in a while, to our readers.

Here’s the first one we are introducing, written by two highly experienced and eminent professionals, Bharat Wakhlu and Savita Bhan Wakhlu. While Bharat has been a long term Tata group business leader, on the board of some of the group companies, Savita has been an executive coach and cross culture consultant for over twenty years.

Their book, Navigating the Maze – Simple, Smarter Strategies to Fast-track Success  ( SAGE Response Books, 190 pages ) could be an invaluable resource for today’s professionals.

A conversation with the authors reveals the following about the book.

In the course of their myriad interactions and conversations with young, working men and women, Bharat and Savita gathered that today’s professionals are keen to live their lives in ways that support health, happiness, love, harmonious relationships, joyful work and abundance. Yet many struggle to achieve these conditions that contribute to well-being.

One of the most common reasons, according to the authors, is that the goals people pursue are rarely based on their own personal choices or their deeper interests and passions. Instead, many are driven to doing what “significant others” in their lives tell them to do; or what such people might goad them into doing.

This book promotes the perspective that success is truly achievable by all, provided we choose goals that are aligned with our uniqueness and our inner drivers. The authors provide the readers practical insights on how to make the right choices along the way. Furthermore, the book emphasises the capabilities that need to be cultivated to lead a life of fulfilment and success.

Navigating the Maze is structured in a way that the focus remains on three fundamental aspects that impact our lives wholesomely. These are, Self-mastery, Interactional Excellence and the World of Work. By introducing the right skills and capabilities in these areas of life, the authors say  emphatically, anyone can fast-track success on one’s own terms. Their words address a dynamic and enthusiastic generation that is eager to change the world by working on themselves.

The book equips readers with the self-knowledge, the skills and the competencies that help them joyfully traverse the challenges and opportunities that they face in a rapidly changing world. It also encourages the readers to delve into the quiet space within, thereby connecting them with their own interiority, and harnessing their vast inner resources to advantage.

Besides being experienced and erudite experts in management and leadership, Bharat and Savita come forth as sensitive practitioners, who show a lot of care, concern, and awareness of the issues faced by the potential readership of this book. With a balanced combination of insights and guidance, that pertain to the “whole person” and which rely on skills related to the head and the heart, they have also presented seven simple and smart strategies that are essential for personal transformation and growth. These are:

1) Recognizing one’s own beliefs and attitudes, and accepting how these influence one’s thinking, feelings/emotions and one’s behaviours.

2) Understanding the connection between one’s thinking and the results one achieves.

3) Focusing on being mindful and aware about oneself, others and the myriad situations one experiences.

4) Practicing individual accountability and being responsible, instead of playing the blame game and pointing fingers at others.

5) Distinguishing between assertive responses/ communications, and aggressive or manipulative reactions.

6) Mastering the art of building and maintaining relationships, and finally

7) Implementing the learned skills in the work-sphere.

The book is  complemented by stories, caselets and anecdotes. Each chapter ends with responses to ‘live’, real-time queries and concerns, shared with the authors by professionals from diverse industries, as well as students of a number of business schools.

Foreword and Comments

The book has a foreword written by Dr. E. Sreedharan, the renowned metro-man of the country. It has received significant advance praise from leading practitioners and leaders.

Dr Shashi Tharoor shares that [the book] “is a breezy read, filled with anecdotes, short stories, and scenarios that aid young professionals in navigating the trials of working life.

The former President of AIMA, Mr. Firdose Vandrevala was emphatic in stating that, “[NTM] is an outstanding book on the alchemy of success in a turbulent world.” He further states that the authors have presented a “distilled [essence] from decades of experience in the corporate maze, [ensuring thereby that ] the book delivers clear and practical clues to improve the quality of both work and life.”

Dr. Samir Parikh, Director at the department of mental health at Fortis Healthcare, states that “Bharat and Savita have written a masterpiece. What this book does is that it breaks down this seemingly elusive concept of success into easy and manageable ways of doing things. It looks at what an individual can and should do, focusing more on their self, bringing a feeling of control in a situation, [where one] does not always feel like one is in charge.

Mr. Jehangir Ardeshir, the Group CEO and Director of the Supervisory Board at Forbes Marshal, suggests that, “The Handbook of Holistic Tonic for the Modern Day Manager could perhaps be an alternative name for this book; and every career person – young or old – should have one.

SAGE Response books, the Publishers confirm that this elegant and highly readable book is now widely available in book stores around the country, and on line, on The company is offering bulk discounts on larger orders, since many HR professionals have indicated that the book would make an “ideal gift” to employees for the festive season.

About the Authors

Bharat Wakhlu

Bharat is a committed, results-oriented business leader and cross-functional manager with demonstrated records of success, spanning a corporate career of over three decades. He has transformed enterprises, creatively solved tough corporate problems, and led teams of experts to deliver outstanding and lasting value to chosen stakeholders.

Prior to his present Advisory and Consulting role, he spent thirty years working as an Intrapreneur and business leader within the Tata eco-system. He held senior operating and Board positions within Tata Steel and Tata Sons in India, and was the President of Tata Inc.- the North American holding company of Tata – based out of New York, NY. From 2014 to 2016, he served with the US helicopter company, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, CT. as the Managing Director for India.

Bharat is the author of four books – covering Total Quality, Ethics and Governance and a novel – and includes his recently released work (co-authored with his wife, Savita) entitled “Navigating the Maze – Simple, Smarter Strategies to Fast-track Success”.

A Fellow of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the All India Management Association (AIMA), he serves on a few Corporate Boards as a Director, and is fluent in German, English, and four diverse Indian languages.

Savita Bhan Wakhlu

Savita Wakhlu is a mechanical engineer by qualification and the Founder-Managing Director of Jagriti communications, a twenty year organization focused on stimulating individual and organizational effectiveness.  A certified executive coach (from NYU) and a cross-cultural consultant (certified by Berlitz, USA), she is a published author of two books. Her recent one, “Navigating the Maze: Simple, Smarter Strategies to Fast-track Success” .is co-authored with her husband, Bharat Wakhlu; her first book, “Managing Presentations : Communicating with Impact” continues to be used by professionals keen to hone their presentation and communication skills.

During the last 28 years, Savita’s repertoire of skills, knowledge and experience have helped companies become effective, productive, change-ready and joyful. She has designed and delivered customized learning and development solutions to organizations in various verticals and sectors. She has trained and coached around fifteen thousand corporate executives, from some of the world’s leading establishments, operating out of India and the US.

She has been an active Rotarian for over 15 years, and served as the President of two Rotary Clubs – one in Jamshedpur, and another in Larchmont, USA. She is the Founding Member of the NGO, Foundation for Restoration of National Values (FRNV), and has also served as its Joint Secretary for 7 years. Savita has been an honorary trustee at the California Institute of Integral studies (CIIS), in San Francisco and a board member at the World Trade Centre Memorial Foundation in New York.


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