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Catalyst: The ultimate strategies on how to win at work and in life

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,634 ratings  ·  234 reviews
A good job, hard work, IQ, EQ, good communication skills--these are all ingredients for a successful life. The presence of these elements alone, however, does not guarantee success. To convert them into long-term success, you need certain stimuli which precipitate or accelerate your growth. This robustly effective book identifies the various catalysts that you can cultivat ...more
Kindle Edition, 146 pages
Published February 15th 2018 by Portfolio
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Ankur Recommended for anyone. It does not talk about success in corporate life ONLY.
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Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Catalyst starts with a very sound premise. Growth in the workplace needs a catalyst – the presence of skills is not enough. A set of attributes, behaviours and circumstances need to come together for success. I have read quite a few self-help books till date, and my expectations are high in terms of incremental knowledge gained from each book I read. While I found ‘Catalyst’ to be a book which is genuine, crisp with some good techniques one can apply at work, it did not add too much to me that I ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many many years ago at Business School I befriended a gentleman who had been the 100 percentiler in the entrance that year. Over the years we became close friends. He was loyal to a fault, extremely practical, has outstanding time management skills and turned out absolutely stunning ppts ; the only skill which MBAs are admired for.
But despite all his virtues I admit he was not an interesting character. He was a teetotaller, had clear 5 year goals and 10 year goals (while the rest of us were clu
Rashmi Lohkna
Yes, it is nice, polite and covers several good points. But, it is not engaging or an interesting read. As the author clarifies at the beginning, it is a philosophy shared by a person based on his/her own personal opinions. It feels like a sea of data where you will have to be patient and struggle through the book to find few good insights (which you already know, but the author presented it better and you like it! (IF)).
Avishek Das
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eloquent, impressive, deployable & amazingly impactful
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading this book I want to attend one of his "Tee of with Mouli" sessions. I hope I will get a chance.
After reading Daniel Kahneman and listening to Hans Rosling on Ted talks, I was always sceptical of small number of samples and generalization of results based on small amount of data. But Mouli's catalyst even though the concepts mentioned are generalized using a small number of people that he has observed during his career, seems to make sense.
I don't know if I will achieve career succe
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We read a lot of books listing the ways to become successful in life and career. Well this book focuses on something which aides the process to become successful. As the name suggest it talks about 'catalysts' to success.
The book is divided into three sections. In the first section, the author talks about development of our skills and productivity or to quote from the book, "real individual growth". In the second one, which I found most interesting, he talks about focusing our efforts 'where it
Ganesh Muthupalani
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Picked this book up while waiting to start my 1st job as I was curious to find out what created career success. Based purely on his career experience, Chandramouli Venkatesan shared tangible nuggets of wisdom on career success throughout the book (building your experience algorithm, seeking & completing learning opportunities, building a strong foundation in your 1st half, finding good bosses & mentors, knowing when to quit). This book would be perfect for someone who is starting their career fr ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I must say that this is a wonderful book. In my review, I wont be divulging any of the teachings which author has shared in his book but will be commenting on overall quality, pace and relevance of the work.
All the teachings which author has taken in his book are easily relatable and while reading the book, you will definitely imagine yourself in the similar situations provided by author. His astute understanding of the corporate world has enable him to present those advices in the book which w
Bharadwaj Embar
Jan 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book that everyone should read. It may seem deceptively linked with only corporate life, but when you unwind each chapter, it serves more of a North star for personal betterment. I have mainly taken away the following concepts:
2. Rocks and Sand
3. Decisions around when to jump ship and move to another company

A truly wonderful book indeed!
Vijit Jain
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best book I have read. Divided career into 2 parts (starting 20 years and next 20 years). Initial first half should be focused on real individual growth. People feel that experience directly leads to real individual growth but thats myth, catalyst is needed for the conversion. TMRR (target, measure, review, reflection), productivity, circle of concern/influence. Focus on depth versus width in the first half. Having great mentor/boss as some of major highlights. 
Varun Krishna
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone starting or in the early stages of their career.
Srinivas Anant
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
A good read. Not related to career building in tech alone, can be read by anyone from a different domain.
Nahiyan Asadullah
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very readable, practicable & fast-paced.
Hanif Kulad
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for for success aspirants. Strategies for success both in professional and personal life in simple words. Best suited in Indian work culture context.
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book is a very interesting and informative read, written in a lucid way. Whilst each one much possess the basic ingredients of success such as IQ, skills, expertise, domain knowledge that does not constitute a good recipe for success, and we need to use certain triggers or catalyst to assist us in the process. As the title suggests the book suggests certain catalyst which can enhance the speed of success at workplace and ultimately put a person on the path of faster career progression.
Girish Nerkar
This book gives a bunch of messages which are pretty obvious. The focus of this book is on improving yourself to become better at what you do and thus become successful. It tells things like setting targets for yourself and reviewing what you can do to improve your performance. But that’s the good part. Where I lost interest is that it’s pretty superficial. It never goes in depth of the matter. In short it’s not a how to book, it’s more like what you need to do to become successful. If I had to ...more
Anish Kumar
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't have words to describe how great this book is. The author wrote it so brilliantly that you would be glued to it. I would say it is a MUST read for all those who are working in the Corporate World. This book has enlightened me so much so that at work my directors have now changed their perception about me. This indeed happened only after implementing the ideas suggested in this book. Not even a single word in this book is a waste. Every word written is with only one intention to help the ...more
Priyanka Jayaraman
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
How often have we thought that people who switch jobs are in for a fast track career while those who continue are not so ambitious?

The author beautifully explains a lot of questions and doubts that people have about development in career. He starts to explain what actually means by experience and how we often confuse numbers to be translated into learning while that isnt the case most of the time. He explains how one must work and what we must look for while switching a job.

While I expected thi
Vadassery Rakesh
Sep 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-challenge
There is a dearth of good management or self help books from Indian authors, if you leave aside a Robin Sharma or a CK Prahlad. Partly this is because a general apathy of Indians towards books authored by fellow Indians. A recent survey among wannabe Indian writers brought out that none of the indian authors or their books featured in their favorite list.
Catalyst is a book of highest standards and we can see the sincerity of the author in each of those lines in uplifting the readers. He has wri
Akshay Ratan
A well structured, lucid thought process to help with perspectives to formulate your own individual charter for career growth. The book talks about Experience, Personal Productivity, Career Management and Life Values in an interesting lens from the experience of the author in the corporate sector. The book is full of great mental models of converting time spent at work to a real experience, maximizing learning cycles to truly drive individual growth, thought leadership, personal productivity to ...more
Heena Garg
May 14, 2021 rated it liked it
This book is different from entrepreneur genre books. Most of the books motivates to start something your own but this one can help all those people who are in the corporate jobs and want to stay in the same.
For me, it was mix type of advises i.e some were helpful and some were uninteresting. The anecdotes & examples were also mediocre, not captivating.
It is a quick read & solution, if you are in dilemma for any decision related to your job.

Still I had one favorite advise from the book:
Delay Gr
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mouli’s career in itself is an MBA grad’s wet dream. I was sure a book based on his experiences and observation in corporate life would make for a good read. Though not a comprehensive guide for career aspirants, this well structured book answers few important FAQs that most of us have.
Jan 10, 2022 rated it liked it
A decent read about how you can use a few catalysts in life to be successful. The way it was written is a bit hard to read and despite being a short book, it took me a few sitting to finish it. Some concepts are good to know, especially for a young professional in the corporate.
Kamal Razdan
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
An Indian perspective on crafting a successful career.
Venkateswara Rao
Jun 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As the title of the book title suggest, the author describes many actionable steps that one should take to have a successful professional career. I really liked the emphasis the author gives on the idea of regularly reflecting on the day and foundation building which most of us know but don't actually do it enough.

The book leaves the readers to think about the purpose of why they want to succeed, which is something that everyone has to find for themselves and is very important to actually succee
Pradeep Singh Chavda
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book for developing professional career...
Geetika Suroliya
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Catalyst is an eye opener for any management graduate on the brink of entering the sales world. He uses relatable examples to expound on his recommendations. The one which really stayed with me as a reader was his analogy on how one should plan a career trajectory like a golf ball, soaring for a few hundred yards. The writing is succinct , engaging and actionable. Highly recommended.
Ajay Ghai
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a concept called as 'Level of Incompetence', I reckon in one of Malcolm Gladwell's books. Catalyst helps answer the why and how in terms of overcoming it in some way.

Overall a great book and he has defined what steps we need to take in order to ensure we get closer to success, whether it ultimately happens depends on other factors as well. If you are in your twenties, this is an absolute must read and if in thirties and beyond, never late to act on some fundamentals outlined in the boo
Ram S
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I started out in my career, I was not really career minded or actively spent time thinking about the same. I wish I had the book then and recommend it to anyone starting out or even mid way in their career.

Briefly the author mentions that the number of years in your experience is hardly the factor that reflects your skill level. He lays out his TMRR (Target, Measure, Review, Reflect) algorithm in which the person actively sets goals and measures them as well as reviews and reflects on them.
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
This books gives a pragmatic viewpoint on how to be successful in corporate world. It has been divided into three parts , it’s not necessary that you have to follow these parts sequentially.
First part covers on the TMRR approach . Target , measure , review and reflection. TMRR model
is the most effective learning model at work.Maximising learning cycles is another imperative part where we all had some opportunity to be an integral , end to end part of a very imp project or or initiative or transf
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“Finding the right mentor is important, and when you find the right one, cultivating your relationship with them over time is critical.” 1 likes
“To increase your productivity, focus relentlessly on whatever is in your circle of influence. Spend all your time on what you can make a difference to, even if in the beginning it looks small. Avoid the circle of concern like the plague. It is not about how much time you waste there” 1 likes
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