You know Deja Vu. But do you know Vuja de?
“…there is deja vu. Where you see something new but you find it familiar, and you go to a place for the first time and you say wow, doesn't this remind me of (Something).... or you meet somebody for the first time and you say, doesn't he look like (someone)... and this attempt to try and take the new, and, and put it in boxes which are old and familiar for us - that's deja vu.
And ... what can work for us is Vuja De which is the opposite of that. When you look at the same old thing and you say wow, never seen it before. And it's such a powerful idea so you see a car, and you see somebody driving it and you say wow somebody's driving a car. So if nobody was driving your car, you could have a driverless car.”
That is Prakash Iyer, an accomplished leader who wears many hats: Ex-CEO of Kimberly Clark Lever, bestselling author of several books on leadership, speaker, coach and most of all, a gifted storyteller.
Of course, in this podcast interview, I have chosen to focus on his storytelling skills.
I came to know about Prakash’s books through Ameen Haque, a leading story coach and collaborator.
I was hooked!
Prakash’s books are like a delicious box of chocolates - filled with several short stories, anecdotes, fables and allegories - all of which offer rich life lessons.
His collection of stories come from a wide array of sources - including from his own observations of life around us.
His ability to spot the Vuja-de (i.e. to see something new in the familiar) is off the charts.
But, for me, what really stands out in his writing is his incredible analogical thinking. For instance, check out how he gleans several life lessons from everyday activities such as using teabags and flying kites.
Another recurring theme in his writing is the use of sports as a metaphor for life. Especially his genuine love for cricket shines through in the compelling anecdotes he shares about the game.
In this conversation, Prakash talks about the influence of his family, the importance of persistence in writing, how he kept his love of writing going even when his job was in Sales, and how he goes about thinking and writing his stories.
Links & Resources
Books mentioned in the conversation
The Habit of Winning
The Secret of Leadership
You Too Can
Leaders are like Teabags
Go Fly a Kite!
Prakash Iyer's website
Prakash on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube