Ever heard of Ram Charan? A search in Amazon retrieves books like:
- Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business: 10 Tools You Can Use Monday Morning (this one was a best seller)
- Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done (this one too)
- Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t
- What the CEO Wants You to Know : How Your Company Really Works
- The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company
- Every Business is a Growth Business: How Your Company Can Prosper Year After Year
And a search in Wikipedia will tell you that he was born in India. He earned his engineering degree working in his family shoe shop, then his MBA at Harvard.
He started being a consultant in 1978. He has taught at Harvard and and Kellogg, consulted firms as Bank of America and General Electric, and of course, written a lot of books.
Surely impressive. A new book wouldn’t be news. So what’s new with Ram Charan? Yes, there’s something. At 67 he has bought his first home.
“I go to India on the Friday of the week before Thanksgiving. I am Sunday morning in Bombay. Monday morning I am in Delhi. Wednesday I’m in Bombay. Thursday I’m in Bangalore. Saturday I’m in Trivandrum. Wednesday I’m in Johannesburg. Friday morning, at seven, I am in New York. I have a two-hour meeting with a CEO who has flown in to see me. I have two more meetings and I fly out that night to Dubai. I am in Dubai on Sunday and Monday, then I come back here. On Thursday night I fly out to Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Then I come back here. Tuesday morning I have a whole-day schedule in New York. Tuesday night I go to Milwaukee. I came from Milwaukee last night. They diverted my plane so I had to stay in Pittsburgh. I had a meeting this morning in Philadelphia. I had three meetings here in the afternoon. And I’m here tomorrow, with GE. Then an hour-and-a-half phone call. Then I’m going out tomorrow night to West Palm Beach. Monday morning I have a breakfast meeting in New York. And then I’m flying out to Perth, Australia.”
Ram Charan lives in hotels. He’s never had a home before. No wife, no kids, no hobby of any kind (as Theodor Adorno, Durkheim’s follower said, hobbies are just disguised forced labors. I read Adorno long ago and I still have to blog about that). Another night, another hotel.
He doesn’t buy anything himself. His laundry? sent by courier to and from the office. He has an office, in Dallas. It’s the address of his passport. But he has never been there. Mondays, wednesdays and fridays are the days for his collaborators to pack everything he might need: from toothpaste to new clothes (his sizes are kept in a file, so we have to assume he is not getting fatter, which is another important ability you have to master if you eat out every meal).
100% work, 100% efficiency. We could say that is not a life, but maybe that’s the life he wants. No sundays, no frills. Music? no thanks, it can distract you. A life totally dedicated to work. Impressive. (Find more here)