15 June 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

The Power of Humility by PV Ramana Murthy (Book Review: 5*/5) !!!

2072nd BLOG POST

20th Book of 2023

There are few non-fiction books which are written with pure heart and intent that by the time you finish reading the last sentence, you can sense the same emotions which you feel after reading a good fiction book where you end up falling in love with its characters. I have read multiple non-fiction books so much that all of them sounds similar to me now. I feel they speak the same thing. I rarely find books which bring something new out of the same topic. Luckily, I picked up one such book written by PV Ramana Murthy named “The Power of Humility” which also has a tagline- How Humble High Achievers are Rewriting the Rules of Leadership. This 225-pages book published by HarperCollins will help you understand the topic of leadership with a very new approach and mindset.


Generally, I have always found books on Leadership mentioning humility in just one odd-chapter. I was quite surprised to read the synopsis of this book where author has committed the whole book on this one specific trait of Leadership. Author has tried explaining the relationship and dynamics between the role of a Leader and the trait of Humility. How a Leader can completely transform his/her role by being as humble as possible without misusing the power of their title.


Murthy has provided two solid frameworks- namely, APPLE and IMAGE. APPLE stands for Appreciative Mindset, Positive possibilities, Path-showing, Lightheartedness and Evolution whereas IMAGE stands for Intensity, Mindful excellence, Ahead of one’s time, Gratitude and Emotional connect. Author has illustrated these frameworks very nicely in a circular diagram which will help us in being reminded of how to execute the different ideas provided by the author. Author deeps dive into each of these 10 pointers and provides definitions and ideas which are practical and implementable.


Murthy has spoken with around 30 leaders and personalities who are at a position which enables them to lead people in their own leadership style. He, then, tries analyzing their perspective on the pointers he emphasizes upon which needs to be considered in order to become a 360-degree humble leader. He explains how Humility is perceived different in different cultures where few of them even consider it as weakness. In the initial part of the book, Murthy has given a very long description before starting the main chapters. Kudos to him on ensuring that the readers have complete perspective before picking up the main topic in sight.


There are few pointers that I would like to mention below out of many that I rejoiced while reading the book:

Author gives great examples for how to find opportunities in adversity; something that our current Prime Minister Narendra Modi also insisted during Covid times.

Author talks well about tapping potential of other employees which helps everyone in growing together in the organization.

Evolution chapter gives the perspective on how leaders always want to learn something new. They know that the room for improvement exist and hence, they don't compare or compete with others but themselves.

Paranjpe’s decision of opening 5 lakh outlets against their normal 30000 outlets in a year is a very nice case-study on intense leadership. Author tries to explain clearly on how intensity is not about being aggressive through body language but in a way where their commitment towards their goal can be seen through their kind words.

The learning attitude is rightly highlighted wherein a PhD holder is sitting with MBA students whom he generally leads and studies MBA with them because he has never attended a business college before.

Trust is explained through a case where a superior approves a critical file mentioning that there are two modifications suggested by trusting upon the junior that it will be done and hence, he need not recheck it at all.

Murthy addresses mindfulness in this book of leadership and explains how leaders develop focus and relational engagement - and not just transactional. This helped them see future with clarity.

I got to know about attribution errors through this book – a term I never heard before.

Command-and-empower leadership style is promoted over command-and-control style.

Author clears that any leader who has negative layers of heroism, hubris, the propensity to hype and harass can never be called a complete humble leader.


Overall, this book is a very unique attempt and speaks of some very new fundamentals which has never been discussed before by any authors whom I have read. The book has great potential in ensuring that any leader can change their style and groom into a humble leader by adopting the frameworks mentioned here. In last few chapters, author has given a great counselling session to all of us in order to identify what is wrong with us and gradually, improve it. I am extremely impressed with this book. Author’s research is evident in every sentence. It seems that a Research Paper has been rewritten in an easy language for laymen like us. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to everyone above the age of 17 to the oldest person alive on the planet. Yes!







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