Happy Executive — A Systems Approach

The goal of everyone in life is happiness. This is true for executives and non-executives alike.

Mankind has struggled with finding a pathway to happiness for centuries. There have been many suggestions.

This book presents a practical common sense pathway to happiness based on 72 years of personal experience of the author as a child, young adult and an executive with a wide variety of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors in the U.S, India and other countries. This book contains the best of the wisdom of the East and the West.

The book starts with a definition of happiness by experts from Aristotle to Gandhi. This is followed by the life story of the author from early years to successful professional and philanthropic work, illustrating how the author developed and has practiced the happy executive concepts of nurturing the mind, body and soul daily.

Nurture the mind daily by thinking positively and creatively all the time. So, when you see a problem, look at it as an opportunity to come up with a creative, out-of-the-box-thinking solution.

Nurture the body by eating healthy, especially reducing salt, sugar and saturated fat intakes, avoiding transfat, and consuming lots of green vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains and healthy protein foods; and by doing physical activities one enjoys regularly such as walking, running, dancing etc. at least three times a week.

Nurture the soul by nurturing other souls, by being loving, caring, giving and helpful towards family members, friends, community members and others.

Find the elusive mind-body soul balance by consistently practicing activities such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, visualization, smiling, laughing and any similar activities one can think of.

The book also prescribes the 7 P’s to success and happiness, based on the author’s life experience. Whatever one does, first establish the Purpose, then set the best Pathway to get to there, then carry out the program tasks with Passion, Perseverance, Positivity, Patience and Principles.

The book provides 10 practical tips for happiness — nurture mind, nurture body, nurture soul, find mind-body-soul balance, practice mind-body-soul nurturing in thought, word and deed, live in the moment, live for a cause larger than oneself, set goals, objectives, visions and missions, follow the 7 Ps to success, use resources effectively and practice mind-body-soul nurturing all the time.

Finally, the book provides a simple happy executive quiz that helps one to find out where he or she is on the happiness scale, so that he or she can plan a pathway to happiness.

View sample chapters

CONTENTS

Foreward…………………………………………………………………………………………..6
Preface……………………………………………………………………………………………10
PART I: THE HAPPINESS SYSTEM
1. A Simple Formula for Happiness …………………………………………………………17
2. Nurturing Mind ……………………………………………………………………………….25
3. Nurturing Body……………………………………………………………………………….30
4. Nurturing Soul ……………………………………………………………………………….52
5. Maintaining Mind-Body-Soul Balance ……………………………………………………62
6. Seven “P’s” to Success and Happiness …………………………………………………73
7. Ten Simple Tips for Happy Living ………………………………………………………..83
8. Happy Executive Quiz ………………………………………………………………………88
PART II: HOW I DEVELOPED MY SYSTEMS APPROACH
9. My Early Years in India …………………………………………………………………….92
10. Graduate Studies and Contributions to the USA, India and Other Countries ….99
11. Philanthropic Foundation Work …………………………………………………………124
PART III: A SYSTEMS APPROACH FOR A HAPPY INDIA
12. A Pathway for Indian Leaders, Executives and Non-Executives ………………..137

FOREWORD

by V.R. Krishna Iyer

Former Supreme Court Justice of India.

Nationally respected ‘wise’ author of over 70 books and hundreds of articles.

Recognised as a legend in jurisprudence and as the “people’s justice”.

Dr. Appu Kuttan is an admirably able and inspirational advisor to all generations, especially the younger generation, a creative wonder, and a gift from Kerala, India, to the United States, India and the world.

Indian talent, when freed from the inhibitions of colonial-feudal Indian social structure, luminates in full splendour, catalysing the latent genius of our youth to bloom into excellence. In this sense, Dr. Appu Kuttan is an Indian gift and now a global asset. His fine book reveals how he began, as an outstanding academic and athletic engineering graduate from Kerala University, and then travelled to the United States to become a developmental wonder.

I first met him in the United States over 40 years ago as a brilliant adviser to the leaders of several countries. In 1980, he came to India as a volunteer to advise Rajiv Gandhi. He mentored Rajiv and taught Rajiv and many other Indian government leaders Management By Systems (MBS), his proprietary systems approach of using resources effectively to achieve goals, objectives, missions and visions, helping them become capable visionary administrators. At that time, as a Supreme Court Justice in Delhi, I had many discussions with him. At my suggestion to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor, he held luminous educative classes in Delhi for Indian leaders.

To hear Dr. Appu Kuttan speak, to talk with him and to read his writings is truly a process of enlightenment. His book is autobiographical and tells us how a bud does blossom. A few excerpts from his book will be apt and instructive. So I quote:

I was born the fourth of five children in Quilon (now known as Kollam), a town in the State of Kerala, India, in 1941. Both my parents were self-starters who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. My mother, orphaned at a very young age, transformed herself into an educated, teacher-turned physician. She taught me the mental and physical gains found through yoga and meditation. I remember reading with her by the light of a kerosene lamp in elementary school as she emphasized the importance of academic excellence. My father, a renowned football player and athletic champion, was an officer in the state forest department. He introduced me to a daily morning exercise routine and encouraged my participation in football and athletics, with a focus on sprinting.
When I was six years old, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, and on that day I vividly remember going with my grandmother to the temple to offer prayers. When I turned 14, I developed a keen interest in the Mahatma’s writings and spent a whole summer vacation reading every book I could find to teach myself about his life, ideas and accomplishments. I was profoundly influenced by his thinking and his ability to develop and apply simple practical concepts by garnering the support of millions of Indians. His work taught me the importance of the four P’s—Principles, Passion, Perseverance and Patience. His words, “a man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes,” and “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” along with the influence of my parents as role models planted in me the seeds of the happy executive concept and lifestyle.

The systems engineer in Dr. Appu Kuttan has been restless, always thinking positively and creatively. His systems-based holistic concepts inspire and enable the youth to emerge as a patriotic generation, original and inventive, no longer static but dynamic, capable of producing a transformation of our lethargic society into an activist one. Social engineering will be their new mission, beyond reading text books or traditional learning, but making radical change innovations and cultivate a passion to depart from tradition to technological advances. This is ‘Kuttanism’. He is no longer just an Indian or American, but a global citizen who can help every country and person change for the better.
His book has many chapters, progressive and of fertile adventures. My purpose is brief and I do not go into the technical details, but I would like to emphasize on how he has converted dull, drab classroom lessons into modern developmental processes. He is an inspiration and incarnation. I recommend him and his books to every nation’s leaders. He will advance their status. This is global patriotism. He is a glory for Humanity on our Earth.

KIRKUS REVIEW

 

Kuttan, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, offers a book that’s half memoir, half self-help guide for business executives.

The author’s goal with this debut work is to systematically teach readers—and particularly Indian executives—how to be happy. The author starts by outlining his “happiness system,” which is broken down into lessons on how to nurture one’s mind, body and soul. He also illustrates the “Seven Ps” for achieving happiness: purpose, pathway, passion, perseverance, positivity, patience and principles. But about halfway through the book, after a short “Happiness Quiz,” Kuttan switches gears and presents a memoir of his upbringing and varied business career. This is where the book really shines; the author summarizes his life elegantly and succinctly, showing how he came up with his systems approach to happiness by living a full, fascinating life. This section includes several pages of annotated photographs taken throughout his life that show him attending the University of Wisconsin and traveling in Europe and elsewhere. In the final, briefest part of the book, Kuttan launches a call to action, urging executives to use his systems approach: “It is predicted that by 2040, one out of every three workers in the world could be Indian,” he notes, and because of that, “the 21st century can truly be an Indian Century, if Indian leaders and people live up to their potential.” The author has lofty hopes for his home country and offers a specific plan for getting India on track—establishing teacher training programs modeled on the most successful American ones, exploiting emerging technologies and “soft skills” (such as communication and marketing), and refocusing on providing health care and improving the environment: all noble goals and all well thought out.

A methodical, well-organized guide for the world’s future leaders.

 

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/appu-kuttan/happy-executive-a...

PREFACE

This book provides a simple practical pathway for everyone to live a healthy, happy and productive life every day. The concepts and practical steps described in this book are based on my experiences as a person and as a happy executive in India, America, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mauritius and other countries.
I spent my formative years in Mahatma Gandhi’s post-Independence India, graduating in engineering as a top student, as well as the university athletics champion and football player. Later, I worked in higher education, and pursued my professional life as a management systems expert in America, India and other countries.

I developed the happy executive concepts in this book by applying Management By Systems (MBS), an innovative systems approach I developed in the late 1960s while completing my doctorate in industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin. MBS is an integrated systems approach that leads to a Win-Win-Win situation, since it benefits all involved.

The 21st century has brought a lot of changes, and I believe we need a new, progressive way of viewing the world around us, and operating within it.

My Management By Systems (MBS) Approach reflects this new perspective. MBS looks at everything as a system with specific goals and objectives. Then, it helps to develop the most cost-effective strategy and plan to make the best use of the available resources to meet those objectives and goals. The most important resource is the human resource, followed by financial, information, technology, physical, material and time. I explain this way of systems thinking more explicitly in Chapter 1 and Chapter 10.
Traditional thought usually views events or items as stand-alone entities. But by viewing them as elements of an inter-related system, those entities can be made more effective and efficient.

Many of these holistic ideas have been part of our Eastern philosophy. They are quickly becoming part of the new 21st century world view. For example, there is the spiritual belief that we are all part of one dynamic force or energy field. There is a new holistic scientific approach based on quantum physics. There is the view of global, rather than national economies. What happens in America or Europe or China or India affects people everywhere. We live in an inter-connected world today. We talk about the global economy and global warming.
The internet has played a large part in this globalization process, opening up new relationships between disparate groups working toward common goals. Just look at the important role social media played in the recent Arab spring events in the Middle East and the 2012 United States election.

The systems approach is especially timely, considering the recent colossal failure of the Wall Street financial firms to think through or be concerned about the chain effect of the highly complex mortgage derivatives. The piecemeal and reckless approach of these firms led the US and the world into American and global recession.
The autobiographical Part II of this book will introduce you to my systems approach and how I have applied it to governments, businesses and individuals. I have found MBS to be highly beneficial in all settings. MBS will help you not only in your professional career, but also in your personal life.
Over the last several decades, I have applied the MBS systems approach in several ways:

  • I have advised many national leaders, helping to usher their countries into the 21st century. These achievements include using my systems approach in governments: bridging the East and the West successfully; and advising Mr. Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s on creating a vision to make India an IT power.
  • I applied this systems thinking to the individual by helping to develop three World tennis champions—Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Jim Courier. My ideas of Total Tennis, the Happy Executive, and the Holistic Executive evolved from systems thinking about enhancing the individual.
  • Later, when I moved on from the tennis academy, I took this concept a step further bydonating my personal funds to found the non-profit National Education Foundation (NEF) in 1989. The NEF mission is to provide quality education to people everywhere, especially the underprivileged, using my systems approach. Having led NEF to become the national non-profit leader in the US in bridging the academic divides in schools, I have hopes that NEF will become a global non-profit digital education leader in bridging the digital, academic and employment divides.
  • Currently, I am also in the process of developing the Kuttan Preschool System. I believe that instilling the love of learning in young children, and helping them to develop a healthy mind–body–soul nurturing lifestyle from a very young age will lead to a better world.
  • On a personal note, by using my systems approach, I have lived a full, healthy and happy life! I have been at work every day bright and early!

I am very proud of the fact that my wife and I raised a son and a daughter, who are very accomplished, caring and dedicated to serving and helping people.

I have practised yoga and meditation daily since the age of five. I have increased my workout by one minute every year—thus exercising 72 minutes every day now.

Throughout my lifetime, I have had the rare opportunity to work with all kinds of people, at all levels, in several countries in many diverse areas such as information technology, digital education, development, school and college education, healthcare, social security, transportation, traffic safety, and sports. The changes, especially in globalisation and technology that I have witnessed over the years, form the basis of my message in this book.

I am often referred to as the father of “cyberlearning,” a term I coined in the early 1990s to describe learning via the Internet. I am told that my contribution to the English language is the word “cyberlearning.”

As a result of my unique perspective and achievements, I have been asked by many to give some timely advice and guidance to Indian executives and youth, and hence, this book.

This book would not have been possible without the unconditional and active support, love and assistance of my wife Claudia, our son Roger (Raj), and our daughter Maya. I am also grateful to all others who assisted with this book, including Masood Huq, Tapan Chaki, Dr. Laurence Peters, Dr. William Diehl, Margaret Kale, and Tamara Stephens.
I dedicate this book to the Indian executives and non-executives alike, who can play a significant role in the welfare of India and the world in the 21st Century, to my family, to my dear departed parents, Narayanan Palpu and Dr. Narayani Lakshmi, and to Mahatma Gandhi. Both my parents and the Mahatma were my role models.

Note: This book provides excellent lifestyle guidelines. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you are taking medication of any kind, adding supplements or making dietary changes, a physician should be consulted before beginning any exercise program.
This book is current as of July, 2013, and as new information becomes available through research or experience, some of the information in this book may need modification. You should always seek the most up-to-date information and guidance on your exercise, medical care and treatment from your physician or healthcare professional.

PURCHASE OF THE BOOK

 Happy Executive Book available now at  Amazon