Intimate Leadership by Jayaram Rajaram, a detailed book review

January 20, 2024
4 min read

As someone who finds solace in self-help and motivational books, I must admit that the realm of business and market literature often feels saturated with repetitive themes and generic advice. However, Jayaram Rajaram’s “Intimate Leadership” immediately stood out to me from the moment I laid eyes on it. The pragmatic and intriguing titles of the chapters hinted at a depth of insight and practical wisdom that I knew I had to explore further. As I delved into the book, I found myself captivated by its succinct yet profound nature. Each chapter offered a fresh perspective on leadership, with valuable lessons distilled into easily digestible nuggets of wisdom. This brevity not only made the book highly engaging but also compelled me to continue reading, eager to uncover more of the author’s unique insights and experiences.


And now that I have read this book, I find myself compelled to share the profound impact this book has left upon me. It is not merely a publication within the crowded lanes of contemporary business literature; it is a lighthouse of practical wisdom, illuminating the path to effective leadership in ways that resonate deeply. I must say it will resonate more with those who go to their workplace every morning. Like I do. Jayaram’s Intimate Leadership is practical, based on his experiences and learnings, and it does hit you instantly.

From the outset, the author’s approach is refreshingly candid and authentic. Drawing from his extensive experience with Bril, he masterfully weaves together narratives of success and acknowledgement of failures, offering readers a rare glimpse into the dynamic challenges of leadership. What sets “Intimate Leadership” apart is its unfiltered exploration of both triumphs and setbacks. Rajaram’s willingness to confront adversity head-on and derive meaningful lessons from every twist and turn of his leadership journey is truly commendable. At the same time, it is a bold move to accept, as a leader and an author, the decisions that couldn’t work and failed. Jayaram shares the meaningful messages and lessons that he could learn from moves that couldn’t further as planned. As a result, this ploy did hit me right – a leader should be able to take risks, make mistakes, and quickly acknowledge what went wrong so that it doesn’t repeat itself often.

A book can not be made successful only by its content. The way content is delivered matters equally, if not more. And here, in Intimate Leadership, the author’s focus has been justly divided – picking up the best content and delivering it just the right way! One cannot help but be drawn in by Rajaram’s storytelling prowess. His narratives not only captivate the imagination but also offer profound insights into the intricacies of contemporary leadership. Through a judicious selection of examples, ranging from global brands to Indian startups, Jayaram Rajaram demonstrates a keen understanding of the diverse challenges faced by leaders in today’s business landscape. These examples serve as relatable mirrors, reflecting the real-world complexities of leadership in a manner that is both enlightening and inspiring.

Moreover, Jayaram Rajaram’s adeptness extends beyond mere storytelling to offer a comprehensive guide to navigating the evolving business landscape. His strategic insights resonate deeply with the shift from traditional paradigms to the rapid integration of digital transactions. Through a judicious and interesting amalgamation of strategies, personal anecdotes, and rich experiential narratives, the author successfully creates a compelling roadmap for both current and future leaders. As I may have pointed out earlier, young readers just out of Business Schools will find this book very handy.

Yes, everything has its flip side and this book may have a few shortcomings as well. There are a few chapters which may be meant to be read by those who manage businesses and run companies. After all, this is the target audience! However, many chapters may be read by anyone just fine. Leadership doesn’t come in any singular form – it’s not only suit and tie. It may be a dhoti-kurta or even a banyaan and lungi! However, the book’s best benefit may have been reserved for those who understand profit, margin, capital, allocation of tasks, creation of teams, competition in the market and more technical, business and market terms. In short, it does demand some homework.

In conclusion, “Intimate Leadership” is not just a book; it is a transformative journey through the heart and soul of effective leadership. Rajaram’s profound wisdom and unwavering authenticity make this work a consummate treatise on the art of leadership in the modern age. For anyone seeking to navigate the complexities of contemporary leadership with grace and insight, “Intimate Leadership” is an indispensable companion on the journey to success.


Click here to get a copy from Amazon India.


Review by Avichal for Thoughtful Critic

Intimate Leadership by Jayaram Rajaram, a detailed book review
  • Final Rating


The book is worth reading every page. Fresh, refreshing, engaging and enlightening. Young readers will find many things they often miss learning in the B-schools. It is like reading about actual leaders in action.

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