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Racing Towards Excellence Paperback – 11 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Leveraged Publishing Ltd; 1st edition (11 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956256600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956256607
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Muzaffar Khan retired from a successful career on Wall Street, having worked in trading and asset management at Citibank, Barclays Capital and Moore Capital. He went on to become the vice-chairman of ACOPS, an international environmental charity, and further study, both independently and at the London School of Economics where he completed an MSc in Development Studies.

Muzaffar later reconciled his two interests - finance and the environment - by joining Man Group Plc as a Consultant to its latest environmental venture, Man ECO. Since leaving Wall Street, he has also coached and mentored a number of people ranging from CEOs to students. Muzaffar has a BSc degree in Industrial and Business Economics from the LSE, and an MA in English Literature from King's College London.

Jan Sramek trades EM Macro at Goldman Sachs, London, having spent his childhood and university years by experimenting with the why, what and how far, and generally hacking life. In his final year at university, he wrote a book about his experience with bending rules and pushing boundaries of what's possible. Shortly thereafter, Financial Names named him the youngest ever person on the annual list of 100 Rising Stars of Financial Markets.

Before university, Jan broke the world A-level record and was named named Olympic hope in handball. He then read Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge before transferring to the London School of Economics - in order to found 4 start-ups, a charity and work in the City. Despite working and interning in trading and research at Goldman Sachs, Marshall Wace, AKO Capital, Barclays Capital, UBS and Deutsche Bank instead of studying throughout university, Jan won almost £100,000 in scholarships, and graduated with a First in Mathematics and Economics.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Aurelius on 25 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Over the last few years I've read a number of books by a number of much older and more experienced authors. It came as a welcome surprise to see a 20 something write a personal development book. I was keen to give it ago and see what was contained within.

The most interesting aspect of the book is the fact it is written from the perspective of a young person and also a more experienced person in a mentor/mentee relationship. The book outlines the stories of both authors lives up until the present before introducing a theoretical background and then applying it to the real world.

Each chapter is written incredibly clearly with visible signposts to ensure the reader does not get lost and the structure of the book helps the reader pinpoint key areas they may want to come back to at future dates. The theory aspect grounds most of the success attributed to both authors and how they've achieved outperformance in their lives to date. It comes as no real surprise then to see much older reviewers whose comments are at the back of the book talking about how this should be 'mandatory reading for those at university' or will 'recommend to my kids at the age of 17' etc and so forth.

The end of each chapter comes with a list of summary points titled 'takeaways' for the reader who may want to identify key points of the chapter easily. Therefore, making this a great book to, not only read from cover to cover but also dip in and out of at the readers own pace.

The major point the authors want to emphasis and it is clearly stated a numerous points throughout the book - READ ALOT and PROBE any areas of interest to yourself in greater detail.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Lu on 9 July 2009
Format: Paperback
We all get exposed to life through first hand experience and absorbing the experience of others with direct questions or observation and as we live it, our minds find ways to react. We interact, we hide, we jump straight in... and we make the decision based on whatever information we have, however we have gathered it. How we use that information to set the rules and habits of our lives becomes critical. We tend to pick up these ideas from others, our parents and peers, pressing ahead with our lives while the way we do that is left largely unexamined.

Many of the books out there that hope to help us, prescribe a set of very good ideas for some people. What makes Racing Towards Excellence so distinctive, and accordingly so valuable, is that it does not strictly prescribe rules. There are not seven habits to apply freshly into your life and there is not a numbered checklist of things to be done. Instead, the authors have set out a way for anyone to look at the way they live their life, make their choices, and then just consider it closely. The categories used to allow this examination are logical, backed by evidence and allow readers to make the crucial, easiest and most powerful changes. The ones that only they can know, to be best at that time. And beautifully, the process can be reapplied as life changes. While many books promise rules that have worked for some, Racing Towards Excellence will guide you into finding your own rules that are a perfect fit for you.

Nonetheless, there are a couple areas that I feel could be covered in greater detail or even, perhaps missing altogether, but those gaps don't take away from the meaningful content that is there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. G. on 14 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
I believe that this book should be aimed at younger students, not yet at university. If you realise the concepts this book brings to the table as late as, say 2nd year you won't gain nearly as much as you would have done should you had read it before getting into uni. So 16 years here would be best in this case.

Regarding the book's structure, I like its size and quality. It does not feel cheap at all and I like that. The subjects are nicely arranged and described and the key points at the ending of each chapter were useful. I used them discussion subjects, which was quite useful in the sense that I could remember the things better but also add a touch of personal opinion (again, I read the book, extracted the main ideas and where I considered that a touch of personal feeling was required I didn't hesitate to implement it).

And that is, in my mind, the main idea of this book. Should I have to describe it in one sentence, that would be: do things your way, but first off find that particular and personal way. What works for one person may very likely not work for the other.

I personally had a heads-up from someone before reading it so I did it a bit differently. This book is not a "how to be the best" book; on the contrary, it more likely acts like a trigger, a catalyst.

If some people didn't find the book as useful as they had hoped it could be that they already knew the concepts but they just failed to realise it properly.

So do have this in mind before...

P.S.: could do with a dedicated section on "coping with difficult situations". Talk about reacting in uncomfortable and unpleasant situations, about trying to stay a better person, not just about how to become one.
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