The gap between what employers expect of university leavers and the emphasis of education at school and beyond has never been greater. Having a decent 2:1 in a relatively mainstream discipline is no longer enough to face the dreaded “real world” and come out on top. The result has been to give leavers of higher education an unenviable choice between the seemingly mutually exclusive goals of “happiness” and “success”.
Racing Towards Excellence takes a pragmatic approach to outperformance and seeks to bridge the gap between school, university and employment by deconstructing the things that drive you.
By considering your analytical and esoteric driving forces in a well defined and intuitive framework, the book provides the tools that you need to analyse your own behaviour and use the areas in which you excel to nurture the areas in which you want to improve.
In demystifying the interrelationship between the abstract and esoteric driving forces and the day-to-day habits that make up our lives, Khan and Sramek show how reconciling success and happiness is the key to outperformance and, more importantly, give you the tools you need to achieve it too.
The foreword for RTE is written by Sir Howard Davies, the Director of the London School of Economics and ex-chairman of the FSA. Sir Howard is currently a Board Member of Morgan Stanley and Chairman of the Man Booker Prize.
Muzaffar Khan has over 15 years experience helping students achieve their university and career entry goals. Over the last 10 years as well as a successful career in the city he has been a management consultant and business coach to some of the largest companies in the UK. He has also directly mentored young entrepreneurs and business professionals. He has used all that experience as empirical research for this book.
On top of Muzaffar’s own research, RTE has over 100 references to the latest research in behavioural economics, behavioural psychology and neurosciences. The aim of both the book and the lectures is not just to extrapolate from the experiences of the authors but also to back that up with leading current academic research in life skills, as defined by UNICEF. The key intent is that the book acts as a portal to many different avenues of life skills study for students throughout their life.
Jan Sramek’s life to date has shown that there is no need to choose between these goals. This book shows how his stellar rise from living in one room with his entire family in the Czech Republic to achieving 10 A’s and 3 Distinctions at A-level/S-level, close to £100,000 in scholarships, an academic career at Trinity College, Cambridge and the London School of Economics, four start-up businesses, internships, a current position as an emerging markets trader in Goldman Sachs, and indeed a book by the age of 22, can be attributed to some basic and easily replicable habits.
The book seeks to answer the following questions:
1) What is outperformance, and how and when does it happen?
2) How are happiness and outperformance related, and why does the former lead to the latter?
3) How do you identify what you really enjoy, become inspired by it, and create your life vision?
4) How do you live a life focused on achieving this vision while being happy?
5) How do you develop the skills required for achieving your vision, and how do you execute all of our strategies?
What did others say about the book?
“This book should be mandatory reading for all students and graduates pre, during and post university.”
Hermione Way, 23, entrepreneur and journalist, named as one of Spectator Business’s Stars of Tomorrow
“If you’re an ambitious student looking to become a high-flier, this is the manual that’ll help you achieve that. Very practical and original ideas. Highly recommended!”
Kieran O’Neill, serial entrepreneur, sold his first company for $1.25 million aged 19
“Racing Towards Excellence makes essential reading for anyone stepping out into the big wide world. My only lament is that this advice was not available many moons ago when I left university!”
Chris Howland, CEO and Senior Partner, Mount Row Capital, previously Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
“I genuinely believe that it is required reading for anyone over 17 and I will ensure my children read this book when the time comes.”
Chris Wightman, Chairman of Puricore Plc, previously Managing Director, Nations Bank
“I wish I had read this book when I was 17, and again at 19 and again at 24! Congratulations to Jan and Muzaffar on an outstanding book. Buy it for any young person whose future you care about.”
Peter Harrison, CEO HarrisonCareers.com, previously Executive Director, Goldman Sachs
Students and recent graduates
“Whether you’re at the start of your life journey and debating university course choices, going through a mid-life career change, or just looking to become more effective and happy in whatever you are doing, this is a book that will help you through the process and teach you the essential life skills for success.”
Veronika Kapustina, student, LSE
“This volume points out many of the irrational tendencies that tend to hold us back, and explains what kind of changes need to be made about our mentalities in order to create that most valuable asset for any ambitious young person – outperformance. Read it, and benefit… as I have.”
Lian Po Kor, student, LSE