Beyond Code
by Rajesh Setty
reviewed by Michael A. Lally

In Beyond Code, Rajesh Setty continues his message from his manifesto: "25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself" (published at Don't be fooled by the title and Setty's focus on software professionals. This is a book that anyone may use to further their personal and professional development. It is easily accessible and free of "management speak."

Setty is an unabashed Tom Peters disciple. With a foreward by Peters, the book picks up where The Brand You and Re-Imagine! leave off. Setty encourages us to seize command of our personal "brand" and "de-commoditize" ourselves.

Setty is dedicated to providing more than just words on a page. Beyond Code provides challenging exercises and compels his readers to stop, think and take stock. When combined with the Change This manifesto and his blog (, Setty positions himself as a very strong teacher, mentor, and leader.

For me, Beyond Code will be in the "heavily thumbed" section of my personal library. It will sit next to Peters' Brand You, John Wooden's They Call Me Coach, Swanson's Written Rules of Management, Michael Watkins' First 90 Days and Sun Tzu's The Art of War. All books I find myself returning to again and again. Setty delivers very deep insights and guidance in an economic format. Easily read on Sunday afternoon or on a plane, BC aggregates some of the best business and leadership thinking to date.

There are many take-aways from BC. Setty divides his guidance into the "Inner Game" and the "Outer Game". The Inner Game focuses on mastering yourself. The Outer focuses on how you conduct relationships. The author suggests life can be broken down into a series of projects and that you can prepare yourself to be successful by following three steps: seeking information, developing a powerful network and preparing for rapid context switches.

If you have to read a chapter from each "Game" section, I would recommend "Learn" from the Inner Game and "Likeability" from the Outer Game section. Things to learn for the long run include:

  • The art of building long-term relationships;

  • Identifying your strengths and exploiting them to the fullest;

  • Becoming an expert communicator and making sure our words and actions are in harmony;

  • The fine art of expectation setting;

  • Understanding the big picture and,

  • Developing the ability to adapt quickly to changing situations.

I can say without question, the author practices his own words of wisdom in regard to cultivating his "Likeability Index." Having spoken to the author on numerous occasions and exchanged many emails, he succeeds at:

  • Making others feel good about themselves;

  • Being genuinely interested in other people;

  • Adding measurable value to the relationship;

  • Finding similarities and common ground to use as the foundation of the relationship and,

  • Being trustworthy.

If you are looking to throw off the shackles of your current position and break free from the confines of your cubicle and begin a difficult yet ultimately, rewarding path of self discovery and career ownership, you should use Beyond Code as your starting point. De-commoditize yourself today! This book will start you down the path and you will return to it again and again throughout your journey.

Beyond Code Beyond Code:
Learn to Distinquish Yourself in 9 Simple Steps

by Rajesh Setty
Search Press, Limited
September 2005

Mike Lally is a contact center expert, relationship builder, change ninja, and talent developer - author of, National Manager of Sales and Marketing for Frontier, A Citizens Communications Company, and occasional book reviewer for The CEO Refresher. To have your book reviewed and featured in The CEO Refresher please send a review copy to Mike Lally 23 Lost Feather Drive, Fairport, NY 14450

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Copyright 2006 by Michael Lally. All rights reserved.

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