10064_500 January 19

What you could learn from ‘HBR’s 10 Must Reads 2017’ (2016, 200 pages)

Each year HBR publishes its most popular articles in a single book.  The type of articles and the topics they cover are a bellwether for what academics and global business leaders find important.   In the latest edition, the articles focus on data analytics, design thinking and innovation.   I have briefly summarised what I felt where the most […]

bestbooks-blog January 18

The best business books I read in 2016

For 2016, I committed to reading a book a week.  While I only managed to read forty-six books, just short of my goal, I learnt some great lessons along the way. My top choices were: My top book on leadership was ‘Superbosses’ by Sydney Finkelstein (2016, 220 pages).  In the book, Syndey does a great job […]

51rxadcekll-_sx328_bo1204203200_ January 17

What you could learn from ‘Team Genius’ by Rich Kalgaard and Michael Malone (2015, 250 pages)

How did the team that designed and delivered the US’s first ever fighter jet (P-80 Shooting Star) do it in less 143 days? In their book ‘Team Genius’ Rich and Michael suggest that there are five things contribute to team effectiveness. Stay as small as possible, and stick to optimum group sizes.  That is 7±2, […]

33e3465900000578-0-image-a-24_1462524234815 January 15

Leadership hack 018 – direction is more important than speed

As a leader, you have limited resources.  Your time and energy are finite, and so you must put these scarce resources into what really matters.   It is very easy not to look up, not to step back and see the wider picture, or what Heifetz call’s ‘getting onto the balcony‘. ‘Getting onto the balcony’ […]

difficult-conversations January 07

What could you learn from ‘Difficult Conversations’ by Douglas Stone (2016, 234 pages)

There is no magic wand to get people to bend to your will.  While I have explored persuasion in previous books reviews (Pre-suasion) and in my blog (here), there are elements I missed. In ‘Difficult Conversations’ Douglas Stone presents a compelling framework and set of tools that can help you understand the perspective of others and use […]

2017 Calender on the red cubes January 07

Leadership hack 019 – The one thing you can do to make the most of 2017

2016 was a tough year for most of us.  How was it for you? More importantly, what can you learn from it? I try to take two weeks off at Christmas.  This time off allows me to decompress and remind my wife and daughter what I look like, and also see my wider family.  I also […]

book December 09

What could you learn from ‘Pre-suasion’ by Robert Cialdini (2016, 233 pages)?

To be successful, you need to sell.  You may not be in sales or even interact with customers, but you will need to sell yourself.  You will need to convince people that you are the person to hire, that you are the person to trust with work and that you are the person that can […]

51wc-selovl-_sx342_bo1204203200_ November 29

What you can learn from ‘Innovation’ by Richard Foster (1986, 267 pages)

‘Innovation – The Attacker’s Advantage‘ is an old book.  Written in 1986, the author talks about the rise of compact disks and the new science of biotechnology.  However, there is much to be learned from this book. One of the main points that this book makes, is that all technology has its natural limits and […]

a9js_1_20160808240560571 November 22

What you can learn from ‘Talent is Overated’ by Geoff Colvin (2016, 206 pages)

What separates the truly exceptional from the rest of us?  Is it talent or is it hard work? In ‘Talent is Overrated’ Geoff argues that while there are some qualities that make us more predisposed to certain achievements, it only when people spend a lot of time (10,000+ hours) in deliberate practice that they can become world […]

screenshot_51 November 18

Leadership hack 017 – you can only fix what you can see

The amount work expected of leaders keep growing, increasing the chance that important tasks are missed.  As companies adopt a flatter, agiler, structure leaders get more responsibility and more people to work with.  It is now very easy for one of your many spinning plates to drop crashing to the ground. The way we manage tasks […]

51xg0ja2sel-_sx329_bo1204203200_ November 13

What you can learn from ‘Turn the Ship Around!’ by David Marquet (2012, 216 pages)

How do you truly empower your team? A lot has been said about empowerment and engagement (see three books I reviewed recently Team of Teams, Followership, and The Heart of Change).  What is different about David’s ‘Turn the Ship Around’ is that David uses his highly compelling personal story, turning around one of the worst performing submarines in […]

15diagram November 11

Leadership hack 016 – what 80/20 actually means

5There is much advice out there ‘don’t boil the ocean‘ or be ‘80/20‘.  A lot of people think that this means just do 80% of the work.  Few understand its true meaning that you should only focus on the very small, but very significant 20% of the work which creates 80% of the impact. Understanding that […]