February 21st 2020

The Hero. Lee Child

The Hero. Lee Child. 2019.  ISBN 9780008355784.  The author of many books including the Jack Reacher series has penned a thoughtful small essay on the hero.  He goes through some historical reasons why and how heroes emerge. Also he poses thoughts on how the hero story “improves/embellishes” over time. It is interesting to read how very similar hero stories reoccur in ancient through to popular literature as well as movies etc.  For those who follow the using stories as  methods in marketing , oratory, politics this essay will prove useful.

February 14th 2020

The Peripheral. William Gibson

The Peripheral. William Gibson. 2014. ISBN 9780698170704.  I recently “found” this book by our “local” but world famous sci fi author.  It reads well but as ever has lots of interwoven bits. It is very prescient of the world leaders and behavior we see today. Gibson does his usual job of drawing you into a dystopian future where the present is being affected by players in the future. Those who like Gibson will enjoy this. If you are unfamiliar with his work, this one is worth wading into.

February 7th 2020

Trillion Dollar Coach . The leadership playbook from silicon valley’s Bill Campbell. Eric Schmidt. Jonathan Rosenberg. Alan Eagle.

Trillion Dollar Coach . The leadership playbook from silicon valley’s Bill Campbell. Eric Schmidt. Jonathan Rosenberg. Alan Eagle.  2019. ISBN 9780062839268. A very timely book. Its a book that should be the basis of  every leadership seminar and a well read reference on all leader’s bookshelves.  As sports coaches ourselves, my partners and I see the applicability of high performance sports coaching to technology companies. Whether if its in a non profit board community committee or a business, these “lessons’ are applicable and very useful.  This book is deserving of the kudos it has been receiving.  I enjoyed it so much I read it in two session and intend to reread it often.

January 27th 2020

Play Bigger. How pirates, dreamers, and innovators create and dominate markets. Alan Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead.

Play Bigger. How pirates, dreamers, and innovators create and dominate markets. Alan Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead.   2016.  ISBN 9780062407610.   This book was referenced in Traversing the Traction Gap so I had to read it.  It is very good and specifically addresses category creation, which is something that wildly successful companies do over and over. The authors take you through a proven  methodology of becoming a category kind. ( For many types to organizations and individuals). You will appreciate the highly specific and recognizable examples used by the authors.  Unlike other books in this genre , it has the benefits of depth and thought coming from the experiences of four individuals.  It could be a life changing book for executives and individuals.  But you need to want to be more than better, you want to be recognized as different  ( Apple is not just better, it is different)

January 20th 2020

breaking and entering. the extraordinary story of a hacker called “alien”. Jeremy n. Smith

breaking and entering. the extraordinary story of a hacker called “alien”. Jeremy n. Smith. 2019. ISBN 9780544911222.  The fascinating story of a young woman , with ability, finding her way to conquer the world of hacking.  Follow her early days at MIT through employment by the US govt, then security contractor to forming her own successful security company.  The author weaves very interesting and educational book out of this life.  I really enjoy it when, a journalist does a great job like this.  You will learn a lot and get some great insights into building a company whats here  and whats coming wrto security issues.  Good cross country read.

January 14th 2020

The Body. A Guide for Occupants. Bill Bryson

The Body. A Guide for Occupants. Bill Bryson. 2019. ISBN 9780385539319.  The latest from one of my favorite authors.  As ever Bryson’s breezy readable style makes for delightful times.  He goes from head to toe and  giving just that amount of detail to keep your interest but not to bore you.  I was very interested (who knew) in his description of infectious diseases and all the trials and tribulations of the pioneers in that field of medicine. He has interviewed many knowledgeable people in order to give you the most up to date info.  Highly recommend this one.

January 13th 2020

The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman. John Perkins.

The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman. John Perkins.  2016. ISBN 9781626566750.  If you don’t read about the international crooks you will not recognize them at home.  The author worked many years as an EHM. He was trained to go into third world or struggling countries to inflate growth projections from large infrastructure projects  ( Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Panama etc). These projects would then be funded by the World Bank and others and the country would be loaded up with debt.  . The money lent would go to US firms to do the work (of course some $  would find its way into select in country pockets).  The US engineering/construction company owners would pocket huge profits.

The projects would under deliver and the country would not be able to pay even the interest on these huge loans.  The US would pressure the govts to take on more debt, vote certain ways at the UN , buy more US products and so on.. The peoples’ lives would get worse not better. ( shades of the banana king and 1MDB )  If the govts did not play ball with US plans, regime change, assassination etc. would happen (Chile, Honduras, Ecuador, Panama.  Wrap a large disinformation campaign about this all.   You could not make this stuff up.  The author points out now that the same tricks are going on in US states with big projects and perhaps even in Canada.

A potent read, albeit the author is not concise enough for me. The story speaks very loud about the dangers of these large US companies, the military industrial complex and US policy.  Evidently China is following the same US playbook.

January 7th 2020

Better Selling Through Storytelling. The essential roadmap to becoming a revenue rockstar. John Livesay

Better Selling Through Storytelling. The essential roadmap to becoming a revenue rockstar. John Livesay. 2019. ISBN 9781642793734.  Called the Pitch Whisper, the author does lay out a smart method for making pitches and presentations. This fits very neatly into ABM and Value Selling methodologies, by reminding the reader to focus on value (impact) to the audience. Its not we but you.  Good case studies and relevant quotes, plus a very readable text makes this a valuable adding to your sales tool-belt.  A read it in one go – its that concise and good.

January 7th 2020

The Fish That Ate The Whale. The life and times of America’s banana king. Rich Cohen

The Fish That Ate The Whale. The life and times of America’s banana king.Rich Cohen.2012 ISBN 9781429946292.  The author did exhaustive research on the rise of a poor immigrant Sam “the Banana Man” Zemurray to the largest shareholder of United Fruit.  Along the way  he reshaped Central America and Cuba, launched regime changes, wrote the playbook for CIA operations in banana republics, funded the Zionist movement in Israel, and shipped thousands of Zionist to Israel on his fleet of banana boats.  Good book on hands on leadership,  very hard work a, dogged determination, strong will and the perils of a one man at the top business structure. Gives good background on the mess that is now Central America and insights into US policy (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy)

November 28th 2019

Billion Dollar Whale. The man who fooled Wall Street, Hollywood and the World. Tom Wright & Bradley Hope

Billion Dollar Whale. The man who fooled Wall Street, Hollywood and the World. Tom Wright & Bradley Hope. 2018. ISBN 978031643648.   Two Wall Street Journal journalists and a host of  forensic legal minds have unfolded the swindle of 1MDB. The loss was  to the tune of $13B dollars (2 % of Malaysian GDP) by Jho Low and his cronies ( including Najib Razak the ex Prime minister of Malaysia) , with the assistance of Goldman Sachs, UAE sovereign wealth funds and a host of sleazy corrupt Abu Dhabi royalty plus offshore and Swiss banks.  Of course the biggest crooks seem to not get any judgment at all while the small potatoes get charged. Low was the Whale who thought nothing of multi million dollar gambling nights, parties and debauchery ( which included huge gifts/graft to potential girlfriends, wives, business associates and friends) . His spending makes Crazy Rich Asians look very tame.  None of the money was his, but was swindled from 1MDB.  The depth of crime is sickening, but true.  It is not unique to Malaysia