Archive for the 'Leadership' Category

Pancakes in Paris. Craig Carlson.

Deutsch: Paris: Eiffelturm und Marsfeld

Pancakes in Paris. Craig Carlson. 2016. ISBN 9781492632122.  So a young American falls in love with all things France and Paris and through many twists and turns eventually finds his way back there to open up a Breakfast in America diner, since that is what he missed the most while living there.   His writing is very personal and human and he is totally unvarnished about the byzantine labor laws in France that make running a business a nightmare.    You will laugh and cry through this book as the author meets and then then gets through many incredible struggles. There are some good business and life lessons in this book.

Damned Nations. Greed, guns, armies & aid. Samantha Nutt. MD.

Samantha Nutt reads from her chosen book for C...

Damned Nations. Greed, guns, armies & aid. Samantha Nutt. MD.  2011. ISBN 9780771051470. One of the most concise and clear writing I have read on the sheet lunacy of many aid programs in the world.  The author has worked in most of the war torn places you can think of.  Of course we expected the celebrity programs to be a waste, but the author details the wasteful business of large aid groups, and how much of the funding is not dispersed . She also points out how having the military associated with aid only brings about even more waste, bureaucracy, disconnect with the locals and increase the risk to NGOs. You clearly find out the disconnect between what First world governments say they want to do and what the countries really need.  She holds out hope for those organizations which are there for the long term and work at the grassroots to improve the citizens lot.  This is another voice explaining the benefits of educating girls and the impact on village life. You will be aghast at the rapaciousness of many of African leaders as well as the dangers posed by child soldiers who become detached from reality.  I guarantee you will not want to put this book down.  Canada does not come out that well in this boo, from our govt to our large investment funds ( Teachers and Union funds)  who invest in large arms dealers.

Naked City. The death and life of authentic urban places. Sharon Zukin

English: Looking southeast at Ikea store in Re...

Naked City. The death and life of authentic urban places. Sharon Zukin. 2010 . ISBN 9780195382853.  A very useful viewpoint of how New York ( and related large cities have dealt ( or not dealt) with progressive change in its neighborhoods.  By looking closer at Brooklyn, Harlem, East Village, Union Square, Red Hook, neighborhood gardens the author illustrates the relentlessness of change and how city approaches can help or hinder that. What is interesting is that when a neighborhood moves from gritty to cool, then gentrification and rising property values will follow, at some time or another.  The author does not forget her history with notes on  the likes of Jane  Jacobs and Robert Moses as well as notable mayors and their impacts.   Good grounding for the urbanest.

Black Box Thinking. The surprising truth about success. Matthew Syed.

Black Box Thinking. The surprising truth about success and why some people never learn from their mistakes. . Matthew Syed. .  2015.  ISBN 9781473613775.  A very insightful book.  Ever wonder why airflight really learns from mistakes, while healthcare continues to make deathly mistakes every year ( despite tremendous leaps forward in medicine). You will be inspired and then dismayed by Syed’s book.  If you are any way involved in innovation, total quality, best practices and group productivity, this is a  book you need to read.  Funding/controlling bodies for institutions such as healthcare, governance, the legal system need to also read this book and act on it.  A compelling well written book.  Good for a four hour plane ride ,there and  back

The Lean CEO. Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence. Jacob Stoller.

English: John leading Lean and Mean

The Lean CEO. Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence. Jacob Stoller.   2015. ISBN 9780071833073.  This is the missing  book that puts together the plethora of lean successes across industries , public sector and geographies.  You will learn not only where Lean came from ( Deming and much more) , but how successful it has been in some many sectors and why it has not been more widely adopted in N America.  For tech companies after the Lean Startup you must  become the lean grownup to survive and grow. This book will help point the way.  Clearly written with  lots of examples makes this an engrossing book. Well worth anyone’s time to sit down and read it.

I’d Rather Die. Public Speaking Survival Skills. Robert Scanlon

Relatively Speaking (book)

I’d Rather Die. Public Speaking Survival Skills. Robert Scanlon. 2015. ISBN 0994409206.  You can always learn something new.  I have been confidently public speaking for 50 years and innumerable time. I have been told I am quite a good, interesting speaker.  After reading this book I am better prepared to put my public speaking up onto a completely different level.  This is the soup to nuts, one book to do it all, concise bible on public speaking.  My take aways  are so many and yet everything he says fits so well with all I have learned and studied  over the years ( We seem to have read most of the same books and  used similar videos) .  I recommend this book to anyone who has to speak to any group.  If you use this book , you will be doing your audience an incredible favor and saving them from “just another ” presentation.

Innovation Thinking Methods. Disciplines of Thought That Can Help You Rethink Industries and Unlock 10X Better Solutions. Osama A Hashmi.

Top of the Space needle in Seattle, WA Françai...

Innovation Thinking Methods. Disciplines of Thought That Can Help You Rethink Industries and Unlock 10X Better Solutions. Osama A Hashmi. 2016.  The author is quite experienced in this area ( Successful entrepreneur in Seattle WA).  He  has really thought this out and  does a good job of covering various ways to “think” innovatively.  I read this in just a few readings because it flows well.  His style allows you to experience and  then add  each method to your own library of tactics.  This should be required reading for product managers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in all areas. Would be a great book at the college level as well as in teacher education.

From Impossible to Inevitable. How Hypergrowth Companies Create Predictable Revenue. Aaron Ross and Jason Lumkin

From Impossible to Inevitable.  How Hypergrowth Companies Create Predictable Revenue. Aaron Ross and Jason Lumkin. 2016. ISBN  9781119166733.  Aaron is the author of Predictable Revenue, one of my favorite lead gen books. Together with his co author they have created the go to book for building your company. Its framed around a SaaS firm, but the approach has very broad application.  Aaron sent me a review copy and I liked it so much  that within five chapters I bought two copies for my salesmen sons.  I could not help but see myself in many of the pages with my career experiences. None of the material is wasted and it all builds from sales and lead gen so that every department has a share in growing the company.  His rules of thumb are quite accurate and well worth keeping in mind.  This is a book that comes form people that have done this and they pull no punches in telling it as it is.   This is a must buy book if you are serious about building your company ( and yourself)

Thieves of State. Why corruption threatens global security. Sarah Chayes.

Seal of the C.I.A. - Central Intelligence Agen...

Thieves of State. Why corruption threatens global security. Sarah Chayes.2015. ISBN 9780393246537.  This is quite the book. It was suggested to me by David Mouton and I am glad he did.  The author details how various corrupt governments today ( Afghanistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria for eg)  have been seized by kleptocracies so that the national revenue flows into the hands of the ruling few. She also shows how the individual living in these places gets caught between the religious right and the corrupt administration to the point that uprising seems the only option. Especially galling is that the Western powers and NGOs seem to always align with the corrupt administration, so the West is seen as part of the problem.   She makes a very good case ( and worked in several of these countries on this) , the the West should be very concerned about dealing with corrupt administration/systems that are in all intents criminal in nature..  That is if thee West is interested in helping these populations have any alternatives to violence.  She has some pretty good dirt on the CIA and US State department as well.  Of course she also shows how the control of the US govt by Wall Street interest was not that short of being criminal.

The Great Traits of Champions. Fundamentals for Achievers, Leaders and Legacy Leavers. Mark Tewksbury & Debbie Muir

Matina Narvratilova and Mark Tewksbury read th...

The Great Traits of Champions.  Fundamentals for Achievers, Leaders and Legacy Leavers. Mark Tewksbury  ( Olympic Gold medal swimmer)& Debbie Muir  ( Winning-est Olympic coach) .  2012. ISBN 139780980908312.  I recently met Mark and Debbie in our Calgary GotoMarket program. They are working toward adding to their large audience, corporate events training  an Internet version. They live the life promoted in this book and I was intrigued to read it.  It is more than I had hoped.  I have read numerous self-help books and they usually start well  and then quickly become boring and tedious.  This book drew me in quick;y and I lost the whole weekend reading and rereading the sections.   They made a brilliant choice in aligning this book with what they were doing on each topic while building Mark into a Gold medal swimmer at the Olympics. You quickly look forward to each section to see where they were on the journey and how it worked for Mark and other athletes and teams.  Their personality and humanity shines out of the book and I await their online version.   Sales leaders are recognizing the importance of coaching in building their teams an I recommend this book to them.