Archive for the 'Management' Category

Finding My Virginity. The new Autobiography. Richard Branson.

English: Sir Richard Branson at the eTalk Fest...

Finding My Virginity. The new autobiography. Richard Branson. 2017.  ISBN 9780735219434.  Well,  you could not find a more elaborate showman than Branson and he certainly has no issues with tooting his own horn ( Now for the second time) .  That said he is also a master of the story so each chapter is an unique and compelling story. the copy is fresh , insightful (perhaps a tad self seeking) . Today’s leader would learn much from Branson’s breezy leadership style.  While staying in Australia I chatted to relatives who were among the early Virgin Blue employees and they could not say enough good things about the man and his leadership team.  The breadth of his efforts is astonishing, from telecom through to health and space. In one story Branson makes a very good argument for the moving of drug and addiction/treatment  from being a criminal to a health problem. We saw this working well in Portugal which has decriminalized all drug and addiction issues.  Each chapter/story pulls you forward through this substantial book until nothing he does could surprise you.  So I advise reading the book.

Malcolm McDonald on Key Account Management. Malcolm McDonald & Beth Rogers

By June of 1948 Sanders Aviation Company had t...

Malcolm McDonald on Key Account Management. Malcolm McDonald & Beth Rogers. 2017. ISBN 978 0 7494 8077 6.  MacDonald is a giant in the field of marketing  and is one of Rocket Builders goto authors when we need to really dig into a topic. This co-authored book is very readable, current and immediately useful to enterprise sales and marketing teams who wish to look at their markets strategically.  I liked the entire book as it did a very clear job on describing and using the three levels in ABM and then how to id where to use and apply KAM. The liberal  use of case studies and experienced practitioners to describe how to use all this was excellent.   I really appreciated the work in Chapter 3 on auditing how you were doing and mapping out where you could go. The author is diligent at asking you to use measures and metrics that can be used and are useful.  As well Chapter 5 is good at mapping value, how to apply measures and package it so it can be taken to your clients.   Well worth the modern sales and marketing executive and strategic practitioners time to read and use this book

Kitchen Confidential. Adventures in the culinary underbelly. Antony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain being interviewed in the WNYC...

Kitchen Confidential. Adventures in the culinary underbelly. Antony Bourdain. 2008.  Hilarious, cutting, pithy and all too true sounding this a book that rips the covers off kitchens and those who work there. The author makes no bones about his generations of obnoxious, dissolute, atrocious behavior. It seems to be all there.   You will come away with a new insight into the industry.

The Next Factory of the World. How Chinese Investment is Reshaping Africa. Irene Yuan Sun

The Next Factory of the World. How Chinese Investment is Reshaping Africa. Irene Yuan Sun. 2017.  ISBN 9781633692817.  A thoughtful analysis of the similarities of Africa and China in how Africa could replicate China’s jump from an agrarian to a manufacturing country in a very short order.  The author makes some very good , logical points as to how this could be achieved. IN many ways Africa is exactly like China was just one generation ago.  The same Chinese businessmen who made this jump in China are now doing the same in Africa.  And Africa does have the poverty level farmers who would see a low wage industrial job as a step up. Plus by working for these Chinese businesses the Africans can learn how to do run a factory and eventually have factories of their own. The Chinese have recent experience with corruption at home so they know how to deal with African corruption.  I was interested to read that the bulk of investment is from private Chinese firms, not the famous Chinese zombie state enterprises.   From a Western perspective we may be losing sight of how simple this could be as we are too far along the technology path. A delightful and useful read.

Competing Against Luck: The story of innovation and customer choice. Clayton M Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, & David S. Duncan.

Photo I took in Rochester, Minnesota 2005-12-3...

Competing Against Luck: The story of innovation and customer choice.  Clayton M Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, & David S. Duncan. .2016. ISBN  9780062435637.   As ever any book from Christensen is a delight to read. This one fleshes out the concept of a Job to Be Done as the driving force behind successful innovation.  Many successful and  innovative companies start out with a clear focus on the users job to be done and they are wildly successful. Later as this focus gets muddied by all the reams of data coming from the marketplace, many companies lose their way.   Using experience gained from the numerous companies they  have worked with over the years, the authors clearly show how the successful companies like Amazon, Intuit, The Khan Academy ,  The Mayo Clinic and others continue to stay focused on their North Star.  I recommend this book to anyone in a position of leadership to read, ponder , reread and implement.

Mistakes Millionaires Make. Lessons from 30 successful entrepreneurs. Harry Clark.

Spelling mistakes in Hebrew

Mistakes Millionaires Make.  Lessons from 30 successful entrepreneurs. Harry Clark. 2016. ISBN9781626343283.   The author, a member of EO went out to 30 others members/acquaintances who like him had built up and lost significant sums while running their businesses. He extracts extremely expensive lessons learned, how to recognize and avoid this issues and then inoculate yourself  against making those same mistakes.  The language is simple, unvarnished and concise.  The damage that these mistakes caused  to their business, family life , investors and friends was significant.  Each story is worth a read and a reread.  Every entrepreneur needs this book.

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.

Mastering the Complex Sale, Exceptional Selling , The Prime Solution , by Jeff Thull.



Cover of "Mastering the Complex Sale: How...


Mastering the Complex Sale, Exceptional Selling , The Prime Solution , by Jeff Thull.  2010,  2006,  2005.  This set of books which detail the Complex Sale process from the point of view of  delivering value are easily the most completely thought out approach I have read to date on selling value.


Thull starts with a a simple idea, that sellers /solutions need to tie their offer into solving valuable real measurable business problems , from the customers point of view to enable real measurable value outcomes .  Like any simple idea, the details of delivery have far reaching impacts on sellers and customers.  He has many phrases which stick with you,  like always going for the no,  spectacular success comes from unspectacular  preparation,  no problem/pain no sale,  no surprises, the salesperson is like a doctor.


Thulls four separate steps are


  1. Discovery
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Design
  4. Deliver


But the devil is  in the details.   Thull provides the details needed tofill in this framework.   This approach has the potential to set any seller far away from the pack of competitors as well as making  customer relationships very competitor proof.   Of any approach, this one truly recognizes the uniqueness of very customer and how to ensure the customer gets that value as well as recognizes it. This is a  transformative process not only for the customer but the sellers organization as well.   A must have for if you are the complex sales marketplace.


Nonsense. The Power of Not Knowing. Jamie Holmes

Knowing (film)

Nonsense. The Power of Not Knowing. Jamie Holmes. 2011 ISBN 9780385348379. One of those books full of unexpected treasures in knowledge.   And it does not stop at the notes pp. Like Christensen, the notes are  another intriguing book . Delightful.  The power of holding two or more separate conflicting ideas in your head have been shown before , but Holmes delivers even more good thought on the idea.   Eg Negative capability is not fixating/clutching on one aspect of a shifting complex reality. ( This is a good thing) . Prejudice is driven by a need for order, social order, where individuals can not tolerate ambiguity, having a desire to latch onto what is safe, familiar, simple and apparently definite.  Bigots fail to see all relevant sides to a problem and have a high need  for closure.  A very useful book  An essential part of your own journey toward a more enlightened and calmer self.

Start Small Finish Big. Fifteen key lessons to start and run your own successful business. Fred DeLuca.

English: Subway logo and slogan taken from mar...

Start Small Finish Big. Fifteen key lessons to start and run your own successful business. Fred DeLuca.  2000. ISBN 9781627040020. I have had this on my Kindle for a year and finally got to read it.  I enjoyed this book The author founded Subway with $1000 and a dream.  He details that journey and many others through interviews with selected founders.   These successful businesses are not all tech start-ups or flashy product companies. They provide a needed service or product that required the founders to work hard at the process, never give up and eventually break into national or regional powerhouses.   Its uplifting and realistic and I recommend it to anyone who wants to be their own boss.