Archive for November, 2009

Pose Method Of Running. Nicholas Romanov.

56/365 morning run
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Pose Method Of Running. Nicholas Romanov.Ph.D. with John Robson. 2002. 0972553762. In my continuous search for ways to keep on running while the body slowly deteriorates, I came across this book. It is a much deeper, scientific  look into more of the areas that I first found in ChiRunning (although perhaps the Romanov techniques predate ChiRunning) .

This is a very easy to read book with scads of exercises and supporting activities such as flexibility and strength building activites. It is very well researched applied science and is being used  many high perfromance coaches and their athletes.

The big eye opener for me was how he takes the forward lean, relaxed foot approach of ChiRunning much further along the entire foot and up the leg. Example, he stresses how you want to have minimal heel lift, landing on the ball of the foor, with minimal push off , so that your body does not rise and fall as you run. His practise activities really show you how to get gravity working for you with running. Again, it comes down to  attention to detail in the execution.  My natural run has become even easier, when I thought I could not get it any easier. If you take your running seriously this is a great resource for you. See

rollback. Robert J. Sawyer

Cover of "Rollback"
Cover of Rollback

rollback. Robert J. Sawyer. 2007. ISBN 9780765349743. One of Canada’s award winning  science fiction leaders< Sawyer is the writer of Flashforward ( TV )  and many others.  see  This one is indicative of his wholistic approach to Sci fi, full of ethical and moreal dilemmas.  What if you could roolback the years to when you were twenty five?  What if your eighty plus year old partners rollback did not work? How do you cope? What do you do?  A thoroughly enjoyable book, great for four hours in the air.

Flashforward (novel)
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Author Robert J. Sawyer, taken in 2005 by Caro...
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Inside the Mind of the Turtles. How the world’s best traders master risk. Curtis M. Faith

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Inside the Mind of the Turtles. How the world’s best traders master risk. Curtis M. Faith.  2009. ISBN 9780071602433.  The follow up book to the Way of the Turtle, takes a more rounded view of the role of risk and the impact of risk avoidance on modern life.  He believes one should take control of risk before it takes control of you. This is an  important book. You may remember my review of Covel’s book on Turtles.

Faith followed-up his success as a trader to continue as a software entrepreneur and then a venture capitalist. He found that many decisions in life worked out well if he used the same thought processes he developed as a trader. If you are looking to talk to a venture capitalist his analysis of their approach to risk is mind changing.

Later in the book he points out the reasons why this process would work in education and rebuilding US infrastructure, but that the status quo greatly prevents this.  He even makes a very good case as to why companies buy the “wrong” products, despite many people knowing better.  He has seven guiding principles:

  1. Overcome fear
  2. Remain flexible
  3. Take reasoned risk
  4. Prepare to be wrong
  5. Actively seek reality ( my personal favorite)
  6. Respond quickly to change
  7. Focus on decisions, not outcomes (also a favorite)

Well written, just the right length, this book will hold your attention.  Politicians and young people would especially benefit from the insights. Thank you McGraw Hill again.

A focus on branding is a waste of money for start-ups

View of Wall Street, Manhattan.
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( From Lisa Nirell) A brand is your basic identity. It is based on proof, a track record of what you are great at.
You are wasting money on a branding exercise  in a start-up and in a declining business.
In a start-up a better use of funds is to spend time gathering and writing great client case studies.
You would be looking for patterns in client behavior, their emotional response, and how they talk about you. Your challenge is to get the story straight.
Your brand is phrased in the voice of the customer. (This  is separate and differs from marketing , which is how you attract customers.) In our experience many companies seem very divorced from their customers.
Why do you want to build a brand? The benefits of a strong brand ( again Lisa Nirell):

1. Shorter sales cycle. (Not spend a lot of time explaining who you are, what you do, and why you are the best choice)
2. Lower cost of client acquisition (see above)
3. You attract perfect clients
4. Your brand can carry a premium price.
5. Brand loyalty creates repeat business.
6. Referrals flow more easily.
In order to do this you need concrete proof.  Many start-ups struggle with getting proof  Curtis M. Faith (Inside the Mind of the Turtles) stresses that you must actively seek reality, and adjust accordingly. Reality exists with your customers.

Who Runs Britain? ..and who’s to blame for the economic mess we are in Robert Preston

The Independent Labour Party, founded in 1893
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Who Runs Britain? ..and who’s to blame for the economic mess we are in. Robert Preston.2008. ISBN 9780340839447. This is the type of book one expects from English journalism. It is concise, accurate, well annotated, and free of any singular point of view. Preston is BBC’s Business Editor and he has penned a definitive study of what has occurred in the UK and the EU brought on by the US financial crisis as well as the many years of bad decisions made by the UK Labour Govts. I could not put the book down as he led me through his facts and  clear arguments. If you want to understand the global implications of the financial crisis this is the book for you.  If you want to see the fall out from an unrestrained embracement of high net worth capitalism this is also the book for you. If you have concerns about fitrm mismanagement  of pensions combined with govt ineptitude, thsi si a book for you. Yes I  liked it, but I am partial to business journalists.

the skinny on success. why not you? Jim Randall

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the skinny on success. why not you? Jim Randall. 2010. ISBN 9780981893594. Number five in Randalls series continues his straight to the point approach to the subject. Perhaps in an Twitter filled universe, this is a direction that books could move in. Short anecdotal conversations accompanied by stick figure, based on well researched and referenced content. I think this is very useful material for younger non reading audiences.

Energize Growth Now. The marketing guide to a wealthy company. Lisa Nirell.

Bobo Dioulasso Market
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Energize Growth Now. The marketing guide to a wealthy company. Lisa Nirell.2009. ISBN 9780470413920. From the foreward by Guy Kawasaki to the appendix pages full of sample plans and templates, this book give full value. Written in an easy style, it is very useful to those of you who may be starting to feel a bit overwhelmed and tired of the multi- year struggle that building a successful company entails. Yes you wiull start with an overview of the impact that marketing can make , but the author also goes into things that are very relevant today , for instance where social media marketing can help but what you have to decide first before you launch in.  She gives you road maps, relevant examples and the pitfalls along the way.  Pragmatic and a very useful book. Eg. In trying to identify the economic buyer:

  • Who has the most to gain from this project
  • Who has the most to lose if it is canceled or fails
  • Which exec will sponsor this
  • Who will report your results and succcess back to the board
  • Who budget will support this project
  • Which dept or div will be most supportive
  • Who in the org tried to solve this in the past and with what results
  • Whose bonus and performance will be most affected by the success of this project?

Check out more at

The benefits of a strong clear brand. Lessons from Coca-Cola

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Just read an interview with Samantha Hartley (Enlightened Marketing) who spent several years working for Coca-Cola helping build the brand.

She feels that there are six big benefits from having a clear, authentic and compelling brand:

  1. A shorter sales cycle
  2. A lower cost of customer acquisition
  3. You attract perfect clients
  4. Your brand can carry a premium price
  5. Brand Loyalty creates repeat business
  6. Referrals flow more easily

I agree, even without the compelling examples she details.

You can read more in Lisa Nirell’s new book, Energize Growth Now.(Review to follow)

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. How to be insanely great in front of any audience. Carmine Gallo.

Steve Jobs at the WWDC 07
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The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. How to be insanely great in front of any audience. Carmine Gallo.2010 ISBN 9780071636087. McGraw Hill is sending me these incredible books. This one is a jewel for any one who gives presentations.

For quite some time Rocket Builders has been using techniques such as Gallo explains which we gleaned from watching Jobs and Obama perform, reading Guy Kawasaki‘s guide as well as Presentation Zen and Nancy Duarte’s work. This one is a good easy to read book which benefits from the author, Gallo, being a journalist.(Are my preferences showing? )

You will learn the power of three as it helps you build up a framework to really communicate your story.  He lays out the tips that the other pros espouse such as images before words and simplify simplify.  Again we hear that the last thing you do is build your slides and just banish all bullets.  You also see the famous readability index test that compares Jobs to Bill Gates.  Jobs incredible work ethic wrto practising and delivery is also laid out for you. All this and more makes  this a worthwhile investment to buy and read this book.

The Integration Imperative. Erasing markeitng and business development silos – once and for all in professional service firms. Suzanne C. Lowe

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The Integration Imperative. Erasing marketing and business development silos – once and for all in professional service firms. Suzanne C. Lowe. 2009. ISBN 9780615292144.  I was really looking forward to this book as the topic is core to RocketBuilders own type of Rocket Science.  The book is extremely helpful to large multinational firms who are struggling with full integration.  Core to her solution is a that the Co must desire this to happen and it gets behind it full bore.

The book is in three parts. First you see how these silos develop and strengthen, then models of how to address it singularly and company wide, and finally several pertinent case studies. All in all a very thorough ambitious book.  Yet I was disappointed.  The prose is weighty, slightly detached,  stopping short of being academic. This is such an important topic that the vehicle of learning should not raise any more barriers to understanding. If you can get through the book and give it your attention, it is very valuable (especially for me was part two). I know several of the firms in the case studies and enjoyed the discussions. A bonus is a good glossary of common words misunderstood in marketing and business development. ( I would  argue that marketing and business development should be one department, sales is another. ) She writes a good blog for Marketing fix