Shakespeare Gives Great Advice

Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, Magneto from X-Men and a zillion characters from Shakespeare’s plays – that has been the remarkable range of Sir Ian McKellen. To celebrate his 80th birthday he’s been touring the UK with his one man show ‘Ian McKellen On Stage’. I recently got to see him and I must say he was amazing. But it reminded me how good Shakespeare is – and McKellen lives and breathes his works. Here’s a selection of the more practical quotes from Shakespeare’s plays:

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What Michael Bloomberg Taught Me About Business

Michael Bloomberg is the billionaire founder of the financial services data and media company, Bloomberg. He was also the 108th Mayor of New York. He’s confident, outspoken and has strong views on how to start and run a business. I learnt about them in his autobiography. Here are the highlights:

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Love Life, Love Poetry

A young Pablo Neruda

I don’t naturally lean towards poetry, I prefer the straightforwardness of prose. At the same time, I know that poetry, like music, can affect me in ways a novel or film never could. So, I’m always on the look-out for entry points to poetry, and I recently found one in the works of Pablo Neruda.

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Negotiate Like A Top FBI Hostage Negotiator

“Who has control in a conversation, the guy listening or the guy talking?

The listener, of course.

That’s because the talker is revealing information while the listener, if he’s trained well, is directing the conversation toward his own goals. He’s harnessing the talker’s energy for his own ends.”

Chris Voss

That’s what Chis Voss, formerly the FBI’s lead international hostage negotiator, writes in his excellent “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It”. His insights shatter the idea that good negotiators engage in a battle of wills against their counterpart. If there is a guiding principle in the FBI’s elite negotiating team it’s that you have to remove yourself from the equation.

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My Favourite Books/Movies/Apps Of 2018, What’s Yours?

The year is almost over, so it’s time to send my list of favourites for the year: books, magazines, movies, TV and apps. I’m sure I’ve missed much, so let me know what you liked, and if I get enough, I‘ll send out a readers list!

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How To Create An Enduring Bestseller (6 min read)

Do you remember the films “The Flintstones” starring John Goodman or  “The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen? How about “I Love Trouble” with Julia Roberts or “The Shadow” with Alec Baldwin? Well, they all came out in 1994 and they all made more money than a certain Continue reading “How To Create An Enduring Bestseller (6 min read)”

What People Initially Thought Of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings (novel)

I recently came across a review of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings books when they were first published in 1954. Of course, today the books are regarded as some of the best fiction ever written and have spawned oscar-winning movies. But this review from 1954 featured in a British magazine, The New Statesman, was scathing: Continue reading “What People Initially Thought Of Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings (novel)”