My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 1)

shelf-of-books

I often get asked what the best books are to help one at work. As it turns out, I give reading lists to whoever works for me. One list is focused on developing good character and “soft skills” and is relevant for whichever line of work you are in. The other list is on more technical knowledge related to the finance industry. Below is the first list, I’ll post the second one next week: Continue reading “My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 1)”

11 Podcasts To Enrich Your Life

ios9-podcasts-app-tilePODCAST ANDRIOD

 

 

 

 

Podcasts are the hidden gems of the digital world. While everyone is streaming music, Netflix and chillin’ and e-reading, podcasts provide an amazing array of free on-demand audio content. I regularly download or stream podcasts on my commute to work or listen for hours on flights around the world. I subscribe to around 80 podcasts ranging from the cerebral to the silly. Here are 9 with specific episodes to give you a taste: Continue reading “11 Podcasts To Enrich Your Life”

36 Awesome Opening Lines Of Books

Metamorpheses

The best writing advice* I ever got was to make sure my opening lines were great. To see why, look at the following opening lines:

1. “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”  Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis (1915)

2. “The way you can go isn’t the real way”  Lao Tzu, Ta Te Ching (circa 500BC)

3. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) Continue reading “36 Awesome Opening Lines Of Books”

How Luck Looks Like Genius In Hindsight (1 min)

JAWS_Movie_poster

Jaws is the most successful “horror” movie of all time. Adjusted for inflation, it also comes in at number seven for all genres of movie*. The film is 124 minutes long. But guess when the shark first makes it full appearance? 80 minutes into the film. So for most the movie, we just hear about the shark, which is what makes it so scary. Continue reading “How Luck Looks Like Genius In Hindsight (1 min)”

What Google Learnt About Good Management (1min read)

Work Rules

Silicon Valley engineers are notoriously difficult to manage. Google even went so far as to get rid of all management positions at one point, but soon realised the ensuing chaos was worse than having management. Still not happy with the old system, they embarked on numerous experiments to determine what makes a good manager. They tracked managers performance across projects, and found that the best had the following 8 characteristics:

  1. Is a good coach
  2. Empowers the team and does not micromanage
  3. Expresses interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being
  4. Is productive and results-oriented
  5. Is a good communicator—listens and shares information
  6. Helps with career development
  7. Has a clear vision and strategy for the team.
  8. Has key technical skills that help him or her advise the team

Continue reading “What Google Learnt About Good Management (1min read)”

The 3 Type Of Individuals That Transform Economies

Max Weber (1864-1920), Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950), Frank Knight (1885-1972)
Max Weber,  Joseph Schumpeter, , Frank Knight

In economics, there has always been a big debate about what drives economic growth. In the end, economists have assumed that positive “shocks” to an economy just kind of happen. However, there have been some thinkers who looked inside the black-box and focused on entrepreneurship. Continue reading “The 3 Type Of Individuals That Transform Economies”

Wanna Have Fun? Do Improv!

Source: City Academy
Source: City Academy

No lines, minimal instruction, then act – that’s the essence of improvisation. I attended an excellent taster session run by the City Academy earlier this week. We were told not to worry about failing and just have fun like a child. And, boy was it fun! By the end, we, ten strangers ,were falling over each other with laughter.

If there was a structure, it would be have four elements: Continue reading “Wanna Have Fun? Do Improv!”

The Top 4 Immutable Laws of Marketing

    Cocacola-5cents-1900_edit1
1. The Law Of Leadership.

It’s better to be first than it is to be better. Gillette was the first safety razor, Heineken was the first imported beer in the US and Harvard the first college in the US. And who’s the best in each category? Most would conflate first with best. Moreover, how easy is it to remember the second? Who was the second person to the run the four minute mile after Roger Banister? Who was the second US president after George Washington?*

Continue reading “The Top 4 Immutable Laws of Marketing”

Don’t Iterate, Be Bold

Whereismyflyingcar

“We were promised flying cars and we got 140 characters” says Peter Thiel. He co-founded PayPal with Elon Musk, Palantir* and was the first outside investor in Facebook. Thiel is perhaps one of most original thinkers to come out of Silicon Valley. In his book “Zero to One”, he outlines his take on the world. Continue reading “Don’t Iterate, Be Bold”