The Alex Ferguson Way

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Sir Alex Ferguson has just come out with a book called “Leading” which he co-authored with Sir Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital. I was lucky enough to see them interviewed  by the Financial Times editor, Lionel Barber, at the Southbank centre in London. The talk was fascinating, and the book is well worth reading.

Indeed, even as a Liverpool fan , I have to admire Alex Ferguson’s track record as manager of Manchester United: he won 17 league titles, 14 domestic cups and 2 Champions leagues. Admittedly, he didn’t reach Liverpool manager Bob Paisley’s 3 Champions leagues, but no-one is perfect. To get some sense of what made him tick is intriguing. Continue reading “The Alex Ferguson Way”

The 3 Stages Of Life According to Shakespeare

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The beauty of Shakespeare’s works is that they can interpreted in many different ways. One of my favourite is to think of his biggest plays as representing the three stages of life- youth, adulthood and old-age: Continue reading “The 3 Stages Of Life According to Shakespeare”

Three Quick Tests To Know Yourself

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Knowing ourselves appears to the foundation to success – that includes our darker side as well the lighter side. . At the same time, being able to read and understand others is key to work well in groups. So here’s three free online tests that I have used and found useful to better understand myself: Continue reading “Three Quick Tests To Know Yourself”

Confucius On Management

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It’s easy to get caught up with the latest management fads, but hard to know which ones will endure. Indeed, Nassim Taleb writes about how time is the ultimate test for the fragility of ideas. So with China in the news, what better ideas to look at than Confucius’, who lived over 2,500 years ago. His sayings are in the “Analects”, which are said to have been recorded by his disciples. What I’ve found is that Confucius was very good at understanding how to get the best out of hierarchical structures, which today would equate just as easily to corporations as governments. So I’ve picked out the best bits for business and modified the language to sound more contemporary: Continue reading “Confucius On Management”

Don’t Iterate, Be Bold

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“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”

St Francis and the Tattooist

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“Author, artist, connoisseur, madman, thug, pirate, villain, Buddha, sage, Satan, gypsy and most solid of brothers” so said Johnny Depp about Jonathan Shaw. For those that don’t know Shaw, he’s a famed New York tattooist and mythic figure in underground circles and is profiled in the excellent Huck magazine. Here are some of his words of wisdom: Continue reading “St Francis and the Tattooist”

Revolutionise Corporate Performance

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I recently stumbled across a fascinating talk by the excellent Margaret Heffernan called “Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work”. She cited a study that showed that top-performing teams were those where each person spoke for an equal amount of time and were good at reading each other’s social cues. What did not matter was the individual intelligence of each team member. It was the quality of interactions, not the quality of the individuals that mattered. This turns the focus of companies on hiring and retaining stars on its head.  Continue reading “Revolutionise Corporate Performance”

Improving My Running

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I run one or twice a week, not far, often just a few kilometres. Despite that, I’m always on the look out for running tips. Ironically, a book on meditation and running by  Sakyong Mipham got me interested in the mechanics, while another called “ChiRunning” by Danny Dreyer provided the details. Their tips were: Continue reading “Improving My Running”