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14 FROM 14 
THE BEST BOOKS OF 2014
WHAT IS ? 
 A library of over 250 books 
 A blog 
 A series of printed books 
 iphone and ipad apps 
 One-page summar...
LEADERSHIP
PHIL ROSENZWEIG 
Left Brain Right Stuff 
To make the best decisions, 
leaders need a blend of clear 
detached thinking (le...
PHIL ROSENZWEIG 
Left Brain Right Stuff 
To make winning decisions, leaders require two skills: 
1. Left brain: a talent f...
LEADERS EAT LAST 
Simon Sinek 
Effective leaders manage the 
people, not the numbers – 
making them feel safe and 
keen to...
LEADERS EAT LAST 
Simon Sinek 
• Proper leaders run headfirst into the unknown & put 
their interests aside for the greate...
CONSIGLIERI 
Richard Hytner 
Being a successful no.2 can 
be just as rewarding as being 
No.1.
CONSIGLIERI 
Richard Hytner 
• This book is all about leading from the shadows, and it 
celebrates the role of the right-h...
BREVITY
BRIEF 
Joseph McCormack 
You can make a bigger 
impact by saying less – map it, 
tell it, talk it, and show it.
BRIEF 
Joseph McCormack 
• You can make a bigger impact by saying less. 
• Most communications are unfocused and unclear. ...
TALK LEAN 
Alan Palmer 
Talking lean means combining 
directness with politeness to 
develop quicker results and 
better r...
TALK LEAN 
Alan Palmer 
• You can benefit from shorter meetings, quicker results 
and better relations by following a meth...
INNOVATION
THE INNOVATION BOOK 
Max McKeown 
It is possible to become a 
competent innovator by being 
aware of powerful techniques 
...
THE INNOVATION BOOK 
Max McKeown 
• This is a workbook that explains how to manage ideas 
and execution for outstanding re...
THE FIRST MILE 
Scott Anthony 
The first mile of any innovation 
is fraught, but it can be 
successfully navigated by 
fol...
THE FIRST MILE 
Scott Anthony 
• The first mile is where an idea moves from an idea on 
paper to existing in a market. Thi...
COLLABORATION
A BIGGER PRIZE 
Margaret Heffernan 
Persistent competition is 
frequently divisive, so we are 
more likely to achieve bett...
A BIGGER PRIZE 
Margaret Heffernan 
• We do much better when we work together. 
• Competition for fame, money, attention, ...
BEHAVIOURAL ECONOMICS
THINK LIKE A FREAK 
Levitt & Dubner 
Understand and decipher 
incentives and measure results 
accurately, and you are much...
THINK LIKE A FREAK 
Levitt & Dubner 
Thinking like a freak involves three relatively simple ideas: 
1. Incentives are the ...
CREATIVITY
HEGARTY ON CREATIVITY 
John Hegarty 
To be an effective creative 
person you need constantly to 
absorb varied stimuli, 
r...
HEGARTY ON CREATIVITY 
John Hegarty 
• The blank page is the greatest challenge facing the creative 
person. Start small, ...
THE SPARK 
Greg Orme 
You can foster a more 
creative organization by 
adopting ten helpful habits.
THE SPARK 
Greg Orme 
• The 10 habits of successful creative leadership: 
1. Start an electric conversation – passionate p...
ECONOMICS
MONEY BLOOD & REVOLUTION 
George Cooper 
Economic growth is generated 
by a circulatory flow of wealth 
through society – ...
MONEY BLOOD & REVOLUTION 
George Cooper 
• Economics is a broken science, believing in multiple, 
inconsistent things at t...
PERSONAL APPROACH
FREE! 
Chris Barez-Brown 
Life and work are intrinsically 
linked, so if you want to live an 
extraordinary life, your wor...
FREE! 
Chris Barez-Brown 
• The message of this book is Love your work, love your life. 
• Life and work are intrinsically...
BUSINESS GENIUS 
James Bannerman 
Sharpen your skills and have an 
immediate effect on your business 
by making a series o...
BUSINESS GENIUS 
James Bannerman 
• Sharpen your thinking three main areas: 
1. Yourself: boost your focus, confidence, re...
HOW TO USE 
• Be inquisitive 
• Make the time 
• Understand the lines of argument 
• Take a view 
• Inform your work 
• En...
KEVIN DUNCAN 
More detail at: 
www.greatesthitsblog.com 
Ask Kevin to speak or train: 
07979 808770 
kevinduncanexpertadvi...
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14 FROM 14: THE BEST BUSINESS BOOKS OF 2014 -SUMMARISED

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Greatest Hits is a library of over 250 books, all summarised on a blog. I read them all so you don't have to. It's also a training programme and keynote speech, backed by a set of printed books, iphone and ipad apps.

Published in: Business

14 FROM 14: THE BEST BUSINESS BOOKS OF 2014 -SUMMARISED

  1. 1. 14 FROM 14 THE BEST BOOKS OF 2014
  2. 2. WHAT IS ?  A library of over 250 books  A blog  A series of printed books  iphone and ipad apps  One-page summaries  One-sentence summaries  Training programmes  Keynote speeches  A fertile source of new ideas
  3. 3. LEADERSHIP
  4. 4. PHIL ROSENZWEIG Left Brain Right Stuff To make the best decisions, leaders need a blend of clear detached thinking (left brain) and courage to take action (right stuff).
  5. 5. PHIL ROSENZWEIG Left Brain Right Stuff To make winning decisions, leaders require two skills: 1. Left brain: a talent for clear analysis (logic) 2. Right stuff: the willingness to take bold action (bravery) • Success calls for calculation and courage, action as well as analysis. The best questions are: • Are we making a decision about something we cannot control, or are we able to influence outcomes? If you can’t, don’t bother. Equally, many managers underestimate the effect they can have. • Are we seeking an absolute level of performance, or is performance relative? Are we trying to do well, or to do better than our rivals. Constantly looking at the competition can be irrelevant, but needing to exert control and outperform rivals is the hardest thing. • Are we making a decision that lends itself to rapid feedback, so we can make adjustments and improve a next effort? If not, think harder to reduce error.
  6. 6. LEADERS EAT LAST Simon Sinek Effective leaders manage the people, not the numbers – making them feel safe and keen to follow.
  7. 7. LEADERS EAT LAST Simon Sinek • Proper leaders run headfirst into the unknown & put their interests aside for the greater good. They would sooner sacrifice what is theirs to save what is ours. • This makes followers feel safe (a primal need), which is why they work tirelessly to see their leaders’ visions come to life. In a circle of safety, we feel we belong. • The title refers to the tradition in the US Marines in which, at mealtimes, the junior people are served first. The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. • Our needs are based on the chemicals we crave: Endorphins – mask physical pain in ‘the runner’s high’, Dopamine – creates a good feeling and is a perpetual incentive for progress Serotonin – the leadership chemical - pride from respect Oxytocin – friendship, love and deep trust – the cornerstone of teamwork
  8. 8. CONSIGLIERI Richard Hytner Being a successful no.2 can be just as rewarding as being No.1.
  9. 9. CONSIGLIERI Richard Hytner • This book is all about leading from the shadows, and it celebrates the role of the right-hand man, or consigliere (the name given to the closest adviser to mafia heads). • Not everybody can be number one and, perhaps more importantly, not everyone wants to be. • Although it is easy to disparage the role of those who are ‘No.2’, these people often determine the fate of companies and countries. • As (top leaders) and Cs (consiglieri) share similar qualities founded on trust, credibility, confidence and emotional intelligence. This is expressed as an equation: LQ = TQ(C+C) x EQ, where: LQ = Leadership Quotient TQ = a multiple of your credibility times your confidence EQ = Emotional Quotient Those with leadership aspirations should try both roles if possible before settling into one or the other.
  10. 10. BREVITY
  11. 11. BRIEF Joseph McCormack You can make a bigger impact by saying less – map it, tell it, talk it, and show it.
  12. 12. BRIEF Joseph McCormack • You can make a bigger impact by saying less. • Most communications are unfocused and unclear. • Most people are inundated and highly inattentive. • Being brief isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity. • People who struggle with brevity suffer variously from cowardice, (over) confidence, callousness, comfort, confusion, complication, and carelessness. • Audiences that are mind-filled rather than mindful suffer from inundation, inattention, interruption & impatience. • To communicate effectively and efficiently: 1. Map it – map out the argument, then condense and trim volumes of information from it. 2. Tell it – use narrative storytelling to explain the message in a clear, concise and compelling way. 3. Talk it – the TALC system helps controlled, productive conversations: Talk, Actively Listen, Converse. 4. Show it – use visuals to attract attention and capture the imagination.
  13. 13. TALK LEAN Alan Palmer Talking lean means combining directness with politeness to develop quicker results and better relations.
  14. 14. TALK LEAN Alan Palmer • You can benefit from shorter meetings, quicker results and better relations by following a method • How would you like to be spoken to? People want: • Content: clear, direct, straight to the point, simple, precise, concise, concrete • Manner: polite, calm, respectful, courteous, warm, with humour if possible. • Most meetings and conversations are opened without reference to real intentions. Changing this makes everything work better. Start at the end & work back. • Three elements interlock to make this work: 1. My meeting objective. 2. What I did to prepare the meeting. 3. My state of mind. • Three things affect levels of understanding: • Unsaid: things that are thought or but not mentioned. • Said: uttered, but counterproductively. • Ineffective listening: rigorous listening to yourself.
  15. 15. INNOVATION
  16. 16. THE INNOVATION BOOK Max McKeown It is possible to become a competent innovator by being aware of powerful techniques and approaches that have succeeded elsewhere.
  17. 17. THE INNOVATION BOOK Max McKeown • This is a workbook that explains how to manage ideas and execution for outstanding results. It provides a comprehensive overview of the innovation genre. • An innovator’s approach involves collecting ideas, transforming them into something else, exploring them in detail, and nurturing them through to execution. • You need a healthy dissatisfaction to achieve this – an unwillingness to accept traditional limitations, a restless desire for novel experiences, and a frustration with things as they currently are. • It takes a fair amount of pain to make progress. Unnecessary pain: avoidable mistakes/uncaring application. Industry pain involves existing structures that hold things up. People pain is where individuals struggle to make progress. Necessary pain is the total effort to develop and make room for the new (and better) idea. • Quitting can be winning. Knowing when to give up and try something else can save a lot of wasted effort.
  18. 18. THE FIRST MILE Scott Anthony The first mile of any innovation is fraught, but it can be successfully navigated by following a diligent process.
  19. 19. THE FIRST MILE Scott Anthony • The first mile is where an idea moves from an idea on paper to existing in a market. This stage is the one most commonly afflicted with failure. It’s where danger lurks. • Less than 1% of ideas launched by big companies end up working. • The ideas aren’t the problem – it’s the process. The author proposes one called DEFT: Document: write down the answer to these questions: is there a need, can we deliver, do the numbers work, and does it matter? Evaluate: multiple perspectives, & what the unknowns are. Focus: work out the deal killers and path dependencies (uncertainties that affect subsequent strategic choices). Test: learn and adjust, use small teams, design tests carefully, savour surprises. Fill out the 4P model: population, purchase frequency, price per transaction, penetration. This piece of maths gives a feel for likely success.
  20. 20. COLLABORATION
  21. 21. A BIGGER PRIZE Margaret Heffernan Persistent competition is frequently divisive, so we are more likely to achieve better outcomes by collaborating.
  22. 22. A BIGGER PRIZE Margaret Heffernan • We do much better when we work together. • Competition for fame, money, attention, status, and more doesn’t work very well. It regularly produces what we don’t want. • Many individuals and organisations are finding creative, cooperative ways to work together. Some call that soft, but it’s arguably harder • Examples of unproductive competition include: Sibling rivalry – children are 93% more naughty when a sibling is born Education – by making pupils chase grades rather than learning experience - product is prized over process Status – our sensitivity to power and rank is immediate, unconscious and persistent Sport – relentless competition stops you being who you are, and winning at all costs comes at a price Business – anything successful is now cloned, reducing originality
  23. 23. BEHAVIOURAL ECONOMICS
  24. 24. THINK LIKE A FREAK Levitt & Dubner Understand and decipher incentives and measure results accurately, and you are much more likely to solve problems.
  25. 25. THINK LIKE A FREAK Levitt & Dubner Thinking like a freak involves three relatively simple ideas: 1. Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. Understanding or deciphering them is the key to understanding a problem and how it might be solved. 2. Knowing what to measure and how to measure it can make a complicated world less so. 3. Conventional wisdom is often wrong. As a result, you should: Think like a child: saying “I don’t know” is very powerful and liberating. There’s no need to be embarrassed by how much you don’t know – often it leads to a better way. Think like a rock star: David Lee Roth’s famous backstage rider banning all brown M&Ms disguised something far more inspired. Van Halen’s show required major resources and detailed planning from the venues they played – if the promoters hadn’t read the detail on page 40 of the contract, then everything else needed checking too.
  26. 26. CREATIVITY
  27. 27. HEGARTY ON CREATIVITY John Hegarty To be an effective creative person you need constantly to absorb varied stimuli, reinterpret what you see, identify a simple emotional truth, and re-present it in a fresh way.
  28. 28. HEGARTY ON CREATIVITY John Hegarty • The blank page is the greatest challenge facing the creative person. Start small, with anything • An idea is ‘a thought or plan formed by mental effort’. • Originality is dependent upon the obscurity of your sources. There’s no such thing as pure originality. • We are all artists, but some of us shouldn’t exhibit. Modern technology allows us all to publish - it doesn’t mean we should. • Complexity destroys profitability. The power of reduction means taking a complex thought and reducing it down to a simple, powerful message. • What the heart knows today, the head will understand tomorrow. When it comes to creativity, instinctive feeling wins. • Ideas are often at their best when inspired by anger, or an unexpected juxtaposition, (zig when they zag) • Creative people are transmitters – absorbing diverse, random messages, and reinterpreting and them in new and fresh ways. • Creativity isn’t an occupation – it’s a preoccupation. • Remove your headphones - inspiration is all around us.
  29. 29. THE SPARK Greg Orme You can foster a more creative organization by adopting ten helpful habits.
  30. 30. THE SPARK Greg Orme • The 10 habits of successful creative leadership: 1. Start an electric conversation – passionate people provide the rocket fuel 2. Break the management rules – too many of them stifle innovation 3. Lead with creative choices – hear the weak signals and develop them 4. Become a talent impresario – fill your company with creative talent 5. Know why you do what you do – you need an inspiring sense of purpose 6. Connect through shared values – this philosophy binds everyone together 7. Build a business playground – a lively atmosphere at work yields more ideas 8. Balance focus with freedom – learn to deal with creative tensions 9. Demolish idea barriers – outward-facing collaborative cultures work best 10.Encourage collisions – create space where people bump into each other unexpectedly
  31. 31. ECONOMICS
  32. 32. MONEY BLOOD & REVOLUTION George Cooper Economic growth is generated by a circulatory flow of wealth through society – upward from the private sector and downward by the state.
  33. 33. MONEY BLOOD & REVOLUTION George Cooper • Economics is a broken science, believing in multiple, inconsistent things at the same time - a subject in crisis. • Meanwhile mathematical models are becoming more complex but their predictive ability is not improving. • There are 5 stages in a scientific crisis: 1. Discrepancies show – the prevailing paradigm begins to fail the empirical test. 2. Disagreements start – experts look for small ad-hoc fixes to their theories. 3. Revolution – a new paradigm emerges that resolves many of the problems of the field. 4. Rejection – backlash starts & the old guard say it’s rubbish. 5. Acceptance – younger, open-minded students adopt the new paradigm and become leaders in explaining it. • The economy is like a circulatory system (like blood flow). It helps to reconcile the role of the state (downward flow) and the private sector (upward).
  34. 34. PERSONAL APPROACH
  35. 35. FREE! Chris Barez-Brown Life and work are intrinsically linked, so if you want to live an extraordinary life, your work needs to resonate with a strong sense of purpose.
  36. 36. FREE! Chris Barez-Brown • The message of this book is Love your work, love your life. • Life and work are intrinsically linked, so if we want to live an extraordinary life, our work needs to be extraordinary. • And that means it needs to resonate with a strong sense of purpose. • Work is your slave, not the other way round. No one makes you work - the choice is yours. • Reflection time is crucial to build in to each working day. • There’s no such thing as bad people, just bad actions. • Be nice to people and it will be nicer for you. • You have to love yourself before you can love others. • Our self-worth should never be dictated to by other people’s opinions. • With a blank sheet how would you design your job? • We have on average 27,350 days on the planet, and 10,575 will be spent at work. • Vergaderziekte is Dutch for ‘meeting sickness’. Try to have fewer of them.
  37. 37. BUSINESS GENIUS James Bannerman Sharpen your skills and have an immediate effect on your business by making a series of small changes to your approach in a range of situations.
  38. 38. BUSINESS GENIUS James Bannerman • Sharpen your thinking three main areas: 1. Yourself: boost your focus, confidence, resilience and time management 2. Your business: drive, grow and hone your competitive advantage, innovation and collaboration 3. Your impact: develop your influence, creativity, negotiation and leadership skills • If you want someone to agree with you, work out what type of person they are and make the right case: • Results (orientated): don’t bore them with details. Make snappy points. • Emotions: show genuine interest in feelings. Give help & support. • Abracadabra: give it some magic. Make it interesting and sparky. • Data: make research, facts, & figures perfectly precise.
  39. 39. HOW TO USE • Be inquisitive • Make the time • Understand the lines of argument • Take a view • Inform your work • Enjoy the debate • Ask Kevin to speak or train
  40. 40. KEVIN DUNCAN More detail at: www.greatesthitsblog.com Ask Kevin to speak or train: 07979 808770 kevinduncanexpertadvice@gmail.com Twitter: @kevinduncan

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