All talk and no action

Once upon a time, the only thing that stood between complete happiness in a house full of mice was a big and mean old cat. So one night the mice got together and decided to do some brainstorming. They asked “How can we deal with the danger of the cat?” They voted on one brilliant idea that was proposed. They voted to hang a bell around the cat’s neck. Wherever the cat would go, the bell would warn them of danger if the cat got too close. Each of the mice…

The Seeds of leadership

Once upon a time, a successful business man was growing old and knew that the time to choose its successor to take over the business is coming near. But, instead of choosing one of his children or relatives, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company to meet him together. The day came and he started by saying, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.”  The young executives were…

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable, but a stick on its own…

A father had two sons that unfortunately weren’t very nice to each other. There was constant quarreling and bickering. No matter what this Father said to his sons, it didn’t do any good. As a result he thought long and hard about what he could say. He wanted to provide them some type of lesson that would help them realize the impact that their constant quarreling would ultimately have. One day the quarreling became more aggressive and even violent. The father broke it up and sent each son to a…

The Socrates filter

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance came to meet the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?” Socrates immediately stopped him saying “Hold on a minute”. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the Socrates Triple Filter Test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you…

BEYOND ADVERTISING: Creating value through all customer touchpoints by Yoram Wind & Catharine Findiesen Hays

Genres: Marketing & Sales, Customer Service, Advertising, Processes Rating: 2/5 Recommend to: Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales. Number of pages: 288 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: In Beyond Advertising you will get to read a lot about how marketing should work, and how marketers should think. The book offers an optimistic view of the possibilities that marketing and brands can offers us in a time when we are always connected and…

Be careful how you communicate

One night a married couple got into a fight. It was normal for the couple to boil in a war of silence for several days. And this night was no different, the couple had not spoken to each other for most of the night. Even as they were preparing for bed not a word was said. However the husband started getting concerned because he needed to be woken up at 5:00 AM the next morning so that he could catch an important flight. He was a heavy sleeper and relied on his…

Team building story: Balloon lessons

A team of 35 employees had come together for a team building event. They were a young, bright and enthusiastic team. However they had one big problem, they wouldn’t share information or solutions with each other. The leader felt they were too focused on self and not enough on team. So she started off with a fun team activity that would allow her to teach the importance of each team member working together and sharing more. She brought the team into the cafeteria. All of the tables and chairs had been stacked…

How to train a donkey

There was once a very frugal man who was always looking for ways to cut costs. One day he noticed that his hired hand was feeding the donkey more than he really needed. He called the hand and told him, “We’re wasting money feeding this animal more food than it needs. If we keep this up, the donkey will grow fat, it’s productivity will go down, and we’ll lose even more money! I’m going to take over the feeding of the donkey for a while and train it properly. I…

HOOKED: How to build habit-forming products by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover

Genres: Psychology, Business, Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Science, Design Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Product managers, Designers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales. Number of pages: 256 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: This book was on my to read list a long time and I was really looking forward to reading it. I highly recommend it to everyone who is just getting into neuromarketing, neuroscience or behavioral economics in general. Take you time reading it…

THINKING FAST AND SLOW by Daniel Kahneman

Genres: Decision Making, Psychology, Business, Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Science Rating: 4/5 Recommend to: Decision makers, leaders, top management, middle management, marketers, key account managers, coaches, PR, HR, people in sales. Number of pages: 499 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: Have you ever asked yourself how you make your decisions? The easy decisions about everyday stuff and then there are of course the life altering decisions for which there is no coming back from. So…

BRAND ATLAS: Branding intelligence made visible by Alina Wheeler and Joel Katz

Genres: Marketing, Branding, Design Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Product managers, Designers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Influencers. Number of pages: 144 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: Sometimes there are topics that you are really interested in but you just don’t know where to start. So much information, and so much to learn… For example you are interested in being an entrepreneur. So you want to build a business. In today’s world that means you are building at least one brand…

SOCIAL SELLING: Techniques to influence buyers and changemakers by Tim Hughes and Matt Reynolds

Genres: Marketing, Social media Rating: 2/5 Recommend to: People new to sales, marketing and using social media as a tool to boost brand awareness and sales. Number of pages: 196 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: The book covers an interesting and in this days important subject. So after checking some of the reviews online on Amazon and on Goodreads I was sure this is going to be a good book. But to be honest…

When you do not get an opportunity make one

A jobless man applied for the position of “office boy” at a very big company. The employer interviewed him, then gave him a test: to clean the floor. “You are hired.” the employer said. ”Give me your email address, and I’ll send you the application to fill, as well as when you will start.” The man replied, “I don’t have a computer, neither an email.” “I’m sorry,” said the employer, “if you don’t have an email , you cannot have the job.” The man left with no hope. He didn’t…

Someone got fired… but who?

This is a story about a small ant which every day arrived at work early and started working immediately. She produced a lot and she was happy. The boss, a lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without supervision. He thought if the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn’t she produce more if she had a supervisor! So the lion recruited a cockroach who had extensive experience as a supervisor and who was famous for writing excellent reports. The cockroach’s first decision was to set…

SELL WITH A STORY: How to capture attention, build trust, and close the sale by Paul Smith

Book about selling by Paul Smith
Genres: Business, Sales, Nonfiction Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: People in sales, marketing, HR, Project managers, Team leaders. Number of pages: 304 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de What kind of book would we read if we would get to read your life story? How many pages and how many chapters would the book have? How many twists and turns, disappointments, failures, successes, lessons and so on would we get to read about? Would you recommend your book/stories to other as a…

Life is like a cup of coffee

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers – top managers in their firms got together to visit their old university professor. It did not take too long for the conversation to turn into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.  When all the students had…

SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE: The New Science Of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman

Genres: Psychology, Social Science, Nonfiction Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales, Coaches, HR. Number of pages: 416 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: This book takes us on a journey on which we learn how we are currently affected by our past, by the people around us, and the thoughts we consciously keep going through in our mind. The foundation of our actions/reactions is our brain (the neurons, their…

INSANELY SIMPLE: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segall

Genres: Business, Design, Nonfiction Rating: 4/5 Recommend to: Product managers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs. Number of pages: 239 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: The book starts out slow and repetitive. Yes simplicity is the best thing ever, and yes we get it simplicity is hard to achieve, and yes we get it complexity is happy to creep into everything we do and that it is bad. And first I was a little bit of…

THE LEADERS WE NEED: And what makes us follow by Michael Maccoby

Genres: Leadership, Management, Business, Nonfiction Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: CEOs, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales, Coaches, HR, Project Managers, Team leaders. Number of pages: 249 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: In the book Maccoby talks a about how leaders should keep in mind that people have different personalities and values, and to take into account the differences in generations and technology. When we talk about leadership we have to keep in mind…

Sometimes you already have the solution for your problem, you just do not see it

During the early days of the Space Race, the USA and the Soviets were desperate to gain the critical edge that would see them first to land a spacecraft on the moon. Prestige, acclamation, and national honour depended upon it. The key, as it so often is, was the gathering of quality information. The technology had to be refined, and the effects of weightlessness and other non-terrestrial factors on the astronauts explored and understood. Naturally, the astronauts were in the front line of research. They were there, they were living…

PITCH ANYTHING: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

Genres: Sales, Entrepreneurship, Business, Presentations, Nonfiction Rating: 4/5 Recommend to: People in sales, Customer service, Entrepreneurs, Project managers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Coaches. Number of pages: 225 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: The book will give you valuable understanding of grabbing attention of anyone, which is one of the most important skills a person can have. A lot of successful entrepreneurs proved that you do not have to be the smartest person in the room to…

WHOEVER TELLS THE BEST STORY WINS: How to use your own stories to communicate with power and impact by Annette Simmons

Genres: Sales, Entrepreneurship, Business, Presentations, Nonfiction Rating: 4/5 Recommend to: People in sales, Customer service, Entrepreneurs, Project managers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Coaches. Number of pages: 226 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: At first I thought this book would be a treasure of stories that I could learn from and tell to others. Like the books Magic of Metaphors or Lead with a Story. But I found out that this book takes a different route of explaining…

Do you know where to tap?

At the end of the nineteenth century, a mill owner in the north of England was beside himself with worry. The steam boiler that provided light and power throughout his entire factory had broken down. Many experts had been to repair it but none had been successful. »Time is money,« he kept repeating to himself as he counted the costs of lost production. »Time is money.« At this point a man in blue overalls was shown into his office. »I can repair your system, Sir,« he said. The mill owner…

CONNECTED: How your friends’ friends’ friends’ affect everything you feel, think and do by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler

Genres: Psychology, Social science, Behavioral Sciences, Nonfiction Rating: 2/5 Recommend to: Marketers, Entrepreneurs, People in sales. Number of pages: 368 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: I picked up this book because the topic of connections, and how I am being influenced, and how I can influence others is something that I am very interested in. With that in mind, I have to say that this book was not that good. There are some…

The Reward of Study

An ambitious young man had travelled far from his family and native land to study in a distant and foreign country. For seven years he applied himself with discipline and diligence to learn the art and science of physiognomy, the skill of detecting personality and character in the faces of others. He qualified with honours and set off on the long journey back to his homeland. On his way he missed no opportunity to test his skills in reading the personality of others in their faces. Travelling across a wide…

JOIN THE CLUB: How peer pressure can transform the world by Tina Rosenberg

Genres: Social Science, Sociology, Psychology Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales, Coaches, Public figures. Number of pages: 432 pages Buy now at Book Depository Buy now at Amazon.co.uk Buy now at Amazon.com Buy now at Amazon.de THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK: Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. That is how much peer pressure defines us. Peer pressure is the power of influence you give to others over yourself based on your need of acceptance and acknowledgment of others. In every circumstance…

LEADERSHIP RULES: 50 timeless lessons for leaders by Jo Owen

Is leadership really something so simple that you only have to read a book or two about and learn a couple of rules and that’s it? Do you think reading a book about leadership will make you a great leader? Well reading about leadership certainly can’t hurt you, but reading about it, taking notes and then not implementing what you have learned into your daily life will not change anything for you. If we take a look at the past and present leaders we can see that most of them had…

BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY: How to make uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant by W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

In today’s business world, where you have to fight for every customer, what kind of strategy should you choose to get ahead of your competition? Is it lower prices, better quality of your product or service, is it better customer care, more ads…? Most companies unwillingly pick a strategy that causes their cost to rise, and results are minimal at best. But does it have to be this way? Well a lot of companies proved it doesnt’ have to be like that. Instead of fighting for a bigger share of your current…

LEADERSHIP BRAND: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value by Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood

Leadership Brand
What do you think, are leaders born or are they made? Born or bred? I believe it’s a combination of both, but the made part has the most influence. Like pointed out in the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell people develop their abilities and traits with practice… that is countless hours, days and months of training and hard work. Now when we talk about leaders and how they develop their leadership skills and which of their skills are most important from a companies point of view, we have to take a step back and look…

BRANDWASHED: Tricks Companies Use To Manipulate Our Minds And Persuade Us To Buy by MARTIN LINDSTROM

So many tricks are played on us (the consumers) by so many brands, companies and stores that it’s mind-blowing. On one hand the tricks companies, brands and stores use to sell to us make us feel good about what we buy, so they empower us. But on the other hand, did we really wanted to buy what we bought, or even more troublesome, did we really needed to buy what we bought? In the book you will read, that companies start targeting you even before you are born through the senses of…

MISSION: How the best in business break through by Michael Hayman & Nick Giles

Entrepreneurship has become something that is modern, something that is in, something that is cool. And why do people become entrepreneurs? Is it the money? Is it the freedom of being your own boss? Or is it the need and the want to solve a problem and share the solution with others, either by producing a new or better quality product, or by providing the best service possible? Which reason from the previous named is in your opinion the best reason? Think about it, which reason will motivate you through hard times,…

Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience can empower (and inspire) marketing by Douglas Van Praet

By using this or that brand we signal the world our beliefs, what we stand for, and who we want to be, or how do we want to be perceived as. Now some of you may not agree that the brand of drink you drink, or the clothes you wear, or what kind of phone or computer you have is because of the image you want to project to others. You simply have them because they are the best quality for that amount of money, or something like that. But, is…

The Branded Mind: What neuroscience really tells us about the puzzle of the brain and the brand by Erik du Plessis

The Branded Mind by Erik du Plessis
As a little kid growing up I never wondered why my favorite soft drink was Coca Cola (Coke). All I knew was that this drink was sweet, had bubbles and after drinking it, it made me go aaaaaaahhhhhhh, of course a burp here and there was also normal. And as I remember I was allowed to drink it only on special occasions, like birthdays, for holidays and when we were on vacation. It’s not that we couldn’t afford it, we could, it was just that for me as a little kid growing…

The Buying Brain: Secrets for selling to the subconscious mind by Dr. A. K. Pradeep

How much control do you have over your mind? A funny thing to ask isn’t it, but the issue is serious. Every day people and businesses invest a lot of money in researches to find out how they can influence people more subtle – you could even say secretly, and more effectively. They are doing the research because they want you to buy their products or services. So if they are gearing up,  coming “guns blazing”, why aren’t you doing everything in your power to protect yourself or in this…

The TAO of Warren Buffett by Marry Buffett and David Clark

Investing advice
What is the secret of Warren Buffetts success? That was on my mind when I saw this book. If by reading this book I get a chance to see just a little bit in how Warren is making his decision about investments and about running businesses then it is worth my time. And I guess you are wondering if the book is worth your time. Right? Well it depends on what you want from it. If you are looking for hidden knowledge or secrets that have not been revealed anywhere…