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…

5 lessons we can learn from a pencil

A long time ago a Pencil Maker was preparing to put an important pencil in a box. Before doing so though, he took the pencil aside. “There are 5 things you need to know before I send you out into the world” he told the pencil. “Never forget them, and you will become the best pencil you can be.” “One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.” “Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time…

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…

The special exception… or is it

A very rich man was nearing the end of his life and he began to contemplate the life to come. He was very troubled that he would soon lose everything he had worked so hard for. All his wealth would soon belong to others and he would enter into the next world poor. It didn’t seem fair to him so he prayed day and night that he would be allowed to take all that he had amassed with him when the day comes his journey on this world ends. One…

Always give it all you got – the carpenters last project

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his time with their extended family. He had it all planed out. Of course he would miss the paycheck, but they could get by and he felt like he needed to retire. The contractor was sorry to hear that one of his best workers wanted to retire but in the end he understood him. Before the carpenter would retire the contractor…

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…

To grow or not to grow

Two seeds lay in the field where the farmer had thrown them. As the autumn days passed, birds searching for worms, and the wintry wind, loosened the earth, which slowly began to cover them. Patiently, they waited as the nights grew longer and the days grew colder. They huddled together for warmth. Even below the surface of the earth they noticed the changes going on above them. They felt the quality of the rain change as the warm squally autumn winds from the west gave way to the winter winds from…

I haven’t had the time to do that, I was to busy working

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees. “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!” Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could…

From a misfortune to great fortune – what is really holding you back

A long time ago, a Monk set out on his travels accompanied by his assistant, a Brother. Night was falling when the Monk told the Brother to go on ahead to find lodging. The Brother searched the deserted landscape until he found a humble shack, in the middle of nowhere. A poor family lived in the hovel. The mother, father and children were dressed in rags. The Brother asked if he and the Monk could spend the night in their dwelling. “You are most welcome to spend the night,” said…

A life lesson about giving it everything you got

A father tells his 12-year-old son to go into the back yard and a remove a tree stump. The boy, eager to show his dad how he can master this manly task, runs out and begins pushing on the stump with all his might. After about twenty minutes of huffing and puffing, the stump hasn’t budged. The boy turns to realize his dad has been outside watching him this whole time. Embarrassed, he tells him, “I’m sorry Dad, I can’t do it.” His Dad just smiles and says, “Son, give…

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…

Making a choice between Heaven or Hell

An HR manager was knocked down (tragically) by a bus and was killed. Her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, where St.Peter welcomed her. “Before you get settled in” he said, “We have a little problem…you see, we’ve never had a HR manager make it this far before and we’re not really sure what to do with you.” “Oh, I see,” said the woman, “can’t you just let me in?” “Well, I’d like to,” said St Peter, “But I have higher orders. We’re instructed to let you have a day…

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…

How not to carry work related problems home

A contractor that was just hired had a rough first day on the job. When going to work that day, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, then his electric saw broke down in the middle of his work, and to top it all, his old pick-up truck refused to start after a long day. Luckly his boss was there and he offered the contractor a ride home. While his boss drove him home the contractor sat in total silence. As the two arrived at the contractors home, the…

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…

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…

What Are You?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in…

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…

What would you wish for?

One day a sales rep, and administration clerk, and their manager were walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish.” “Me first! Me first!” says the admin clerk. The  other two look at each other and nod. The clerk says “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat without a care in the world.” Puff! She’s gone. “Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep looking at the…

The Fisherman’s Life

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish. The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.” “Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished. “This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said. The businessman then asked, “So,…

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…

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…

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…

The Value Of Time

A businessman had amassed a fortune that amounted to three million dollars. He decided that he would take a year off from work and live in the kind of luxury that his wealth allowed him. But no sooner had he made this decision than the Angel of Death beckoned him. The man, who was a skillful negotiator, tried every argument he could think of to dissuade the Angel and to buy himself more time. But the Angel of Death was adamant; the man’s time had come. In final desperation, the…

Today is the day the giant comes

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a very bright and trustworthy young woman. Having learned all she could in her own village, she set out to explore the neighboring lands. After some time, she came upon a great city surrounded by a huge castle wall. »Surely I can learn something new from the people here,« she thought to herself. But after entering the city, she found its people too frightened and depressed to share any wisdom. »Why is everyone here so sad?« she asked. One…

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…

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,…