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…

A story about a thousand mirrors

There was a place in a remote village far, far away called “The Palace of 1,000 Mirrors.” A happy and energetic little puppy who lived in this village had heard of the palace and decided to pay a visit. When he arrived, he playfully bounced up the steep stairs to the open door of the house. He looked through the door with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging very fast.  He was surprised because through the door he found 1,000 other happy dogs just like him wagging their…

Do not waddle through life – the duck story

This is a story about a little town of Ducks. Every Sunday the ducks waddle out of their houses and waddle down Main Street to their church. They waddle into the sanctuary and squat in their proper pews. The duck choir waddles in and takes it place, then the duck minister comes forward and opens the duck Bible (Ducks, like all other creatures on earth, seem to have their own special version of the Scriptures.) And then the duck minister starts to read to them: “Ducks! God has given you wings!…

What does overcoming fear look like

Timmy and Jimmy both 9 years old loved playing the piano since they were very young. They both practiced hard and were getting better and better with each week passing. One day, their teacher had some exciting news. There was a concert coming up and they both had the opportunity to play in public for the first time. Timmy and Jimmy looked wide-eyed at each other with a mix of excitement and trepidation as they realized the opportunity they were presented with. “What would it be like?” they wondered. In the…

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…

MORE MAGIC OF METAPHOR: Stories for leaders, influencers and motivators by Nick Owen

Genres: Counseling, Philosophy, Educational Philosophy, Nonfiction Rating: 3/5 Recommend to: Product managers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Entrepreneurs, People in sales, Coaches, HR. Number of pages: 335 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 loved the first book Magic of Metaphor, so for me to pick up More Magic of Metaphor was simply a matter of time. The second book continues the narrative from the first – the learning process between an apprentice and his mentor (but…

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…

Be carefull when asking if it can get any worse

A poor man lived with his wife and six children in a very small one-room house. They were always getting in each other’s way and there was so little space they could hardly breathe! Finally the man could stand it no more. He talked to his wife and asked her what to do. “Go see the rabbi,” she told him, and after arguing a while, he went. And so the poor man told the rabbi how miserable things were at home with him, his wife, and the six children all eating and…

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…

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 seven wonders of the world most people forget about

Anna was a 9-year-old girl from a small village where she had just finished attending 4th grade of elementary school. To get into the 5th grade and onwards, she needed to get an admission into a school in a city nearby. When she got accepted to a very reputable school in a nearby city she was very exited and thrilled. This is where our story begins. Today was the first day of school for our little Anna, and she was very excited. When Anna came to her class everybody saw from her simple…

What would you do – The bus stop dilemma

TheBustStop choices
Picture yourself driving alone in your car on a wild, stormy night. After a hard and long day at work, you can see yourself parking your brand new sports car in the garage and relaxing at home doing nothing. But when you pass by a bus stop, you see three people waiting for the bus: An old lady who looks as if she is about to die. An old friend who once saved your life. The perfect person you have been dreaming about. So you decide to stop and give one of…

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…

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 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…

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…

Being on top

A merchant, a staunch pillar of society, wanted to protect his daughter from shame. When he realised she had become a ripe and succulent apple, ready for plucking, he took her aside one day and said, »My daughter, wicked and slippery are the ways of men in this world, and you must exercise the greatest care if you are not to bring disgrace on yourself and your family.« Now that he had his daughter’s attention, he continued, »Men are after only one thing, are exceedingly devious, and will stop at…

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…

Collecting pebbles

Some time ago in the middle of the desert three nomads were preparing to go to sleep. It was pitch black and getting cold. They had parked their camels, taken what they needed from the saddle bags, pitched their tents, and rolled out their sleeping mats. They were just about to settle down for the night when their attention was attracted to a curious glowing light on the horizon. As they watched, the light brightened. It gained intensity, it gleamed and glowed and glistened, galloping towards them, until it filled the…

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…

A King his adviser and two piglets

The King was watching a great magician perform his act. The crowd was enthralled and so was the King. At the end the audience roared with approval. And the King said: »What a gift this man has. A god-given talent.« But a wise counsellor said to the king, »my Lord, genius is made, not born. This magician’s skill is the result of discipline and practice. These talents have been learned and honed over time with determination and discipline.« The King was troubled by this message. The counsellor’s challenge had spoiled…

CHOICE by Renata Salecl

What was the hardest choice you have ever made in your life? Take your time and think about it. Or if you think about it, which choice you have made in the past affected your future the most, be it for the positive or for the negative? Why / on what basis did you make that choice? Was it a rational or emotional choice? Was it entirely your own choice or was it partially influenced by outside elements (friend, family, culture, surroundings)? Making a choice is your right, your privilege and…

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…

The greatest last place ever

Mexico City is a world away from the East African country of Tanzania, where John Stephen Akhwari lived. But that’s exactly where he found himself in October 1968, representing his country in the Summer Olympic Games as a marathon runner. Unfortunately, Akhwari suffered a fall during the race. And it wasn’t a gentle tumble on a grassy knoll. He fell hard on rough concrete, badly cutting his right leg and dislocating his knee. Medical personnel arrived quickly and bandaged his wounds. But the dislocated knee required more treatment than they…

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…

The Speed of Trust: The one thing that changes everything by Stephen M. R. Covey

Trust Covey
What is trust? Is it tangible, can you put a price on trust? Mr. Stephen M. R. Covey says trust has a big impact on cost, on price and the speed of how fast you can get things done. And I agree. You trust your friend, co-workers and family members (the ones you do), because you know them, they have proven they are responsible, they get things done if you ask them to, and they are accountable for their actions even if they make mistakes. On the other hand you have…