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…

Stress and worries are like a glass of water

A speaker was once explaining stress to an audience of around 300 people. He raised a big glass of water and asked the listening audience, “Does anyone know how heavy this glass is?” Answers varied from 100 to 500 grams. The speaker replied, “The absolute weight of this water really doesn’t matter all that much. What really matters is how long you try to hold it!” He continued, “If I am only holding it for a few minutes, the weight won’t be a problem. If I have to hold it for…

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…

How big of a splash you want to make is in your hands

One day a young apprentice and his mentor were on one of their regular walks going through the young apprentices teachings when they came across a pond. At the time, they were discussing the young apprentices wish to make a bigger impact with his work, when suddenly the mentor bent down and picked up a small pebble. He threw it into the water and they both watched the ripples spread. Watching the pebble hit the lake and the ripples spread the young apprentice said to his mentor, “I want to…

Common sense is often not so common

Once there were four Indian medicine men who were considered to be the most clever and knowledgeable across all the prairies and forests. They learned nearly everything about nearly anything and were often asked for advice and to find solutions for the most difficult problems.  One day, a young Indian boy asked which of the four was the wisest because of course there must be one more wise than the others. This caused much arguing and debating among the people. To find out once and for all, one of the…

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…

Lessons of a lost horse

One day a horse with no identifying marks wandered into a farmyard. The farmer’s young son said he’d take responsibility for returning the horse to its owner. The boy mounted the horse, urged it towards the road and let it choose its own direction. The boy actively intervened only when the horse stopped to graze or wandered off the lanes and into a field. Otherwise, he just sat on the horse. When the horse finally ambled into a farm several miles away, the owner of the horse said, “How did…

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…

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…

When your problems are tough to swallow like a handful of salt

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, he sent him to get a bag of salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. The young apprentice looked at the master as a lost puppy as he did not understand the purpose of it all. But still the apprentice did as the master said. “How does it taste?” the master asked. “Bitter” said the apprentice as he…

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…

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…

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…

The black and white pebble

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer’s debt if he could marry his daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a…

What does making a difference look like

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was 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…

How much is an hour of your time

A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door. »Daddy, may I ask you a question?« »Yeah, sure, what is it?« replied the man.  »Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?«»That«s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?« the man said angrily. »I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?« pleaded the little boy. »If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.«…

This is what happens when you master a skill set

A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move. “Sensei,”(Teacher in Japanese) the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?” “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied. Not…

Findings of a man who decided to change the world

Some time ago a young man wanted to change the world for the better. He dedicated his whole life to this mission and he was determined nothing would stop him. Finally almost at the end of his life his experiences and wisdom lead him to this discovery: “I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my…

You see a flaw, others see a gift

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water…

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…

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…

A story about how an Eagle became a Chicken

There was a chicken farmer who was a very keen rock climber. One day, climbing a particularly challenging rock face, he came upon a ledge. On te ledge was a large nest and in the nest, three large eggs. Eagle eggs. He knew it was distinctly unecological, and undoubtedly illegal, but temptation got the better of him and he discreetly put one of the eagle eggs in his rucksack, checking first to make sure the mother eagle wasn’t around. Then he continued his climb, drove back to his ranch, and…

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…

Caged birds freedom

The bird in the cage had lived there for a very long time. Often it would look through the bars of the cage, out of the window to the meadows and trees beyond. It could see other birds flying free in the open air and often it would wonder how it would be to feel the sun on its back, the wind in its feathers, to swoop and soar and snatch mosquitoes in flight. When the bird thought of these things it could feel its heart beating with excitement. It…