The Geography of Genius Summary

The Geography of Genius Summary

A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places From Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

Are you ready to travel around the world in… well, 400 pages and few days? No? What about in thousand words and merely ten minutes?

Sounds better, we know.

So, without a further ado, the summary of “The Geography of Genius.”

Who Should Read “The Geography of Genius”? And Why?

“The Geography of Genius” is a weird kind of a personal travelogue.

Why?

Because its mission is to answer a strange question. Namely, why do geniuses cluster around specific places at specific moments in history?

However, people who have read Eric Weiner’s previous book, “The Geography of Bliss” – his attempt to discover the world’s happiest places – rather than surprised, will be in rubbing-hands mood.

“The Geography of Genius” is unpretentious and funny, interesting and charming. So, additionally it should be a treat for anyone interested in the interrelation of history and geography.

Or, geniuses, for that matter.

About Eric Weiner

Eric WeinerEric Weiner is a respected journalist and bestselling writer. A former longtime correspondent for the NPR, he has authored three part-memoirs part-travelogues whose overarching mission is a personal quest for answers to some fairly difficult questions.

The Geography of Bliss” tackles an interesting problem: which is the happiest country in the world and why. “Man Seeks God” explores different aspects of many world religions. Finally, “The Geography of Genius,” uncovers how and why is genius related to geography.

“The Geography of Genius Summary”

Our thousands-of-years long and thousands-of-kilometers wide story begins with Keith Simonton, a professor of psychology at the University of California.

One of the topics which interest him the most: geniuses. And one of the concepts he has worked on the longest: genius clusters.

In the past, most people believed that genius is hereditary. Great men beget great man, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Nowadays, however, people tend to talk about collaboration. Or, even more, about how there’s nothing great in the great men of history, since they were mere products of some circumstances, and any genius could have been the next person.

Genius clusters are some middle ground. It seems that, as a rule, a genius appears not only at the same time with another genius, but also at the same place.

Sometimes, a place goes into genius-overload mode.

That’s a genius cluster.

And after talking to Keith Simonton, Eric Weiner decides to visit few such genius clusters and explore their history. His main goal: to uncover why they had become genius clusters.

And where should one start exploring genius clusters if not in Athens?

The place where Western civilization was born. The birthplace of Socrates and Plato as well. And the place where Aristotle moved in his teenage years. Why?

Well, because Plato’s Academy was there. And the Magnetic Theory of Genius may not be an exact science, but it is a fairly intuitive one for that matter: geniuses go where other geniuses are. Because, how would a misfit find his place if he doesn’t find other misfits?

Athens had another advantage: it was located where the trading routes between Phoenicia, Egypt and Babylonia crossed. So, it got the best of all worlds.

Millennium and a half later, while under the Song dynasty, Chinese Hangzhou became a cultural center.

Its comparative advantage?

Emperor-poets.

Plato believed that cities would prosper under enlightened rulers. Had he lived in the 12th century AD, he would have used Hangzhou as an example.

He wouldn’t have been so bowled over by the next city on our list: Florence.

Not because of a lack of genius, though. But, because Florence proved to the world that while geniuses may magnetically attract other geniuses, they are, in turn, as magnetically attracted by money.

A banking family, the Medicis had an abundance of it and didn’t save a penny when it came to science and art. Why would they? If they paid for a church, the Pope (in time, a Medici member himself) would grant them a safe trip to heaven.

The memorable artworks dedicated to them was a little extra on the side.

Just a few centuries later, an unlikely place, Scotland’s Edinburgh, became the genius’ center of the world. Robert Burns, Adam Smith, David Hume, Dugald Stewart, James Young Simpson – you name a great man of the period and the Scots got him.

They also got two other things which worked towards the blossoming of the Scottish Enlightenment. One was a practical mindset embodied in the motto: “Surely, there must be a better way…” And the other was thinkers’ gatherings.

Because, that’s how ideas spread. After all, about this time, just few hundred kilometers to the south, the French Revolution started in their coffeehouses.

And back in Asia, Calcutta started experiencing what Florence did in the 15th century: the Bengali renaissance. Interestingly enough, it had something to do with both Scotland and thinkers’ gettogethers.

How so?

Well, it was a Scottish philanthropist, David Hare, who established the School Book Society which started printed books in both Bengali and English. And these books were later discussed at intellectual Q&A forums, called addas.

OK, not so much “&A”: the addas were all about the questions. Not the goal, but the search for meaning.

 

No list of genius clusters would be fulfilled if there’s no Vienna in it. In Weiner’s list, it’s present twice. Once because of its musical heritage (Mozart, Beethoven, Mozart) and the second time because of the revolution that was psychoanalysis (Freud, Mahler, Klimt, Mach).

In each case, Vienna serves as evidence for one of the oldest theories on geniuses. Interestingly enough, quite often, these people don’t become geniuses in their birthplaces. And where they do become exceptional – they are immigrants, questioned by everybody but themselves.

Last but not least, the Silicon Valley.

It’s certainly the place to be at the moment if you are member of the creative class.

And, that, in itself, explains how its genius cluster was formed.

After all, Elon Musk didn’t want to go anywhere else.

Key Lessons from “The Geography of Genius”

1.      Geniuses Cluster Around Specific Places
2.      Genius Is Not Born in Isolation
3.      It’s Not Nature vs. Nurture: It’s Both

Geniuses Cluster Around Specific Places

Whether it’s Athena of 5th century BC, Vienna at the turn of the century or nowadays, the Silicon Valley, some places seem to have a magnetic grip on geniuses. So, they cluster around them.

It’s not exactly an easy thing to tell always whether it’s because of the geographical environment or because of the people, but, it seems that once the genius count of a certain place reaches a tipping point, an enlightenment flourishes.

Genius Is Not Born in Isolation

OK, some are. But, they are the exception which proves the rule.

And the rule is this. Wherever there’s a genius cluster, there’s also an abundance of profound and meaningful discussion. ( (Or even not so meaningful if you’re in Calcutta.)

In Athens – they had the agora, and in Florence – the bottegas. In India, they have the addas, and in Paris and Vienna – the coffeehouses.

And, today, in Silicon Valley they have… well, the internet.

Genius clusters are going to be all virtual in the future!

It’s Not Nature vs. Nurture: It’s Both

The general wisdom is that geniuses are either born or made.

Eric Weiner’s trip around the world concludes: it’s both. Geniuses are created at the intersections of people and places. Because, creativity itself, is nothing but a relationship.

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“The Geography of Genius” Quotes

Rather than asking “What is creativity?” a better question is “Where is creativity?” Click To Tweet Culture is the enormous yet invisible ocean in which we swim. Or, to put it in modern, digital terms, culture is a shared IT network. Click To Tweet Geniuses do not pop up randomly—one in Siberia, another in Bolivia—but in groupings. Genius clusters. Click To Tweet Creativity is a relationship, one that unfolds at the intersection of person and place. Click To Tweet Genius, like charity, begins at home. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Both a memoir and a personal odyssey, “The Geography of Genius” is, as its author claims himself, “a colossal fools’ experiment.” But, the world needs these kinds of experiments, exactly because the world is shaped by people who do crazy things.

True, other than suggesting the application of the book’s finds in your home, “The Geography of Genius” doesn’t reach some final conclusion. But, just like a Bengali adda, it doesn’t need to. The trip is what matters.

And with such a witty and funny guide as Eric Weiner, it can be nothing short o unforgettable.

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The One Minute Manager Summary

The One Minute Manager Summary

The Quickest Way to Increase Your Own Prosperity

Quick:

In how many ways can you improve your life during the next 60 seconds?

Quite a few, it seems. (And you’ll still have one second left.)

Ready to learn a few more?

The One Minute Manager” is here just for you. Its title is no exaggeration: it aims to make you a better manager by taking just a minute of your time. (Or, better yet, three or four one-minute series).

Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson are considerate towards your schedule in one more manner. The book is fairly short, and even reading it from start to finish won’t take too much of your time.

But, as always, we can do one better.

Because we have the summary.

Who Should Read “The One Minute Manager”? And Why?

The One Minute Manager” has been lauded by so many people that not few have deemed it a classic. One of the essential books on managements. Management 101.

So, to quote American television host and media mogul Merv Griffin, – “don’t miss it.” If you’re a manager, that is. Because to everyone else, the book may seem like not much more than a very bad novel.

About Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Kenneth BlanchardKenneth Blanchard, Ph.D., is an American trainer, writer and management and leadership expert. After receiving an MA in sociology and counseling from the Colgate University in 1963, he obtained his Ph.D. in leadership from Cornell four years later.

He has – usually, co-authored – more than 60 books, many of which have become bestsellers. He is currently the Chief Spiritual Officer of the Ken Blanchard Companies.

Spencer JohnsonSpencer Johnson, MA, was an American physician and writer, primarily known for the 43-volume ValueTales series of biographical children’s books, of which he wrote almost half.

He also authored the highly influential business fable, “Who Moved My Cheese?” which has sold almost 30 million copies worldwide and is translated in no less than 40 languages.

“The One Minute Manager Summary”

The One Minute Manager” takes the form of a fable.

It tells the story of a bright young man who is looking for an effective manager.

He meets a manager after manager and he’s disappointed by all. Some are too autocratic, favoring results over people. Others are just too democratic and nice, preferring their employees over the results.

Is there not some middle ground, he wonders?

Of course, there is. And he finds it in the eponymous “One Minute Manager”.

The one-minute manager teaches the bright young man that people and results are not separated concepts. And that only people who feel good about themselves can and will produce good results.

But, how should a manager make his employees feel good about themselves and their job? In other words, how can he utilize their full potential while not using them?

Quite simply, in fact. Just by applying three one-minute methods.

First and foremost, the one-minute goal setting. Its basic idea is that 20% of your goals produce about 80% of your results. Listing them all may confuse your employees about their priorities. Listing only few at a maximum one page will be enough.

So, select just three to six goals and communicate them to your employees. Explain to them politely and nicely that you will expect some results and that you’ll hold them accountable in their absence.

And wait for the magic to happen.

Next, comes the one-minute praising. If someone does his job good, he needs to feel deep inside that he has accomplished something. After all, if he’s held accountable for not meeting the expected goals, why shouldn’t he receive something in return for meeting them.

So, praise the employees who do a good job. The rookies love the feedbacks. And they will do an even better job next time around.

Now, don’t be fooled! Not everyone will take you seriously the first time.

And that leads us to the third and final one-minute method: the one-minute reprimand.

Don’t overreact when someone does something bad. Just like you shouldn’t exaggerate in your praises when he does something good. Give him or her the chance to correct himself. But, be fair and tell him where and how he should do this.

So, quickly but precisely tell the worker who hasn’t met his goals what he has done wrongly. And don’t let him feel as if you’re not valuing him.

Results will come a plenty. And it will only take you three minutes of your day.

Key Lessons from “The One Minute Manager”

1.      Three Minutes (and Techniques) to Greatness
2.      Stop your “NIHYSOB” behavior
3.      Conditioning Your Employees’ Behavior

Three Minutes (and Techniques) to Greatness

The mythical “One Minute Manager” from Blanchard’s and Johnson’s story is actually a three-minute manager. But, never mind: their point remains the same.

In a nutshell, it’s based around the idea that in a fast-paced society, you’ll have to make time stop at least three times during each day.

Once, for a minute, to set the most important three goals for your employees. Second time, to praise the ones who’ll meet them in no more than 60 seconds. And a final, third time, to reprimand those who won’t. Quickly, precisely, and politely.

Stop your “NIHYSOB” behavior

Most managers think that their job is to catch their employees doing something bad. Blanchard and Johnson call this style of managing the NIHYSOB behavior. NIHYSOB is an acronym for “Now, I have you…” – well, you know what the SOB stands for.

And that is not what your employees are.

So, in the future, try to catch them doing something good. And praise them. Feedbacks go a long way. Just as compliments.

Conditioning Your Employees’ Behavior

Even though Blanchard and Johnson claim that your employes are not SOBs, basically, the one-minute manager still feels like kind of a modernized version of Ivan Pavlov. Remember him? He thought dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell.

Blanchard and Johnson believe that this will work for your employees too. If done correctly. And gently. Maybe it will, who knows! After all, we are animals.

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“The One Minute Manager” Quotes

The One Minute Manager’s symbol is intended to remind each of us to take a minute out of our day to look into the faces of the people we manage. And to realize that they are our most important resources. Click To Tweet Everyone is a potential winner. Some people are disguised as losers. Don’t let their appearances fool you. Click To Tweet Take a minute! Look at your goals! Look at your performance! See if your behavior matches your goals. Click To Tweet We are not just our behavior; we are the person managing our behavior. Click To Tweet Goals begin behaviors; consequences maintain behaviors. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The One Minute Manager” was a sleeper hit in the 1980s. Amounting to no more than 100 pages, and going over just few practical advices, the book sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. We guess the people loved the allegorical approach and the straightforward writing, giving them an opportunity to read the whole book in the space of an hour, remembering almost all of it.

Now, who wouldn’t want that?

However, at least in the eyes of the more serious readers, the book hasn’t aged that well. Soon after becoming a bestseller, it was exposed by “The Wall Street Journal” as a heavily plagiarized version of an article by Arthur Elliott Carlisle, an University professor.

And if that wasn’t enough, in the meantime, managers started complaining that its tactics don’t really work in any other environment but the optimal. Simply put, the distraction-full fast-paced 21st century wasn’t going to allow managers to structure it in a minute or so.

So, reading “The One Minute Manager” nowadays is nothing more but a case of nostalgia. Peering into history to learn nothing about how to make your future better. And Blanchard and Johnson would be the first to agree: in 2015, they wrote “The New One Minute Manager.”

They knew the book needed an update.

But, that’s a topic for another summary.

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things Summary

The Hard Thing About Hard Things SummaryBuilding a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Building a business from scratch is not an easy thing to do. Keeping it in an unstable and rapidly changing market is even harder.

In our summary of “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” we will present you a brief overview of Loudcloud’s story, and along with it, we will list the qualities you have to possess, and how you should act in times of crisis.

So, let’s begin.

Who Should Read “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”? and Why?

Author of “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” Ben Horowitz is the person who “sailed” the Loudcloud ship through turbulent business waters, before selling it to Hewlett-Packard for $1.65 billion.

In his book, he presents his ideas that not a thing exists in this world that can promise entrepreneurial success.

We recommend this part-autobiography, part guidebook book to everyone who is setting off to build a company or is going through a business struggle.

It may be just the thing you need to persist through the rough times.

About Ben Horowitz

Ben HorowitzBen Horowitz is a general partner and co-founder of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

“The Hard Thing About Hard Things Summary”

If you have a start-up, you know it, if you want to have a start-up, you should know it: each start-up faces the struggle.

It is something you cannot avoid.

Unplanned things will happen. You will realize your product has flaws that are expensive to fix. Your finances will run low, and your investors may bail. Customers may leave you. Valuable employees may leave you too.

No exact formula can save you from those unplanned bumps on the road. Moreover, when you do encounter problems, no recipe will tell you how to fix them with certainty.

We have to be honest here; your company may not even make it.

However, what separates entrepreneurs who make it from those who fail is one essential trait. Winners do not quit.

There’s no way around the Struggle and no formula for fixing your problems. Your company might not make it. Entrepreneurs who make it share one characteristic: They do not quit.

If you are in a crisis, you will most probably need to cut your staff. Make sure that when you lay off, you do it the right way. Do not let the word out that you are planning on letting people go – this may cause you many more problems. Instead, fire people as soon as you decide to do so.

Additionally, make the managers deliver the bad news to their employees. Do not outsource the task. Keep being human, and explain to people that it is not their fault that they lost their jobs.

Keep taking care of people.

When Netscape veterans Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen founded their cloud services provider Loudcloud, they soon hit a bumpy road.

Seven months after they launched it in 1999 they had booked $10 million in contracts. They were hiring up to thirty employees a month – they did it so fast that workers had to sit in the hallways.

However, the dot-com crash followed. Start-ups were collapsing all over the place, and Loudcloud’s investors started backing out.

Facing such an issue in the private market, the board of Loudcloud decided to take the company public. It was indeed a risky move, and although the company raised money out of the IPO, nobody was celebrating.

The dot.com crisis grew even deeper, and Loudcloud had to layoff 15% of its employees.

Following the layoff, its stock prices fell.

However, as Horowitz built his software company, he never stopped acting. Instead, he responded to each issue he faced with bold moves. In the end, he decided to sell the company, and it was heartbreaking, but now he considers it to be one of the best business moves of his career.

“We’d built something from nothing, saw it go back to nothing again and then rebuilt it into a $1.65 billion franchise.”

You can read more on Horowitz’s journey in “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”.

And now, we move on to the key lessons that we picked out from his story.

Key Lessons from “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”

1.      Getting Through the Hard Times
2.      Running Your Growing Company
3.      What Makes a Leader?

Getting Through the Hard Times

  • “Don’t put it all on your shoulders.”

Remember that you do not have to bear everything alone. Two brains are better than one. More than two is even better.

  • Remember “there is always a move.”

Whenever you think you are out of moves, think harder. You are never out of options and always have a move to make.

  • “Play long enough, and you might get lucky.”

The world changes quite rapidly. Tomorrow may be the day you will find the answer to your problem, so hang on there and survive to see another day.

  • “Tell it like it is

Do not hide all of your issues from your workers. Instead, be open about your firm’s problems and let those who can help – help you.

Running Your Growing Company

If you succeed to grow your organization to a point when you reach 1000 employees, be prepared that it will be a completely different organization than it was in the beginning.

There are some new challenges you will have to cope with:

  • Minimizing company politic
  • Hiring employees with the “right kind of ambition.”
  • Promoting a strong culture

What Makes a Leader?

A leader’s character and behavior have to be a combination of the characteristics below:

  • “The ability to articulate the vision.”
  • “The right kind of ambition.”
  • “The ability to achieve the vision.”

Bear in mind that each quality enhances the others, so make sure you work on all of them, even though you may feel you are stronger in some of them.

To know where you stand as a CEO (if you are one), or how well your company’s CEO performance is, you can ask yourself three questions.

  • “Does the CEO know what to do?”
  • “Can the CEO get the company to do what she knows?”
  • “Did the CEO achieve the results against an appropriate set of objectives?”

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“The Hard Thing About Hard Things” Quotes

Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. They are hard because you don’t know the answer and you cannot ask for help without showing weakness. Click To Tweet There are no shortcuts to knowledge, especially knowledge gained from personal experience. Click To Tweet The most important thing I learned as an entrepreneur was to focus on what I needed to get right and stop worrying about all the things that I did wrong or might do wrong. Click To Tweet The first thing that any successful CEO must do is get really great people to work for her. Click To Tweet Even with all the advice and hindsight in the world, hard things will continue to be hard things. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

By writing “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” Horowitz shows that he is not only a successful business person but a first-rate storyteller as well. He teaches readers using a refreshing approach and allusions from real-life famous people such as Jay Z, Dr. Seuss, or Clint Eastwood.

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The Innovators Summary

The Innovators Summary

How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

You’re reading this on your or on your mobile phone, while listening to music or watching TV.

But, have you ever asked yourself how it all came to be? And why your grandparents didn’t have the pleasure of doing any of these things when they were your age?

Whether you know them or not, the people Walter Isaacson writes about in “The Innovators” created the world of your today.

And it’s time you learn at least a name or two.

Who Should Read “The Innovators”? And Why?

The Innovators” is a book about technology written for the general public. This means that it presents complex ideas in a manner comprehensible even to someone only marginally familiar with the relevant concepts.

So, the more you know about computers and the internet, the less you might enjoy the book. Read it for the great story it tells if you are such a person. Read it because you should know the people the book talks about if you are an IT novice.

About Walter Isaacson

Walter IsaacsonWalter Isaacson is an American journalist and author. He is a Professor of History at Tulane University, and a CEO of the Aspen Institute. In the past, he has also been the Chairman of CNN and the Managing Editor of “Time” magazine.

An exquisite storyteller, Isaacson has written few acclaimed biographies. The most notable among them are “Steve Jobs,” “Einstein,” and “Leonardo da Vinci.”

“The Innovators Summary”

In 1841, Scottish writer and philosopher Thomas Carlyle wrote that “the history of the world is but the biography of great men.” When Walter Isaacson wrote “Steve Jobs” few years back, he must have believed Carlyle.

Twenty years after Carlyle, the English polymath Herbert Spencer suggested otherwise. According to him, history is a collaboration. And all great men exist because of other great – and even not so great – men.

And that’s the starting point of “The Innovators.”

It’s a book that is quite difficult to summarize. It covers almost two centuries of history and talks about at least twenty different giants of innovation. The innovators are grouped around ten different innovations, and framed by two chapters dedicated to a forgotten pioneer.

Ada, the Countess of Lovelace.

The innovations discussed are, in sequence of almost standalone chapters, the computer, programming, the transistor, the microchip, video games, the internet, the personal computer, software, online, and the web.

The innovators are almost everybody who matters in the digital world, from Charles Babbage and Alan Turing, through John von Neumann and J. C. R. Licklider, to Steve Jobs and Wikipedia’s Jimbo Wales.

It’s really an amazing tour de force of historical research and technological savvy. of which only few writers are capable nowadays.

Isaacson’s greatest achievement in “The Innovators”, however, is something else. It’s his ability to connect seemingly unrelated episodes of history to show that the presence is deeply rooted in the past. In other words, Wikipedia didn’t start with Jimbo Wales or Tim Berners-Lee, but with Ada Lovelace and the Analytical Engine.

Don’t believe us?

Here’s just one of the many similar threads.

Microsoft Windows dominates the PC market. But, some of its best parts were inspired by Apple’s innovations. And it all began when IBM commissioned Microsoft to develop an operating system for their PCs in 1980s.

And here’s where it gets interesting!

You see, IBM wasn’t always called IBM. It was originally founded more than a century ago as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Which in turn, was what the Hollerith Electric Tabulating System evolved into.

Wondering what was there before it?

A US Census Bureau worker named Herman Hollerith. He believed that he could automatize the process of collecting and categorizing census data with punch cards.

Was that the first prototype for the modern computer?

Not by a long shot.

Enter the Analytical Engine imagined by Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace. Who, by the way, was the only legitimate daughter of England’s first superstar poet, George Gordon Byron. Who…

But, wait… that’s a completely different story.

Key Lessons from “The Innovators”

1.      Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
2.      The Power of Collaborations
3.      The Next Phase

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

If “The Innovators” can teach you one thing, it’s certainly this: starting from scratch is not an option. Not because you can’t – but because you shouldn’t.

No matter which discipline you’re interested in, somebody before you has already given you a head start. And when we say “head” – we do mean head.

Just think of that beautiful metaphor by Isaac Newton. If I have seen something more, he said, it was because I was a dwarf standing on the shoulder of giants.

Just as you can – because of these inventors.

The Power of Collaborations

They don’t say “two heads are better than one” for nothing. And “The Innovators” proves this over and over again.

Google needed both Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Apple wouldn’t have been Apple if there was only Steve Jobs – it needed a Steve Wozniak too. And as important as Bill Gates is, Microsoft’s “idea man” was actually Paul Allen.

The Next Phase

You can get a glimpse of the future if you got through enough volumes of history. And Walter Isaacson has done his fair share of historical research.

His opinion?

The next phase will mean the end of pouring old wines (books, songs, movies) into new digital bottles (eBooks, streaming services). It will be something different and totally unexpected.

Brace yourself.

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“The Innovators” Quotes

The computer and the Internet are among the most important inventions of our era, but few people know who created them. Click To Tweet Most of the innovations of the digital age were done collaboratively. Click To Tweet The Internet was originally built to facilitate collaboration. By contrast, personal computers, especially those meant to be used at home, were devised as tools for individual creativity. Click To Tweet The truest creativity of the digital age came from those who were able to connect the arts and sciences. Click To Tweet New platforms, services, and social networks are increasingly enabling fresh opportunities for individual imagination and collaborative creativity. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Innovators” is a product of labor and love. So, much like the innovations it analyes. You know, those things you love so much because they facilitate your labor: the computer and the internet. The book is an epic account of their history, which is at times fascinating and eye-opening, and at times thrilling and moving. Not to mention, indispensable – at all times.

However, if you are not a fan of history, “The Innovators” is not for you. It is almost 600 pages long and abounds with names, biographies and connections which may tire you. In addition, if you want a more thorough approach, then you are surely not going to like Isaacson’s motto that getting into more details is the same as ruining a good story.

Now, it doesn’t matter if Isaacson’s right or not. The story he tells here, even if not flawless and exhaustive, is certainly a great one.

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Shoe Dog Summary

Shoe Dog Summary

A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

If you’ve set your mind on becoming an entrepreneur, Phil Hampson Knight is a name you should probably know by now. After all, in terms of net worth, he’s not that far from Zuckerberg, or Brin and Page! In fact, he’s the 28th richest person in the world!

And if that’s not enough, there’s a big chance that you’ll wear his snickers later tonight.

Of course, we’re talking about Nike’s co-founder.

In his own words.

Summarized, to be fair.

Who Should Read “Shoe Dog”? And Why?

As its subtitle so succinctly states, “Shoe Dog” is a memoir written by the creator of “Nike” himself. And if that’s not an advertisement enough, the book is also a “New York Times” bestseller.

All in all, a must-read for anyone who is interested to master the world of business, or to read another old-fashioned rags to riches story. (Or, if you allow, a quite modern “from $50 to $29.1B tale.”)

Two things to be wary of, though. First of all, the book is not exactly a book brimming with practical advices. And secondly, it’s much more personal than you would expect, mainly dealing with the early part of Phil Knight’s career.

But, ultimately, whether you’re launching a business or daydreaming about it, there’s something for everyone in here.

About Phil Knight

Phil KnightPhil Knight is the co-founder of Nike, Inc., the world’s largest athletic shoes supplier.

He acted as the company’s CEO for four decades between 1964 and 2004, serving as board chairman until 2016. He is the current Chairman Emeritus of Nike, and an owner of the stop-motion animation studio, Laika.

In addition, he’s Oregon’s most generous philanthropist in history, donating over $2 billion for his hometown.

Shoe Dog” – translated often as “The Mark of Victory” and available in a Young Readers edition as well – is his first and, so far, only book.

“Shoe Dog Summary”

This is a book of memories.

And, as it usually happens with them due to our faltering memory, they are not exactly structured or consequential. Writing them on paper does help, but Knight doesn’t make it easy for his readers, expecting them to know everything he does at all times.

Even more: supposing they’ll be able to remember all of the names and their noteworthiness when they appear 50 or so pages later.

But, a summary is a summary for a reason. So, let’s extract only the main parts of Phil Knight’s 1962-1980 biography. More or less, that makes his memoir a story of one name, two companies, and three people.

It’s 1962 and Phil Knight is on an after-graduation around-the-world trip. In November 1962, he visits the Onitsuka Company in Kobe, Japan. Fascinated by the quality of their shoes and, moreover, their affordability, he arranges a meeting with Onitsuka’s executives.

He tells them that he’s a representative of Blue Ribbon Sports and that he’s interested in buying the exclusive rights for distribution of Onitsuka’s Tiger shoes in western US.

But, what he doesn’t tell them is the more interesting part and the stuff entrepreneur’s dreams are made of.

You see, Blue Ribbon Sports is not exactly a company. It’s a business operated by Knight in his parents’ house. And he’s not exactly a representative: he is, basically, the company. Many years before “Pre-Suasion,” Knight pulls a trick out of Robert Cialdini’s books on influence. And he does a heck of a good job!

The first two pairs of Onitsuka Tiger shoes are mailed by Knight to Bill Bowerman in an attempt to get an endorsement. He is the second most important person in our story, a legendary track and field coach at the University of Oregon and trainer of more than 50 Olympians.

He is, also, the co-founder of Nike, Inc.

Because, once he receives the shoe samples Bowerman doesn’t merely want to endorse them – he wants to take a part in selling them!

Soon, business is blooming and Onitsuka Tiger stops looking at Blue Ribbon Sports as an ally, but as a competitor. Cue the long legal struggles, and Knight’s and Bowerman’s attempt at Plan B: if they can’t distribute high-quality low-cost athletic shoes, why shouldn’t they create them themselves?

Fortunately, Plan B turns out to be even better plan than Plan A. And it is all due to Knight’s entrepreneurship skills, and Bowerman’s innovator’s brain. Have you ever heard of the “Waffle Sole”? Well, Bowerman invented it.

And that’s how “Nike” was born.

Oh… we’re running ahead of ourselves.

That’s how a pair of great nameless shoes was designed. But, in order to be registered at the U.S. Patent Office, it had to have a name. It came into a dream of the first Blue Ribbon employee, Jeff Johnson, a day before the paperwork was filed.

Nike.

And it sure trumped what Knight and Bowerman had come up with: Falconbengaldimensionsix. (OK, that’s few names jumbled into one, but you know how it is few hours before a deadline…)

And that’s where the third person enters the story: Steve Prefontaine. A runner and a superstar. The second athlete to endorse Nike – after Romanian tennis great Ilia Năstase – and the first American to do so.

His story is remarkable in itself and we strongly advise you to read it. In the context of Nike, Prefontaine will always be remembered as the man who paved the way for, say, the Air Jordans.

And the man who started a long list of Nike sponsorships.

You know, the thing that led to you buying that now coveted pair of Nikes.

Key Lessons from “Shoe Dog”

1.      “Ask, and It Shall Be Given You; Seek, and Ye Shall Find”
2.      Be as Zen as You Can Be…
3.      …And Never Quit

“Ask, and It Shall Be Given You; Seek, and Ye Shall Find”

Sure, the verse comes straight from the “New Testament,” but it’s also a sentence in any entrepreneur’s book! And Knight is no exception.

When he saw an opportunity with the Onitsuka Tiger shoes, he didn’t want to wait. He went there fearless, as a representative of a one-man company. It didn’t matter that Onitsuka was one of the oldest Japanese shoes factories.

It mattered that Knight wanted to create a future sports giant.

And he did.

Be as Zen as You Can Be…

When it comes to Knight’s personal philosophy, he’s an ardent believer in the power of Zen Buddhism. He has used it to overcome many obstacles and achieve his career goals. He firmly believes that his ego is his enemy, and he has often tried to do away with it in order to make better decision.

Knight claims that these tactics have worked for him every time. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t believe him.

…And Keep Running

Winston Churchill once said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Phil Knight thinks the very same. His words are somewhat different (read them in the “Quotes” section), but the moral is the same.

In his opinion, this is not only a good advice. It’s the best advice you can get.

And the only advice you really need.

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“Shoe Dog” Quotes

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. (epigraph, via Shunryu Suzuki) Click To Tweet Let everyone else call your idea crazy... just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where ‘there’ is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop. Click To Tweet I’d like to share the experience, the ups and downs, so that some young man or woman, somewhere, going through the same trials and ordeals, might be inspired or comforted. Or warned. Click To Tweet The harder you work, the better your Tao. Click To Tweet Have faith in yourself, but also have faith in faith. Not faith as others define it. Faith as you define it. Faith as faith defines itself in your heart. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Shoe Dog” is not exactly what you would expect from a book written by the most powerful person in the athletic shoe business. There’s neither flash nor tingles, neither overblown claims nor a juicy detail or two. So, if you’re looking for Super Bowl parties, or MJ contract stipulations – do yourself a favor, and look elsewhere.

But, if you’re looking for a more personal insight in the mind workings of a business magnate, you will probably find just about enough here. After all, Bill Gates endorses it! The book is divided into, more or less, standalone chapters detailing each year between 1962 and 1980, so you don’t even need to read the whole book – just the years of your own choosing.

Whether Knight plans a second part of his autobiography, dealing with the more extravagant part of his legacy is not known at the moment. If he does, we ‘re guessing that the book will be an instant bestseller.

This one, for better or for worse, offers just a peak inside the life of a remarkable, but, even after this book, still somewhat enigmatic kahuna.

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Rookie Smarts Summary

Rookie Smarts Summary

Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work

Remember your first day at work? The trembling, the fear of making a mistake, the attentiveness. Remember how many days you stayed up afterhours to perfect some skill?

Now, where did it all disappear?

Liz Wiseman is – sorry for the pun! – a very wise woman. And she might just have the answer to that question. And few more you haven’t even asked yourself.

Join us in reading her influential “Rookie Smarts”.

We have the best bits.

Who Should Read “Rookie Smarts”? And Why?

Liz Wiseman knows about leadership quite as much as anyone on this planet. After all, you don’t get into the Thinkers50 ranking list for nothing three times in a row! With this in mind, the very title of this book begs the question: why would Wiseman show any interest in rookie smarts then? Is she conspiring some paradigm shift?

The short answer is: she is. And whether you are a manager or a leadership trainer, you’ll want to find out what it is. But, unlike “Multipliers,” this book is also about beginners. And how they can use their enthusiasm to become leaders.

About Liz Wiseman

Liz WisemanLiz Wiseman is an American researcher and executive advisor, and the president of the world-famous Wiseman Group.

In addition to “Rookie Smarts,” she has authored two more well-received books, “The Multiplier Effect,” and the New York Times bestseller “Multipliers.”

“Rookie Smarts Summary”

Even by glancing in its content, you can tell what “Rookie Smarts” is about. That’s because it is a book neatly divided in two parts.

The more interesting, five-chaptered first one, titled “Rookie Smarts: Living on the Learning Curve” describes the benefits of the oft-dismissed rookie smarts and classifies them into four categories.

The second part, titled “Cultivating Rookie Smarts”, consists of three chapters which call for rookie revival and lay out the ways to do it.

Right away, Wiseman points to few studies which suggest that the rookie-expert (or in her word: veteran) dichotomy is obsolete and should be cast aside. Because both rookies and veterans have their good and their bad sides. And because the best companies are those which have learned to use them all.

Needless to say, veterans are able to find simpler solutions in a much shorter period of time. Their experience has given them this prerogative. However, they are neither as innovative, nor as open to new ideas as rookies. They are simply profoundly sure they’ve seen it all.

But, they haven’t!

And just as rookies have so much to learn from them, they can learn from rookies too.

Wiseman speaks of four different rookie-smart modes, describing each of them and contrasting them to the analogous veteran states. We’ll do the same. Though, in not so many words.

1, Backpackers vs. Caretakers

Backpackers have “unencumbered minds.” They are those familiar “rookies times two”: they know practically nothing. They enter a field without preconceived notions and expectations. As a consequence, they know boundaries and are unconsciously ready to break them. They are mentally prepared for changes.

Caretaker veterans, on the other hand, don’t believe them and won’t try anything new. They are gatekeepers: they know the tradition and follow it blindly. They are not open to new opportunities. And they are flabbergasted when they are left behind.

This happened when a backpacker, a newcomer and junior doctor Roger Bannister became the first 4-minute miler in 1954. The caretakers of his time didn’t believe that running a mile under 4 minutes was possible. So, they never even tried.

Your way out, veteran reader?

Ask naïve questions. Get a fresh start. Release your resources.

2. Hunter-Gatherers vs. Local Guides

When rookies enter a new terrain, they have to learn how to survive there. Just like our ancient ancestors. So, they are prone to acquire new knowledge from everything and everywhere. They filter nothing – they soak up the new information.

Their veteran counterparts?

Local guides suffer from “geo-blivion.” They’ve done these things thousands of times before, and they know the area like the back of their palms.

So, veterans simply stop being aware of their surroundings and environment. Once again, they do things blindly and correctly, because they know seven or eight habits which can guarantee them success.

But, environments change. Their habits don’t.

What should they do differently?

Swap a job with a rookie. Or ask junior colleagues to mentor them. Start remapping their terrains.

3. Firewalkers vs. Marathoners

Firewalkers move cautiously, but quickly. They try to master what they’ve just started doing and, consequently, they ask for continual feedback. They want to close the gap with the experts as soon as possible. So, they split their running course into many checkpoints.

Marathoners know that it’s about the long run. But, they rely so much on their record of accomplishments that they forget to readapt. They don’t calibrate their performance anymore. Keeping the steady pace is usually good. But, be prepared to be surprised by the newcomer.

Unless –

Unless you get your hands dirty. Risk as you’ve risked in the beginning. It’s time to move from that comfortable chair of yours and get into some action!

4. Pioneers vs. Settlers

Rookies are pioneers. They’ve just entered a new territory and they are forging ahead. They may encounter something scary, but the wilderness may hide something much more beautiful as well. It’s the second thing that leads them.

Veterans are settlers. They know the place, and they are satisfied with what they have. They won’t leave the comfort zone unless they know there’s something better out there.

The thing is: they should!

Don’t fall behind! Take up a new discipline and feel as a rookie once again. Become a half-expert in some other field.

After all, you know full well what Einstein says:

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.”

Key Lessons from “Rookie Smarts”

1.      Veteran Mode Off: Caretakers, Local Guides, Marathoners, Settlers
2.      Rookie Smarts Mode On: Backpacker, Hunter-Gatherers, Firewalkers, Pioneers
3.      The Rookie-Smarts Organization

Veteran Mode Off: Caretakers, Local Guides, Marathoners, Settlers

If you’ve worked in an organization for some time, you’re probably a veteran. And your mind is usually in one of these four modes.

You’re either a caretaker, because you know the boundaries, or a local guide, because you know the environment perfectly; you’re either a marathoner, because you’re inert and know that small steps will get you to the end, or settler, because you’ve had enough with exploring.

It’s time this stopped!

You’ve climbed your career ladder.

But, keep doing this and you’ll fall of the learning curve.

Rookie Smarts Mode On: Backpacker, Hunter-Gatherers, Firewalkers, Pioneers

If you’re just starting to work somewhere, you might be afraid of being a beginner. Don’t worry: Wiseman says that there’s plenty veterans can learn from you.

You may be a backpacker, but that means you’re more adventurous than them. You may be a hunter-gatherer, but you are also hyperaware and soaking up knowledge. Veterans are long past it – to their detriment.

What if you’re a firewalker? Don’t worry: asking continual feedback is good for everybody. And pioneer? Improvisation always makes up for lack of knowledge.

The Rookie-Smarts Organization

To all the veterans out there: rookie-smart modes are what got you to where you are. It’s also what will get the next expert to your positions.

You want to stop that?

Well, make a trick or two. Pair rookies and veterans. Swap jobs with newcomers. Ask for feedbacks from those below you. Become half-expert in something you know nothing about.

Trade boredom with newfound joy.

Don’t be conventional. It’s the non-conformists who move the world.

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“Rookie Smarts” Quotes

This book is about living and working perpetually on a learning curve. Click To Tweet Wise leaders leverage the rookie smarts on their team… because of the value rookies bring to the table: new practices, expert networks, agility, tireless improvisation, and a greater sense of ownership. Click To Tweet As companies mature and grow, many become caught in the trappings of success and lose their rookie smarts—the twin powers of naïveté and chutzpah that germinated their initial success. Click To Tweet Rookie smarts is not the exclusive domain of the young, the inexperienced, or the naïve. Even the most experienced and successful professionals can renew themselves and find their rookie groove again. Click To Tweet Every revival begins with an awakening, an increased level of focus and awareness Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Rookie Smarts” attempts to do two things: to inspire leaders regain back their creativity and curiosity from when they had been rookies, and help rookies find the category they currently belong in and the class they would like to fit in the future.

As expected when written by someone with her background, the book does well on both accounts. Sometimes it’s repetitive, and sometimes the writing appears a bit shoddy, but the overall impression is that “Rookie Smarts” can change the way you think about yourself and your position in your company.

And it’s not like you can ask for more from a book.

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Lean In Summary

Lean In SummaryWomen, Work, and the Will to Lead

Sometimes it is not easy being a woman. This is especially true when it comes to the workplace.

We are all aware that many women do not get the same treatment as men, although they are doing the same jobs.

In our summary of “Lean In” we let you know why that is the case, and what you can do to change the treatment you get.

Who Should Read “Lean In”? And Why?

The talk that surrounded Facebook Coo’s “Lean In” which targets women in the workplace started even before the book was published.

Many of those that critiqued it worried that a successful billionaire executive would blame for workplace inequality on lower income, worker-class women. They expected that she would not make a distinction between educated women like herself, and those that did not have the same privileges.

However, their worries were unfounded and premature. We find that Sandberg’s “Lean In” pushes all the right buttons when it comes to the subject it touches.

We recommend it to all women who strive to be successful and fight for equal rights in the workplace.

About Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl SandbergSheryl Sandberg worked in the US Treasury Department, and was a vice president of global online sales and operations at Google, before becoming the COO of Facebook.

“Lean In Summary”

Sheryl Sandberg was a Harvard graduate who worked for her mentor, Lawrence Summers. First, she worked at the World Bank, and after she earned an MBA and put in a year with McKinsey, she became his head of staff when he was US Treasury secretary.

She was Google’s VP of worldwide online sales and operations before getting to be a head operating officer at Facebook.

She uses Facebook as a platform for this book.

“Lean In”’s open commotion that surrounded it pre and post its publication, demonstrated a pivotal point:

The role of women in the work environment is an inconceivably emotional topic.

It sure as hell pushes some buttons. Take, for example, the strain amongst stay-at-home and working moms, the professional penalties that women pay for giving time to their families, sexism in the working environment, and corporate foreswearing of the way that monetary concerns and child-bearing limits women’s’ options.

Furthermore, “Lean In” also underlines on one of Sandberg’s declarations:

The shortage of females in the highest levels of leadership puts the couple of women who get to positions of power under in-depth examination, transforming them into representatives for their whole gender, regardless of whether they want to play that part or not.

As an illustrative case, let’s take note of the firestorm of negative feedback aimed at the president and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer after she declared that she would do her job all throughout her maternity leave.

Sandberg herself admits that she was initially reluctant to talk about gender orientated issues, realizing that doing as such would put her at the focal point of a brutally unforgiving spotlight.

Her friends and acquaintances cautioned her that she would be pigeonholed as another feminist official as opposed to being known as Facebook’s COO.

In addition, talking from the stage made her powerless against similar reactions pointed at any woman who decides to call attention to the imbalance in the work environment.

In other words, close-minded men may start seeing her as a caricature of a humorless, man-hating female, who is merely looking for special treatment in the workplace or threatening taking legal action.

Key Lessons from “Lean In”:

1.      Climbing Leadership Ladder
2.      Are You Blocking Your Own Progress?
3.      Suggestions to Overcome Internal Barriers

Climbing Leadership Ladder

The core issue of Sandberg’s book: the lack of females in positions of high authority in business and government, although a bit controversial, is undeniable.

The provided information says a lot.

In 2007, women held somewhere around 17% of seats on US corporate boards of directors. Similar numbers are present in government as well. At the point when Sandberg’s book initially came out, women held just 18% of the seats in the US Congress.

Sanders merely asks: Why is that the case?

As a response, she determines and studies the obstacles that keep the executive suite out of women’s reach.

The sad truth is that the conditions that foil women’s ascent to the top still exist.

Each day, in workplaces around the world, women confront segregation, sexism, and badgering.

The absence of alternatives for child care constrains them to pick between their families and their professions.

Moreover, Sandberg says, women have a more difficult time than men discovering mentors, and they should work harder to win the same acknowledgment.

Are You Blocking Your Own Progress?

Sandberg raises a caution of the self-made limits women put in front of themselves. However, while doing that she does not miss to mention that she was liable for similar conduct.

Women are not in possession of enough self-confidence and are inclined to underestimate themselves. They are less decisive, as well, and feel more hesitant to self-promote and negotiate for themselves as opposed to their male partners.

Lastly, they want people to like them, which, as Sandberg clarifies, can hamper their power.

Suggestions to Overcome Internal Barriers

Sandberg urges the woman to sit at the table, lean in and speak up. According to her, women should not be afraid to make sure their voices are heard. She does not stop at the workplace. She further advised women to make real partners out of their partners and try to develop an equal distribution of labor at home.

Lastly, until you decide that it is time to leave, stay fully engaged.

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“Lean In” Quotes

What would you do if you weren't afraid? Click To Tweet Done is better than perfect. Click To Tweet In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders. Click To Tweet We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change. Click To Tweet There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In “Lean In” Sandberg gives women some excellent advice for fighting internal barriers, but a significant portion of it any informed, a feminist social scientist could provide.

Additionally, she fails to mention the benefits corporations get whenever they add a bigger percentage of women to their top levels. Readers may also feel that they did not get enough personal strategies to achieve female equality.

However, Sandberg’s style is personal and “Lean In” is a book filled with anecdotes. Hence, the book is much more than just a statement of facts and formal corporate analysis.

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Turn the Ship Around Summary

Turn the Ship Around SummaryA True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

Wouldn’t it be great if everybody in the world has equal chances and opportunities? And wouldn’t it be even better if there are no rigid hierarchies, so that you can be both a leader and a follower, depending on the situation?

Of course, it would. Except it isn’t.

In fact, the totally opposite is true. Some are usually expected to follow, and the ones who lead are almost always ruthless in their leadership.

We’ve already learned a thing or two about leadership from some the past greats, such as Lincoln and Washington. And we went over the 21 laws of leadership.

But, “Turn the Ship Around” is a bit different. It’s even more democratic than “The Leaders We Need.”

Quick – find out how!

Who Should Read “Turn the Ship Around”? And Why?

Most of the books you’ve so far read about leadership are written by leaders and about everybody. Their main goal is to teach you, a regular guy, how to become a leader not too dissimilar from the respective writer.

“Turn the Ship Around” doesn’t conform to this standard. It is a book with a much narrower audience, written by a leader for leaders. And it’s got a lot to do with military skills. Its outlook, however, is groundbreaking even in that area.

In short, a revolutionary book about leaders who want to disrupt the leader-follower paradigm by learning about the benefits from an unconventional source: The US Navy.

About L. David Marquet

L. David MarquetDavid Marquet is a former U. S. Navy captain and a successful author on articles and books about leaders and leadership. A 1981 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, he commandeered the nuclear-powered USS Santa Fe submarine from 1999 to 2001, turning its crew from “worst to best” by disturbing the standard practices.

He is a contributor to “Forbes”, and publishes the weekly YouTube motivational, “Leadership nudges”. You can reach him at his website: http://www.davidmarquet.com/.

Turn the Ship Around Summary

We’ve all been there:

You would give everything to not have to go to work tomorrow!

You know how we know this:

Because at least 1 in 2 Americans doesn’t like his or her job! No wonder that productivity plummets and unemployment levels rise to unprecedented levels!

According to Marquet, there’s a simple reason for this: we’ve lost our step with the times. And this is especially true for leaders and managers!

You see, today’s leaders are not much different than the ones who managed the building of the pyramids or the Industrial Revolution. In fact, a pharaoh might do just as good as a company CEO today. The problem is that this good is not good enough.

What do we mean?

Well, people like to follow. But, people follow other people only to a certain extent. When decision-making is a part of your job description, you are less likely to be efficient if you are led. You need to be the leader yourself.

That’s why “Turn the Ship Around” suggests that you think outside the box! Instead of a “leader-follower” approach, develop a “leader-leader” strategy. In short, train trailblazers – not devotees.

Because, if there’s one thing people like more than following is being followed. Everyone can be a leader, in its own fashion.

The author found out this himself while being a captain of the USS Santa Fe. While he was the commander, the submarine was awarded the most improved ship in the fleet, and the crew went from being the worst to one of the best around.

What is the best leader-leader approach?

It starts with an uncomfortable thing: giving away some of your power. And there are two important ways in which you can do this: giving your employees greater responsibilities and allowing them to make decisions on their own.

That made the members of the USS Santa Fe crew much more motivated and trustworthy. They didn’t ask for permissions. But they didn’t shy away from taking the blame either. They felt both freer and more accountable.

For how many of your workers can you say that?

Now, delegating is not a magical stick. It wouldn’t result in one of your untrained employees suddenly becoming better at what they’re doing! So, be careful with it.

In Marquet’s opinion, one thing that may help you is creating a tradition and a shared goal. That’s why Disney is so great, in fact. And that’s why Apple shares the “think differently” motto many times a year with its employees.

There’s no better way to inspire your subordinates than making them an equal part of the same decades-long story. That way, they will feel as part of a family.

And you will lead – by being led.

Key Lessons from “Turn the Ship Around”

1.      The Leader-Follower Philosophy Is a Thing of the Past
2.      The Times They Are A-Changing
3.      The Leader-Leader Philosophy Is the Future

The Leader-Follower Philosophy Is a Thing of the Past

Pharaohs did it. Factories in 19th century England did it as well. Why shouldn’t you?

The reason why the “leader-follower” philosophy worked for them was very simple: the workers were physical laborers, and they didn’t have to make any decisions for themselves. Leaders gave orders and the orders had to be resolute and unambiguous. Workers had to listen and never question them.

Leaders knew so much and the workers so little. Leaders wanted to be missed after leaving the premises.

It was all but slavery, but it was also efficient. You can move a stone or operate a steam engine only by using brute force. There’s no other way.

The Times They Are A-Changing

Nowadays, there is!

Most of the companies today are filled with smart and confident people who can add value to the company if given more freedom and responsibilities.

The 20th century was the century of workers. The 21st is the century of leaders.

The Leader-Leader Philosophy Is the Future

In a “leader-leader” philosophy you don’t take control in your hands – you give it to your workers. You do this by giving them more responsibilities, and less orders. You want your workers to know as much as you. Consequently, you want them to not miss you when you’re gone.

Above all, you want them to think for themselves and make decisions for themselves. To be leaders. Each and every one of them.

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“Turn the Ship Around” Quotes

My definition of leadership is this: Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves. Click To Tweet In a leader-follower structure, the performance of the organization is closely linked to the ability of the leader. Click To Tweet The leader-leader model not only achieves great improvements in effectiveness and morale but also makes the organization stronger. Click To Tweet Leader-leader structures are significantly more resilient, and they do not rely on the designated leader always being right. Click To Tweet Leader-leader structures spawn additional leaders throughout the organization naturally. It can’t be stopped. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Turn the Ship Around” is an unconventional book about leadership in any possible way.

First of all, it’s not written by a businessman, but by a US Navy Captain and deals with his experiences while commandeering a submarine. Secondly, it suggests turning your business strategy upside down – creating leaders instead of followers, developing the talent of those around you instead of using it.

Finally, it wasn’t received the way you would expect it to be! It had raving reviews, ranked as the second-best book on leadership by “USA Today” and described as “the best how-to manual anywhere for managers” by “Fortune”.

GetNugget couldn’t agree more. The principles the book teaches are both timeless and inspiring, encouraging and groundbreaking. We join the accolades. Gladly.

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And the Good News Is Summary

And the Good News Is Summary

Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about getting a job on Capitol Hill? Who hasn’t, right? But, you’re just a regular kid living in some rural area and it must all be a pipe dream, mustn’t it? And the good news is…

Well, that there’s a book called “And the Good News Is…” It’s a biography of Dana Perino and it’s exactly about these kinds of dreams. Or, in her case, reality.

Our summary covers it from cover to cover.

Who Should Read “And the Good News Is…”? And Why?

Most of our readers probably already know Dana Perino as one of TV’s few high-quality political commentators. But, we’ll hazard a guess that not many of you have ever bothered to find out something more about her life.

As is the case with every celebrity, her life is a fairly interesting one. In “And the Good News Is…”, Perino recounts it, in lively and crisp manner, from her humble beginnings to getting a job at Capitol Hill. From ranches – oh, pardon: rags! – to riches, from bushes to Bush.

It’s a type of book American-dream lovers will certainly love to read. It’s inspiring and uplifting, it’s novel-like and educational. On the topic of the latter, the book might be a good read for everyone who wants to get an advice or two about how to be more successful.

Finally, it’s a book every fan of Perino should already have it in his or her hands.

About Dana Perino

Dana PerinoDana Perino is an American author and beloved TV show host and presenter. Between 2007 and 2009, she served as a White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, thus becoming the first Republican woman to hold the position.

Perino is a co-host of Fox News’ highly-rated talk show The Five. Since October 2017, she began hosting The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino, also on Fox News.

In addition to “And the Good News Is…”, Perino has written “Let Me Tell You about Jasper. .: How My Best Friend Became America’s Dog”, a sort of a happy-go-lucky autobiographical appendix to her first book.

“And the Good News Is Summary”

It’s no wonder Dana Perino got to live the American dream: she was a descendant of the original dreamers.

And her upbringing could do nothing else but teach her to.

A granddaughter of Italian immigrants, Perino spent most of her childhood on their ranch in Wyoming. There, she learned one of life’s most valuable lessons: being tough doesn’t mean not being gentle. And life is all about combining these traits in the best possible manner.

Of course, there’s a story leading up to this tenet!

The episode which categorically taught Perino this happened when she was eight years old. She and her sister accompanied their grandfather on a trip when they noticed one of their horses had a broken leg. Her grandfather had no choice but to shoot it.

Dana was terrified and upset. Her grandfather gently placed his hand on her knee. He knew how she felt. And that made her feel better. It was then that Perino really understood that shooting the horse was an act of kindness.

What about Dana’s parents?

Let’s just say that you’ll learn a lot about Dana if you hear a little about them.

You see, her mother loved America. She worked in the Refugee Services, which helped immigrants settle in the United States. It was the time of the Cold War, so It’s only normal that most of these immigrants came from the Soviet Union.

And Dana heard from them, firsthand, that, for most of the world, the United States is, indeed, the land of the free.

However, what Dana Perino currently is, owes an even bigger deal to what her father was when she was just a child.

What do we mean?

Well, her father subscribed to almost every relevant newspaper published in the United States. And even when Dana was just a third grade, he discussed with her at least two newspaper articles daily. Perino thinks that this is where she got her analytical talents.

Go figure!

It wasn’t too long after this that Dana urged her parents to attend the earliest Sunday church service so that she could get home and watch the morning talk shows. Yes, at an age when most of us still watched “DuckTales” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks”!

Are you ready for the twist?

Too bad if you are! Because there is none. Just as you would expect from someone with such a background, Dana Perino was a grade-A student and was elected student body president.

Afterward, while in college, she got a job as a political debater on a local television channel, and this went well enough that got her an own show, Capitol Journal. After graduation, she moved on to become a Capitol Hill intern but left due to the feeling that the staff there was pro-democratic and profoundly biased against Republicans.

After a pretty boring stint as a staff assistant for Congressman Scott McInnis, Perino was hired as a press secretary by Daniel Schaefer.

And she was still 22!

However, when Schaefer announced his retirement four years later, Dana and her soon-to-be husband, British businessman Peter McMahon, moved to Great Britain. No wonder she didn’t expect to end up working for the Bush administration a few years later!

But, after a call from an old friend and a series of reassuring talks with Peter, she did! And she worked almost everything imaginable there until she was tired enough to call it quits. And, as it only happens in movies, she got her dream job at this exact moment!

It was 2005 and Dana Perino was hired as Deputy Press Secretary. Two years later, she was promoted and that first word of her title – “Deputy” – suddenly seemed a surplus. She thought life was as great as it can ever be.

And then – it got better!

In 2009, with Bush, Perino had to leave the White House too. It seemed as a low point in her career, but only until she was offered a job at Fox News. The rest of her life, as they say, is history. Or, better yet, the present.

Because you can see it unfolding live, on Fox News, on weeknights, at 10 PM GMT.

Now, tune in for some key lessons!

Key Lessons from “And the Good News Is…”

1.      Good Manners Go a Long Way
2.      Be Brave to Risk
3.      Stay Positive

Good Manners Go a Long Way

Thomas Sowell, an American economist, once said that “politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back”. Dana Perino got, more or less, the same advice from Congresswoman Susan Molinari and she had to share it with her readers.

Politeness, to her, means sharing credit and keeping quiet to listen to other people’s opinions. It’s because of this she is both a successful person and a good friend.

And you can be too. It’s not at all difficult! As Emerson said, “Life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.”

Be Brave to Risk

If you want to win something, be prepared to lose something. It’s a simple, yet an effective strategy. Change is necessary and you need to adapt daily. And since you’re the product of evolutionary forces – adapting is something you’ll probably be very good at.

So, if you get a job offer in another city, don’t contemplate it. Just accept it! Usually, you can always go back. But, the same is not true with moving forward.

Stay Positive

Dana Perino practiced this all through her life; even when this meant working as a waitress after a short Capitol Hall spell.

Look where that got her!

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“And the Good News Is…” Quotes

We’ve gone from being the confident leader of the free world to bickering about every living thing under the sun. Click To Tweet A pet peeve of mine is with people who give backhanded compliments. Click To Tweet I understood early on that the freedom of America is what made our way of life possible, and that we should help other people live in freedom, too. Click To Tweet I didn’t have a plan to be the White House press secretary, but, looking back, I can see how my life experiences built up to that career achievement. Click To Tweet Just as civility doesn’t mean shrinking from an argument, it also doesn’t have to mean, ‘You must agree with me.’ To the contrary, being civil means that we can argue vehemently and then either find some compromise, call it a tie,… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Unassuming and down-to-earth, Dana Perino’s memoir has been lauded as “a gem” in its genre by many reviewers.

Why shouldn’t it be?

It’s a success-story, wrapped in a series of “lessons and advice from the bright side of life”, dressed with a mild-flavored republicanism not bereaved of decency and respect, and topped with an alluring laidback style as sweet as a cherry!

Read it – even if you’re a Democrat and don’t like Dana Perino. Because that’s what being decent and civil actually means.

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A Curious Mind Summary

A Curious Mind SummaryThe Secret to a Bigger Life

In “A Curious Mind,” Brian Grazer talks about his endless curiosity and what it led him to learn. He tells you how curiosity is the secret ingredient you need to fuel your career, courage, motivation, love and family life.

In our summary of his book, we present you the basic points he makes by telling his story.

Who Should Read “A Curious Mind”? and Why?

Brian Grazer has one of Hollywood’s most successful producers.

He has always asked people many questions, a habit he continues to have. He talks to everyone: to the rich, the famous, the powerful, the ordinary, and the royal.

In fact, he argues that his success is rooted in his insatiable curiosity.

From the starting days of his career, Grazer was never afraid to approach anyone and ask them questions. His fearless curiosity fueled his rapid rise.

He believes that curiosity leads to many positive attributes like ambition, determination, and courage.

Grazer and his co-author Charles Fishman write engagingly. We recommend “A Curious Mind” to all curious readers, and especially those interested in movies.

About Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman

Brian GrazerBrian Grazer is the producer of A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Splash and 8 Mile, and others.

Charles Fishman

 

 

Charles Fishman is the writer of The Walmart Effect and The Big Thirst.

“A Curious Mind Summary”

Brian Grazer argues that curiosity is a natural characteristic that teachers and parents should encourage in kids at home, at school and everywhere in society.

He presents such views since he is a curious person himself. He has never been afraid of approaching and contacting anyone who intrigued him. He did not approach people in Hollywood only. He also initiated conversations with people outside it.

What did he learn during his 35 years of starting “curiosity conversations”?

Well, he learned that curiosity is democratic. In other words, asking questions and listening to the answers unites both parties in the quest of seeking knowledge. The point is not getting the answers, but asking the questions.

How did it all start?

After Grazer graduated from the University of Southern California, he happened to overhear a discussion outside his office window. He heard that somebody left a job working for an executive at Warner Bros.

Hearing that, Grazer promptly called the executive to apply for the position. He did so without having an exact idea of what the work was going to be.

He was simply curious.

The job included distributing legal papers around Warner Bros. Grazer could have left each pack of documents with a secretary or helper, but he never did.

He always demanded to convey the papers to the recipient in person.

In this way, he got the chance to talk to many capable, well-known people in the motion picture business.

Grazer set an objective of meeting new people every day and having a conversation with every one of them. He asked many things. He inquired about how people did their jobs and what experiences they filled their lives with.

In the beginning, he looked for contacts in film and the entertainment industry. However, as time passed, he extended his search to incorporate anybody in any industry.

Now, how can we define curiosity?

The most well-known definition of it is “the desire to know.”

However, the definition is not as important as the way you use it.

Grazer utilized it as a management tool. He tried to become less shy and to increase his self-confidence. He also used it as a way to deal with anxiety, to avoid making the same mistakes and to tell stories.

Think for just a second.

Curiosity can make a dull party exciting and can move your career in a new direction. It fuels motivation and creativity and can help you channel your anger or frustration.

Following your sense of curiosity makes you more confident and brave. It conveys energy to your life and empowers you to deepen your comprehension. It empowers creativity and motivation. Curiosity is stimulating.

Key Lessons from “A Curious Mind”

1.      Applied Attention
2.      Persistence and Preparation
3.      Personal Connection

Applied Attention

For curiosity to be useful, really take in the answers people give you and think about them. Create a will to act on what you find out.

Just learning something is not enough. Most of the time, the answers you will get will show you new and better ways to work, learn, love, and live. So, you are not curious just for the sake of it. You do not ask questions as an exercise. If you do, then it is pointless.

You are curious, so you can find out answers that can improve your life. So, ask concrete questions that will lead you to specific insights that you can apply to your work and life.

Persistence and Preparation

Persistence requires curiosity. However, curiosity, just like any other thing, has just as many risks as it has benefits.

If you do not care about knowing more, and knowing what could happen, you will not last. Additionally, when finding answers overrule the fear of failure, you keep inquiring.

Now, if you get a chance to ask questions, make sure you get prepared.

For instance, Grazer met Isaac Asimov, a famous science fiction author, who has written many titles, including me, Robot. Asimov and his spouse sat down with Grazer, who asked them a few questions.

However, those questions did not satisfy Asimov’s wife. She stood up and told him that he was too ignorant of her husband’s books, and he would only waste his time.

Grazer knew she was right. He knew that he did not do his research and was not well prepared.

Then, he promised himself that he would never let himself waste another opportunity because of lack of preparation.

Personal Connection

Curiosity creates a bond between you and the people in your life. Interest helps you with creating and sustaining intimacy. Many people ask questions all the time, but they do it wrong.

To be curious about the people you care about, you have to be honest, since no one wants to answer insincere questions.

To do that, ask factual questions and show sincere interest in the answers. When people answer, ask follow-up questions that show that you have indeed listened. By doing that, you create a stronger connection and a feeling of trust.

You show that you care.

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“A Curious Mind” Quotes

We are all trapped in our own way of thinking, trapped in our own way of relating to people. We get so used to seeing the world our way that we come to think that the world is the way we see it. Click To Tweet You can’t get anything done trying to absorb and neutralize everyone else’s criticisms. Click To Tweet You can’t search for the answer to questions that haven’t been asked yet. And you can’t Google a new idea. The Internet can only tell us what we already know. Click To Tweet Life isn’t about finding the answers, it’s about asking the questions. Click To Tweet You’re born curious, and no matter how much battering your curiosity has taken, it’s standing by, ready to be awakened. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“A Curious Mind” is a fun book. Grazer is a fascinating storyteller, that covered everything he considered necessary. However, at times you will feel that the revelations he presents, are not as startling as he believes they are.

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