The One Minute Manager Summary

The One Minute Manager Summary

The Quickest Way to Increase Your Own Prosperity


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.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“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 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 Wisdom of Psychopaths Summary

The Wisdom of Psychopaths SummaryWhat Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success

The title of this summary is self-explanatory.

In the following pages of our “The Wisdom of Psychopaths” summary, we will teach you that psychopaths are not always as you imagine them to be.

We will further present the traits that psychopaths share, and what are the characteristics that separate criminals and serial killers from so-called “functioning psychopaths.”

Lastly, you will realize that at times, having a psychopath on your side is not a bad idea. In fact, it may be the very thing that saves your life.

Who Should Read “The Wisdom of Psychopaths”? and Why?

Psychopaths surround you.

No, we are not talking about cold-blooded killers, but of functional psychopaths.

Those are people who are calm under pressure and lack empathy. Sadly, they are often in positions of power (think of politicians and lawyers) and use their jobs to take advantage of weaker people.

Kevin Dutton starts there and backs up this theory by using numerous research references.

In “The Wisdom of Psychopaths” you will learn who are the psychopaths, why the functional ones can control their conduct and why criminals cannot. Moreover, you will learn what makes the functional psychopaths more dangerous than the murderers.

Yes, you heard right.

We recommend this creative piece of work to all readers who are looking for entertainment in a well-documented non-fiction book.

About Kevin DuttonKevin Dutton

Kevin Dutton, Ph.D., is an author, a social influence expert and a research psychologist with the Center for Evolution and Human Sciences at the University of Oxford.

“The Wisdom of Psychopaths Summary”

Before starting with the summary of this book, we would like you to ask yourself a few questions.

Are you a risk taker? Are you calm under extreme pressure? Is persuading others one of your strong points?

Okay, let’s move a bit deeper.

Would you murder one person to save several others?

We have asked you these questions to determine whether you are a psychopath. So, be true to yourself.

Unlike what you may think, psychopaths are not always criminals. In fact, only a fraction of psychopaths are criminals and even less are murderers.

Now, what do you think that spies or presidents have in common?

Yes, you guessed right. They all possess psychopathic tendencies that give them an advantage over ordinary people. Functional psychopaths live all around you. Moreover, more often than not, they are in a position of power.

Truth be told, if you are like most of the people, even you are a little psychopathic.

Lately, there is a debate on whether the world is becoming more psychotic. Studies show that more functional psychopaths exist nowadays than ever before. It is a paradox, really, but it seems that modern society rewards their behavior.

However, what makes psychopaths so special that we (and author Kevin Dutton) decided to write about them.

Well, they possess a unique set of characteristics. They are incredibly charming and persuasive and know when to turn this ability on, and when to let it rest. That is the primary distinction between functional and nonfunctional psychopaths. Many of their characteristics grant them the place of the most valuable members of our society.

To find out more, move on to the key lessons we extracted from the book.

Key Lessons from “The Wisdom of Psychopaths”

1.      Benefits of Psychopathy
2.      Good Psychopaths
3.      Becoming a Psychopath for Fun and Success

Benefits of Psychopathy

Movies have created a distorted version of psychopaths, presenting them as people without a single drop of empathy of emotion.

If you think that psychopaths lack emotion, you are wrong.

They do have emotions but can turn emotions on and off depending on the situation at hand.

What separates criminals or nonfunctioning psychopaths from functioning ones is that after the thrill of victory settles in, functioning psychopaths turn their emotions on again when meeting their friends or family.

Functioning psychopaths can adjust and control themselves and their behavior.

Good Psychopaths

As we already said, psychopathy is not always dangerous.

In fact, sometimes, the world needs psychopaths. They are cool under pressure and can objectively judge situations, therefore avoiding many catastrophes fuel by emotional thinking.

Just think of astronauts, pilots, surgeons, warriors and many more.

When your life is at stake, you want a psychopath on your side.

Becoming a Psychopath for Fun and Success

When it comes to your identity and character, most parts are nature, and other parts are nurture. The same rule applies to psychopathy as well.

When children grow up and reach adolescence, a large part of their personality is already developed to a degree which is beyond their control.

If you are a woman, you will have an easier time adjusting your behavior. Women are wired differently and thus are much better at changing their conduct.

Now, if you had control over your genes and wanted to make yourself more psychopathic, you would need to ask to be male, and possess the “warrior gene.”

If you wanted to tame the genes and become more functional, on the other hand, you might try to pass the entrance exams of special forces military units. Special forces units have a selection process which is inclined toward people with manageable psychopathic traits. Such is the case because they need members that would stay and think when most normal people would hesitate and run.

The military and the special forces with their training methods can increase the level of psychopathy in an individual. Their needs and techniques are anyway too extreme for most people to clench their teeth and bear.

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“The Wisdom of Psychopaths” Quotes

What if our better nature wasn't better after all? But was instead, well, just nature? Click To Tweet Psychopathy is like sunlight. Overexposure can hasten one’s demise in grotesque, carcinogenic fashion. But regulated exposure at controlled and optimal levels can have a significant positive impact on well-being and quality of life. Click To Tweet The problem with a lot of people is that what they think is a virtue is actually a vice in disguise. It's much easier to convince yourself that you're reasonable and civilised, than soft and weak, isn't it? Click To Tweet Every society needs particular individuals to do its dirty work for it. Click To Tweet Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels good. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Wisdom of Psychopaths” has an exciting premise and content. However, we think that Dutton could have tried to make his prose a bit tighter. If you are a big fan with metaphors, on the other hand, you will surely enjoy his style.

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The Millionaire Fastlane Summary

The Millionaire Fastlane SummaryCrack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime.

If you are already exhausted by the 40-hour workweek, DeMarco offers a solution.

Regarding prosperity, the world displays same possibilities for each and every one!

Who Should Read “The Millionaire Fastlane”? And Why?

In the world of countless wars, mind games and treachery, people have lost the eagerness to thrive on challenges. Even in such environment, giving up defies the fundamental laws of evolution that we inherited from the animals.

After centuries of struggle and survival, many experts reckon that the economy is finally fully-grown and ready to flourish. With this in mind, our team presents the “The Millionaire Fastlane Summary” and prescribes this amazing book for all persons.

About MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarcoMJ DeMarco is a highly skilled author, who uses the expertise that he gained throughout his lucrative career in order to produce life-altering concepts. As an entrepreneur and founder, he tasted the smell of richness before he reached 30.

“The Millionaire Fastlane Summary”

The tricky part of becoming rich and famous is that nobody knows what even “rich” means! So, before we start sharing thoughts on increasing your income and becoming a Rockstar, define the richness? According to some, the real fortune emerges from immaterial things, so you cannot be absolutely sure of where is this leading.

However, we’ll stick to the basics and instigate a process that money-thirsty individual should follow. Luckiness doesn’t have any substantial role in becoming upper class, despite the collective opinion that endorses such theory. Fate also has minimal influence on this never-ending development.

The bottom line is if you allowed the society to program your mind into believing that wealthiness is something unachievable absent mysterious forces, you need a new teacher! It’s like saying, my life is out of my control – absurd, isn’t it?

Don’t become a victim to your own mindset, decide the future and even if you fail to fulfill your dreams, the next time “luck” will be on your side, or should we say dedication.

To cut a long story short, there is another critical element of growth – the ability to manage your income. Your 100,000 $ + salary or yearly income is not sufficient to avoid bankruptcy.

How many sportsmen and athletes have acknowledged this theory (unconsciously), with a lot higher income than that. Technically, the chances of going broke are inclined towards the financial expertise, you possess.

Or, are you one of those who literally say – better now than never, because no one knows what the tomorrow holds. Instead of living the life cautionary on full alert, they choose to spend their earnings, = the spending Fastlane.

If you haven’t heard the thesis – Get a college degree, find a good job and then years later, you can enjoy the retirement stage; you are not out of this world. In practice, life doesn’t unfold according to some restricted strategies and long-term plans.

Investing your earnings is probably the only factor that truly opposes this idea. Let’s move slowly to unveil all hidden dangers.

First things first, never forget about the devastating effect of inflation. It’s possible that after all those years, your savings and money will decline in value, and you’ll receive only a small portion of your actual investment.

According to experts, formal education is perhaps the biggest culprit that is forcing you to think in a predictable manner. Such conventional behavior speaks against getting rich! After digesting all the knowledge, it’ll be quite hard to fly in the face of the “traditional” mindset.

Your out-of-box thinking patterns will end up buried, and your creativity questioned. In finance, this can be interpreted as an ability to calculate ROI or Net Present Value, but lacking critical thinking skills to handle thorny situations.

By now, you are starting to grasp what hinder professional growth, and how to confront these factors. These strategies executed by inexperienced individuals can endanger your capital.

In general, to really move one step closer to prosperity, in a race against time, one must become financially independent. Any independence comes at a price that not all of us are willing to pay. Raise the bar, and put in place various strategies that can help the process of diversification.

As an illustration of the DeMarco’s testimony, we can record that becoming rich doesn’t occur in a blink of an eye. It takes years of experience to develop the expertise where you can cope with any financial pressure, both internal and external. Your financial capabilities don’t make you wealthy if you lack the knowledge to manage such substantial amount of capital.

Such guidance and mastery are hard to find, but remember “Rich” = Guts, not knowledge!  

Key Lessons from “The Millionaire Fastlane

1.      The market hasn’t got any special requests
2.      The economy and its deliverables
3.      The ability to see behind the curtain

The market hasn’t got any special requests

In front of the eyes of the economy, we are all equal. Every deal must be concluded with utmost sincerity and awareness. After a thoughtful plan is designed, any company can facilitate the processes which contribute to the making of a diversified portfolio.

The economy and its deliverables

Freedom is the most desirable outcome, but a certain risk comes with it – in a subtle form. MJ DeMarco totally agrees that money isn’t the only aspect of happiness, but sure is essential.

Nurturing relationships, taking care of your body, having close contact with your relatives are some of the elements no capital can purchase.

The ability to see behind the curtain

Let’s jump to marketing. When you watch a catching ad displayed via Facebook for example, what are your first thoughts? – Instead of thinking about the invention, your main concern is what will this product give or generate. Such restricted mindset act as a “death sentence” in the hostile entrepreneurial community.

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“The Millionaire Fastlane” Quotes

Time isn’t a commodity, something you pass around like a cake. Time is the substance of life. When anyone asks you to give your time, they’re really asking for a chunk of your life. Click To Tweet All events of wealth are precluded by process, a backstory of trial, risk, hard work, and sacrifice. If you try to skip process, you’ll never experience events. Click To Tweet There’s a profound difference between interest and commitment. Interest reads a book; commitment applies the book 50 times. Click To Tweet If millions seek you, you will be paid millions. Click To Tweet Stop thinking about business in terms of your selfish desires, whether it’s money, dreams or “do what you love.” Instead, chase needs, problems, pain points, service deficiencies, and emotions. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

From top-to-bottom, we felt the pull from DeMarco’s fantastic ideas. In truth, not many books covering management, or entrepreneurship are able to bring something new to the scene as “The Millionaire Fastlane” does.

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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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Superintelligence Summary

Superintelligence SummaryPaths, Dangers, Strategies

We have seen many movies about what could happen to the world if a superintelligent AI gets introduced.

Is it all fiction?

In our summary of “Superintelligence,” we give you all the reasons you should be hyped about the future, along with all the dangers that come with it.

Read on.

Who Should Read “Superintelligence”? and Why?

Nick Bostrom, the author of “Superintelligence,” suggests that artificial intelligence does bring the promise of a more prosperous, smarter and safer world. However, he argues, humanity may not succeed in bringing all AI’s promises to life.

The further you enter the book’s deconstructions of public opinion about AI, the more you will start to believe that people completely lack the capabilities and imagination to redesign the world from what we know as a human-lead reality, to a reality that superintelligent machines could dominate (and even threaten).

Furthermore, he explains not only the positive aspects and possibilities but also the concerns that pop into mind when thinking of superintelligent AI agents.

We recommend this powerful, morally complex book to all futurists, inventors, students, high-tech enthusiasts, and policymakers.

About Nick Bostrom

Nick BostromNick Bostrom is an author, a professor at Oxford University and the founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute.

“Superintelligence Summary”

At Dartmouth College in the late spring of 1956, a gathering of researchers started charting another course for the world’s future.

They started out with the idea that machines could recreate parts of human intelligence.

As you can already notice all around you, their effort evolved and “expert systems” thrived in the 80s, along with the promise of artificial intelligence.

However, at that point advances came to a plateau and hence, the funding subsided.

In the 90s, the “genetic algorithms” and “neural networks,” pushed the idea to take off once again.

However, how do scientists measure the power of AI?

Well, for starters, by measuring how well specifically designed machines play games such as chess, poker Scrabble, Go and Jeopardy. For instance, a machine with successful algorithms and calculations will beat the best human Go player in about ten years.

But, that is not all – games are just the beginning.

AI’s applications do not stop at games. They stretch out to listening devices, face and speech recognition, scheduling and planning, diagnostics, navigation, inventory management and a wide range of industrial robots.

It sounds nice, doesn’t it?

In spite of AI’s increasing fame and possibilities of utilization, indications of its confinements are rising.

For example, in the “Flash Crash” of 2010, algorithmic traders coincidentally made a descending spiral that cost the market a trillion dollars in moments.

However, we have to bear in mind that the innovation that caused the crisis in the first place was the one that ultimately helped to solve it.

In any case, the question remains: will AI’s curve take after the transforming pattern of human intelligence?

As a matter of fact, AI’s evolution may follow several paths.

Researchers believe that one day AI will evolve into “superintelligence,” which would be a profoundly different sort of intelligence.

This brings up another question:

Would such superintelligence be able to produce human feelings? And if that is the case, how?

A superintelligence could take up three forms.

First, “speed superintelligence” which could imitate human intelligence, but work more quickly.

Second, “collective superintelligence” which would be a network of subsystems that could autonomously take care of discrete issues that are a part of a larger undertaking.

The third is ambiguously defined as “quality superintelligence.” It alludes to an AI of such high caliber that it is as superior to human’s intellect as humans are too, say – dolphins.

With respect to how quick science could make another intelligence, the appropriate response relies upon “optimization power and system recalcitrance,” or willingness to comply.

Key Lessons from “Superintelligence”:

1.      “Orthogonality”
2.      AI Architecture and Scenarios
3.      Moral Character


Keep in mind that the character of superintelligence is not exactly human.

Do not get into fantasies about humanized AI. Although it may sound counterintuitive, the orthogonality thesis states that levels of intelligence do not correlate with final objectives.

In fact, more intelligence does not mean that the number of shared or collective objectives among different AIs will increase.

However, one thing is sure: an AI’s motivation will inevitably consist of some “instrumental goals” such as achieving technological perfection.

AI Architecture and Scenarios

To study different possible scenarios in which the world will function after the widespread introduction of superintelligence, just think of how the new technologies influenced the horse.

Just some time ago, carriages increased the horse’s capabilities, but when the cars were introduced, they almost completely replaced it. As a result, horse populations rapidly declined.

If that is the case, what will happen to people when superintelligence replaces many of their abilities? Humans have property, capital, and political power, but many of those advantages may become unimportant when superintelligent AIs enter the scene.

Moral Character

Scientists have practical strategies that could help them develop a moral character inside an AI.

When we say moral character, it does not necessarily mean that these values will match those of people. Instead, think of a moral which will be unique for superintelligence.

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“Superintelligence” Quotes

There is no reason to expect a generic AI to be motivated by love or hate or pride or other such common human sentiments. Click To Tweet An artificial intelligence can be far less human-like in its motivations than a green scaly alien. Click To Tweet Before the prospect of an intelligence explosion, we humans are like small children playing with a bomb. Click To Tweet Go-playing programs have been improving at a rate of about 1 dan/year. If this rate of improvement continues, they might beat the human world champion in about a decade. Click To Tweet There is a pivot point at which a strategy that has previously worked excellently suddenly starts to backfire. We may call the phenomenon the treacherous turn. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Superintelligence” by Nick Bostrom is filled with insight and backed information, and offers a lot of variables to contemplate on. Readers deeply interested in technology and all of its what-ifs will find this book valuable and intriguing.

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Rising Strong Summary

Rising Strong SummaryThe Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.

Of course most of them are going to tell you discover your weaknesses as soon as possible, because somebody is going to use them!

After all, it’s a jungle out there! And when things get competitive, you’re either intelligent and gain an advantage, or weak and lose everything!

Fortunately, there are authors like Brené Brown out there who would beg to differ. Book after book, she has tried to convince the world that it’s good to be vulnerable and courageous to be weak.

And “Rising Strong” is not an exception – аs our summary will prove to you shortly.

Who Should Read “Rising Strong”? And Why?

One thing you can’t take away from Brené Brown is certainly her openness and sincerity. In fact, that’s the element which strikes readers primarily and profoundly. And, combined with her humor, it’s what has resulted in her 2010 TED Talk being one of the Top 5 most viewed TED Talks in history.

“Rising Strong” is for everybody who has enjoyed Brown’s “Daring Greatly” and “The Gifts of Imperfection”. It’s a book about those who are willing to let a little more tenderness into their lives.

But, above all, it’s a great inspirational work about tackling the difficult times in your life. And about being compassionate to others who might not have the power to recover.

About Brené Brown

Brené BrownBrené Brown is a Research Professor at the University of Houston. She has spent most of her life studying the virtues of vulnerability and compassion. Because of this, she is considered one of the foremost experts on the roots of human connection.

Brown is the CEO of Brave Leaders Inc. She has written four #1 New York Times Bestsellers, the last one being her most recent book, “Braving the Wilderness.”

“Rising Strong Summary”

If you know anything about Brené Brown, you probably know this: that she’s great at storytelling and even better at coining mnemonics.

Do you remember the 3C sequence from “The Gifts of Imperfection”?

Of course you do! And you fire away instantly: the three Cs stand for courage, compassion, and connection!

Well, our dear little intelligent reader, Brown has another mnemonic in her new book. And this one is all about the letter R.

The reckoning; the rumble; the revolution.

That’s the subtitle and that’s what the whole book is all about. And those are the three steps you need to remember, whether you want to come to terms with your grief, failures, or setbacks.

Reckoning is Brown’s way of telling you that you need to tell your story in order to understand it. No matter what they teach you, life is not about denying how you feel. Because people are not making it easier for anyone, by shielding themselves from their selves.

It’s about digging deep, and formulating your emotions into comprehensible language. This is not merely a process of sharing with the others, but it’s also necessary so as to be able to understand it. You know how people who write down things suddenly experience a eureka moment?

There’s a reason for that and it’s implanted in the way your brain works. Namely, your brain usually likes to protect you from traumas, by misshaping the memories, by telling you to adapt and look forward. However, this means slowly losing a part of yourself.

So, face it!

That’s what the rumble is. Obviously, the process doesn’t end with you telling the story. In fact, that’s merely the beginning. Now, comes the difficult part. And it’s the part where you retell the painful story, visiting it over and over again. Challenging it; facing it; reality-checking it.

And taking the blame.

Because only perpetual self-examination and introspection can help you rise above the circumstances. Because grief is bad when repressed; and because grief is good when dug through, turned upside-down. It leads to discoveries. It leads to peace.

“Wisdom arises from suffering” – believed the Ancient Greeks.

And rightly so.

That’s the revolution. It’s the moment you transform your beliefs and ideas. And the moment you stop looking at the world through the looking glass.

The revolution happens when there are no more “it isn’t fair”-s and “I deserved better”-s. Moreover, when the world is no longer divided into two groups of people: the worthy and the “sewer rats.” Your brain is misleading and tricks you into doing this partition, because it wants to make you more selfish.

That’s evolution for you right there.

But, don’t listen to it. Face your vulnerability and cry from time to time.

Help around. And you will be helped.

Key Lessons from “Rising Strong”

1.      The Three-Steps Rising Strong Process
2.      Fall. Get Up. Try Again.
3.      Learn What Yoda Speaks You Should

The Three-Steps Rising Strong Process

We already went through it. And you already know it. Time to start practicing it.

First, reckon: dig deep for your emotions and shape them into stories. Then, rumble: tell others those stories; check and recheck them; cry, shriek, hurt; take the blame. Finally, welcome the revolution: your attitude towards life is transformed.

You are, as Brown would say, a badass.

Fall. Get Up. Try Again.

In the “Introduction,” Brown notes that her work has progressed in three stages.

Namely, the main message of “The Gifts of Imperfection” was “Be you.” Then, “Daring Greatly” suggested us to “be all in.”

Finally, “Rising Stronger” shouted from the rooftops: “Fall. Get Up. Try Again.” That’s how trying becomes doing.

And that’s how you remain you all the way.

Learn What Yoda Speaks You Should

Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda said that.

“Yoda is right!” – Brené Brown says that.

You can be a Luke Skywalker and say “I don’t believe it.” But Yoda – and Brown – have some smart words for that as well: “That is why you fail.”

As cartoonist Stephen McCranie once said: “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” Nobel-Prize winner Samuel Beckett was even more wordy:

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

And I’m sure Brown would want to quote that!

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“Rising Strong” Quotes

The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up. Click To Tweet We need a critical mass of badasses who are willing to dare, fall, feel their way through tough emotion, and rise again. Click To Tweet Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them. Click To Tweet There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise. Click To Tweet We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

It takes some courage to not be touched by Brené Brown’s words. Because even when she gets a little loose as in “Rising Strong” and moves away from somewhat more rigorous scientific work into the world of the folksy and the spiritual.

She tends to be repetitive once again, but with ideas we are comfortable hearing about over and over again. Nevertheless, she does have some new concepts to share with us, and she shares them in her familiar unpretentious, relaxed manner, which abounds with quotes from both academics and blockbusters.

And stories you’ll like to read and will probably not forget anytime soon.

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Pre-Suasion Summary

Pre-Suasion Summary

A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

Just think of this scenario.

A salesman comes to your house, selling encyclopedias. It’s the age of Wikipedia, so you don’t really need one. But, after half an hour, for some reason, you buy an expensive, lavishly illustrated Britannica published in the 1980s.

Now, how did that happen, you ask yourself!

Robert Cialdini may have an answer to your question.

And we have it summarized for you.

Who Should Read “Pre-Suasion”? And Why?

Robert Beno Cialdini is certainly not a name you would like to overlook if you’re interested in marketing or psychology. He has written many books about the art of influence and persuasion, and he has been lauded for his ideas and writing over and over again.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate how essential is Cialdini for your business is a quote by Guy Kawasaki. He’s a heavyweight in the world of marketing as well. And, regarding Cialdini’s first book, “Influence,” of which “Pre-Suasion” is the sequel, he was fairly straightforward:

“This book is the de facto standard to learn the psychology of persuasion. If you don’t read it, I hope you enjoy pounding your head against the wall and throwing away marketing dollars.”

Do you want to do that?

About Robert Cialdini

Robert CialdiniRobert Cialdini is Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Marketing and Psychology at Arizona State University. A University of Wisconsin BSc, he earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Columbia University in 1970.

A life-long researcher in the field of influence and persuasion, he is one of the canonical authors in the world of marketing studies. His books have sold millions of copies. He has won numerous praises as a great motivational speaker too.

Cialdini’s “The Small BIG” was recognized as book of the year by “The Times” in 2008, and “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive,” was a “New York Times” bestseller.

“Pre-Suasion Summary”

You want to get what you want, instead of moaning about not getting it?

Well, this book is a good place to start.

And its overarching principle: that the beginning is the second step of a pitch. The pitch, in other words, starts some time before itself.

No wonder Cialdini opens his book by quoting Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”: “Every battle is won before it is fought.” Pre-Suasion is exactly this: making your customer receptive to your pitch even before you make it.

Two basic ways to do this are overselling and familiarity.

For example, when a consultant says to his clients, “As you can tell, I’m not going to be able to charge you a million dollars for this,” he’s already prepared them for a really high price. They will accept the one he offers them next – with no questions asked.

Familiarity is self-explanatory. A fire-alarm salesman Cialdini knows, only makes the pitch when invited by his customers to their home. That way, he knows they trust him.

And then he moves to few nifty 1-minute tips to produce the reaction he wants in his clients.

You want your customer to try something new? Ask him if he is “adventurous”.

You want someone else to ponder his options carefully and mindfully? Just slip a photograph of Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” in the conversation.

You want someone to help you or to inspire someone else? Don’t hesitate to keep in your pocket a picture of people standing near each other, or a runner winning a race.

Your clients will not know what hit them!

And you can go one step further if you like, by messing around with their unconscious some more.

For example, did you know that sharing a warm coffee with someone makes you suddenly closer to that person? The very presence of a warm coffee in a client’s hand makes him or her more cooperative and more giving.

Also, did you know that presenting your pitch or portfolio on a heavy clipboard makes you instantly more professional and serious? eBooks are great and all, but what would you think about “Pre-Suasion” if you could read the book only in an eBook format?

Not as authoritative as a hardcopy, is it?

Key Lessons from “Pre-Suasion”

1.      Win the War Before the First Battle
2.      Oversell Your Product and Familiarize with Your Clients
3.      A Warm Coffee and a Heavy Clipboard Go a Long Way

Win the War Before the First Battle

Pre-suasion is the technique of persuading your client into a state of compliance before you even start making your pitch. It’s a strategy to create the right kind of environment for your pitch to work. It’s, above all, a way to use your clients’ inherent weakness in your favor.

Because, people are products of evolution and habits, and they can be easily manipulated because of the internal mechanisms which regulate their responses.

Even when they don’t know they are.

Oversell Your Product and Familiarize with Your Clients

Overselling is an interesting tactic. If someone tells you that, obviously, he can’t ask from you ten thousand dollars, you’ll probably agree to the offered price of $1,000, even though the real worth may be merely $100.

The seller will manage to talk you into buying his product with even less effort, if he hasn’t made the pitch during the first two or three discussions you’ve had with him. You’ll think him a friend and believe him more. And he’ll use that belief against you.

A Warm Coffee and a Heavy Clipboard Go a Long Way

They really do!

Just think of Christmas and you, cuddled in your pajamas, with a warm coffee in your hand! Doesn’t it feel nice? And isn’t the world a much nicer place now?

It’s because warm drinks make us feel closer to other people. Just as heavy things trick us into believing that they’re more important.

But when a customer doesn’t know these things…

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“Pre-Suasion” Quotes

Channeled attention leads to pre-suasion: the human tendency to assign undue levels of importance to an idea as soon as one’s attention is turned to it. Click To Tweet Both language and imagery can be used to produce desirable outcomes such as greater job performance… and more positive personnel evaluations. Click To Tweet A communicator pre-suades by focusing recipients initially on concepts that are aligned, associatively, with the information yet to be delivered. Click To Tweet It is possible to send ourselves in desired directions by locating to physical and psychological environments prefit with cues associated with our relevant goals. Click To Tweet Pre-suaders want to do more than create temporary changes via momentary shifts in attention; they want to make those changes durable. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Back in 2005, “Fortune” chose the 75 smartest business books ever written. Unsurprisingly, Cialdini’s “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” was listed as one of the five essential books about power.

“Pre-Suasion” doesn’t start where “Influence” ends, but rather it ends where “Influence” starts. In other words, a modern reader may get a better understanding of Cialdini’s classic, if he or she reads “Pre-Suasion” first. And, boy, the thrill ride that reader will enjoy!

“Pre-Suasion” is a 400-page mammoth with a gigantic list of references and notes, amounting to about half of the book. The title is not the only thing “jargony” about it: you’ll have to prepare yourself for some analytical reading if you want to get to the end.

But if you do, you’ll get much more than the pleasure of accomplishment.

You’ll get what you want.

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Remote Summary

Remote SummaryOffice Not Required

Many companies have already adopted the notion of remote work. Why is remote work the future of the business world? If you decide to embrace it, what steps can you take to maintain a productive distributed staff? Lastly, if you are a remote worker yourself, what can you do to avoid the most common traps, and thrive in your career?

Read our summary of “Remote” and find the answers to all of these questions.

Who Should Read “Remote”? and Why?

Authors Jason Fried and David H. Hansson believe that to get the most out of your staff, you should avoid making them work in offices.

In “Remote” they argue that “remote work” is the future, and that the world will start adopting the notion of home-based employees.

They spell out many advantages of remote work but also present the challenges that remote workers will most probably face when they interrupt their usual “9-to-5” work routine.

We recommend this manual to entrepreneurs, managers, and startups who are curious about the perks of remote work, and to all readers who would like to take on a home-based job.

About Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier HanssonJason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are the founders of the software company 37Signals and are co-authors of The New York Times bestseller “Rework.”

“Remote Summary”

The future of work is here, and it is called “remote work.”

Many companies started adopting this way of work, because of its many advantages.

Remote work appeared mostly as a reaction to the drawbacks people face when working in offices. The contemporary office is the biggest enemy to productivity.

How come?

Well, just think about it. When you work in an office, your workday is fragmented and interrupted by calls, meetings, and questions that you need to answer to your coworkers.

In fact, the uninterrupted time you have for getting into your “productivity zone” is almost nonexistent.

As a remote worker, on the other hand, you can give yourself all the uninterrupted time you need. Also, you can work whenever you think that suits your rhythm. You can choose the environment you feel the most comfortable in as well – be it your home, a coffee shop or a library.

You always wanted to move somewhere, but maintain a job?

No problem.

Are you a night owl and function better at night?

That is fine!

Remote work can help you improve the quality of your life. Just think of all the time you will be able to save when you stop making the daily commute, which you will then be able to spend with your loved ones.

Better yet, workers are not the only ones who benefit.

When you employ remote workers, you save on facilities and rent. You also can tap the global pool of talent, and hence have a wider choice of extraordinarily skilled people. Fewer people will quit because of reasons unrelated to their actual job.

Looking at it from each side, remote work sure seems like a win-win.

Not convinced yet?

Read on!

Key Lessons from “Remote”

1.      Conventional Objections
2.      Hiring Remote Workers
3.      Living as a Remote Worker

Conventional Objections

You may be surprised why, if there are so many advantages to remote work, the practice has not spread globally.

The response lies in the resistance that managers show, which they base on the conventional notions about work. However, these concepts no longer apply.

Below we list some of the most common myths linked with work.

  • Stimulating creativity demands face-to-face
  • Being together enhances
  • People will slack off if managers are not watching them
  • It is not fair to let only some employees work remotely
  • It will be less secure

Hiring Remote Workers

When you decide to hire remote workers, there are no limits to the amount of talent you can access. The world is yours.

Another advantage is that you can gain insight into foreign markets, since foreign workers may give you information about their local environments, which you might not have another way of accessing.

You can even use your international staff as a selling point.

Next, we give you a simple set of guidelines that you should follow to make sure that you choose the best remote workers for your business:

  • Don’t ignore “personality.”

The fact that your staff will not be working in the same physical space does not mean that the human element is no longer relevant.

So, create a team of upbeat and motivated people.

  • Avoid gimmicks

Instead of making your candidates solve logic problems or puzzles to evaluate their skills, look at examples of their past work.

  • Find good writers

When you work remotely, most communication takes place via chat, email and other forms of writing. So, make sure that the people you hire possess excellent writing skills.

  • Meet candidates face-to-face

You can best assess your candidates if you meet them in person. Seeing your future worker in person will allow you to evaluate his or her character better and understand how they feet in your corporate culture.

Living as a Remote Worker

Not following the standard, traditional 9-to-5 work routine can undermine your both your work habits and your life.

Make sure you create a proper structure, to avoid mixing your personal and professional life. The dividing line between the two is very thin, and it can be easily blurred if you do not find a way to keep it there.

Sometimes, you will have a project that is going well or ideas that will pop into your head in the wee hours. You will feel tempted. If you are working with people who live in different time zones, the temptation will be even bigger.

Avoid giving in such temptations, since you may find bur soon out.

Many remote workers not only face burning out but also suffer from a feeling of isolation.

If you feel isolated, go among people – find a coffee shop or a public library. The sense of isolation is psychological, so just adding some human noise in your daily routine will help immensely.

Apart from that, use the following recommendations to create a structured workday:

  • Have special work clothes
  • Have an office
  • Divide your workday into sections
  • Use two computers
  • Assess your progress each day

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“Remote” Quotes

In 30 years’ time, as technology moves forward even further, people are going to look back and wonder why offices ever existed. Click To Tweet Millions of workers and thousands of companies have already discovered the joys and benefits of working remotely. Click To Tweet If people want to play video games or surf the web they’re perfectly capable of doing so from their desks at the office. Click To Tweet Meetings and managers are actually the greatest causes of work not getting done at the office. Click To Tweet The office during the day has become the last place people want to be when they want to get work done. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Remote” is an amusing, quick read filled with fun cartoon illustrations and breezy sentences. You will also find entertaining and most importantly – practical advice that you can use to maintain a distributed workforce.

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Red Team Summary

Red Team SummaryHow to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy

Sometimes, we are blind to our weaknesses.

Such is the case in life – and in business.

In our summary of “Red Team,” we will offer you a way to solve this problem. The title is self-explanatory: the solution lies in employing red teams consisted of “devil’s advocates” which will open your eyes to your corporate strategy issues.

How and why should you adopt this approach?

Read on to find out.

Who Should Read “Red Team”? and Why?

In “Red Team,” Micah Zenko, a national security expert and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that many executives and managers are unable to assess their corporate strategies accurately. He explains that most of the time, they remain blind to rival perspectives, which makes them vulnerable.  

To solve this widespread problem, he proposes using a “red team.”

A “red team” is a group of “devil’s advocates” which tries to adopt the competitors’ way of thinking and find weak spots in the corporate strategy, defenses, and performance.

Micah Zenko presents a history of using red teams during the hunt for Osama bin Laden and gives a tour of the US Army’s University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies.

Furthermore, he offers some valuable advice on using red teams in your business and adapting the approach to suit your corporate needs.

We recommend “Red Team” to marketing managers, security professionals, information-technology experts, strategists, and of course, senior executives.

About Micah Zenko

Micah ZenkoMicah Zenko has a history of high-profile jobs: the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Congressional Research Service, the Brookings Institution and the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning. He is currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

He writes for several papers among which the Washington Post, The New York Times and Foreign Affairs. Additionally, his national security column is available on

“Red Team Summary”

When intelligent officers plan a critical operation, they frequently assemble a group of “devil’s advocates ” to attack their procedure mercilessly.

This group is called “red team,” and it serves to test the plan for shortcomings, runs a range of simulations, and brainstorms ways and reasons because of which the arrangement may fizzle.

It takes a gander at the strategy from a rival’s point of view and predicts how an adversary would react.

At the point when a red team approves an arrangement, leaders can be sure that the plan is sound.

The private sector is progressively adopting red-team assessment strategies.

What is the upside of adopting a red-team in your business?

Organizations that adjust such red-team procedures as simulations can challenge assumptions, spark imagination, alleviate “cognitive biases,” and limit the homogenizing, accommodating power of mindless compliance.

Members of institutions fail at evaluating their strategies and processes. As an insider, you observe your operations through a filter of biases. These unconscious thought patterns or heuristics include:

  • “Confirmation bias.”
  • “Mirror imaging.”
  • “Existence bias.”
  • “Organizational bias.”

A red team tries to limit such routine patterns of thoughts and responses.

The procedure can be a basic as a specially appointed internal brainstorming team utilizing freeing structures, which are strategies to support creative reasoning.

Such trial interactions can start to motivate brainstorming sessions. By using “Four Ways of Seeing,” red-teams have different roles, including likely enemies, and build a matrix showing the corporate culture, “social system, power balances, historical narrative, and economies.”

A red-team disturbance may include utilizing outside experts to lead business “war games” or employing “white-hat” programmers who break into an organization’s computer network.


Because these activities look for and analyze weaknesses in associations, their security systems, and strategies.

Key Lessons from “Red Team”:

1.      Red-Team Techniques
2.      Getting it Right
3.      “Mini-Red-Teamers”

Red-Team Techniques

Businesses have started using red-team techniques, although not as much as the military and intelligence communities.

Many enterprises do red-team exercises using their available staff. Scenario planning, in which you envision a goal and think of the steps to achieve it, is a standard technique.

In any case, regardless of the industry or whether the arena is public or private, red teams work following three fundamental techniques:

  • Simulations

Regardless of what kind of organization you are in, you can anticipate your competitors’ moves by using simulations.

  • “Vulnerability probes.”

Members of red teams can adopt the ac of hackers, spies or even thieves to test if a company is secure enough against people that try to infiltrate it.

  • “Alternative analysis.”

Alternative analysis like what ifs or structured brainstorming should be used to produce different perspectives.

Getting It Right

There is no exact template of best practices that apply to every red-team activity.

That is because red-teams’ best friends are flexibility and unpredictability. They customize each activity to align with an organization’s values, goals, and cultures.

Most successful red-team exercises have six things in common:

  • Show that the boss supports the team
  • Clarify the team’s position
  • Involve the right mix of people
  • Team members are flexible
  • The boss can handle bad news
  • Schedule the right amount of red teaming


The most significant obstacle to broader adoption of red-teams across organizations is executive resistance.

Many executives believe that they can get the same or similar results as they would with red-teams if they encourage their employees to share their opinions and identify emerging issues.

However, not all workers have the time or expertise to diagnose specific problems. Also, many employees are not comfortable with telling their bosses about issues. In fact, most of them avoid making disturbances.

Red-teams have time authority and expertise. In other words, they have everything they need to diagnose problems and offer advice. They have time, power and knowledge.

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“Red Team” Quotes

A habitual line of action constitutes a habitual line of thought and gives the point of view from which facts and events are apprehended and reduced to a body of knowledge. Click To Tweet Over a century ago, the brilliant economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen illustrated how our minds become shaped and narrowed by our daily occupations. Click To Tweet These unconscious motivations on decision-making under uncertain conditions make it inherently difficult to evaluate one’s own judgments and actions. Click To Tweet People who perform the worst on pop quizzes also have the widest variance between how they thought they performed and the actual score that they earned. Click To Tweet Organizations tend to be poor judges of their own performance, and are often blind to shortcomings and pitfalls. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In “Red Team,” Micah Zenko gives clear descriptions of the red teams and their strategies and offers wise and useful suggestions. Sure, the writing can be dry at times, but Zenko’s stories revolving around counterterrorism operations, computer hacking and war games are compelling enough to keep your attention.

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