Getting to Yes

Getting to YesAuthor: Roger Fisher & William Ury with Bruce Patton

Synopsis: Good book that suggests a novel framework for improving your negotiating skills and outcomes.  Instead of negotiating based on power and positions using compromises details how both sides can gain a better deal from negotiating through principled agreement; basing neogtiations on understanding each others interests, looking for mutual wins, using objective criteria and comparing any deal to your best alternative if you don’t negotiate

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Steve Jobs

Author: Walter Isaacson
Synopsis: Biography of Steve Jobs.  A very complex character, the book highlights his warts and all personality.  Despite his poor treatment of people throughout his life, by creating conditions for success and through his achievements in many cases even colleagues and adversaries who fell out with him came to respect him.

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7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Author: Stephen R. Covey

Rather than focus solely on tips and methods to be proactive and self-manage brings home the importance of knowing your end goal in order to achieve it.  This was a key takeaway for me as it’s too easy to start on a path of being more effective without knowing what you are trying to achieve.  As with ‘How to win friend and influence people’ emphasizes the importance of ethics in your dealings with others.  First 3 chapters were the most illuminating


Author: Malcolm Gladwell

An enjoyable Gladwell read discussing the importance of thin slicing; finding patterns in very narrow slices of data (also seen in A.T. Kearney’s Leadership framework: 1. Anticipate – finding weak signals).  Later chapters on the impact of appearance on our decision making both in terms of our choice of leaders and products and on Ekman’s research into reading thoughts and emotions through facial changes are particularly interesting

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Build your memory

Author: Mark D’Arcy

A summary of the ways memories are formed and useful systems to improve your ability to memorise.  The sections on pegging to remember long lists of numbers and creating memory palaces are particularly useful and work (I’ve seen my brother remember Pi to 100 decimal places using this system)

On writing well

Author: William Zinsser

A weakness of mine, this book provides solid principles and methods to improve your writing style.  It focusses on non-fiction writing rather than writing a prize winning novel.  Parts 3 and 4 can be skimmed over, the value is in I and II.
Standout quotation: “I always thought there was at least one person in the stands who had never seen me play, and I didn’t want to let him down”, Joe DiMaggio on how he managed to play so well consistently