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C. S. Forester Captain Hornblower ***** 0140081771
Learn management from the age of sail. This is just an exemplary book for the whole Hornblower saga. They all are wonderful fictional historic reading, outlining the adventures and career of Hornblower in the British Navy in the Napoleonic wars during the Age of Sail , and have with lots of details both about the period and tall ship sailing.
Sun Tzu The Art of War ***** 0195014766
A timeless classic about strategy, tactics and warfare. Amazing how much can be said in just a few pages.
Miyamoto Musashi The Book of Five Rings ***** 0553351702
A management classic like Sun Tsu, for those that like the methaphor of fighting for negotiations. Musashi was the best swordsman of his time, and wrote a timeless piece about practice, dedication, simplicity, keeping an open mind and awareness.
Ben Bernanke Robert H Frank Principles of Economics ***** 0070618291
This wonderful book is the best book I read in 2007. It explains the very basic principles of economics, like how specialization and free exchange of goods in markets create wealth, comparative advantage, sunk and marginal cost, diminishing returns and opportunity cost. And basically turned me into a free market advocate, although of course humans do not behave as rational as those theories would lead you to believe. In the second half it gets a bit dry with macroeconomics, but if you want to learn why interest rates have an impact on inflation and unemplyoment, and what the central banks are doing, it is enlightening.
Jr. Alfred P. Sloan My Years with General Motors ***** 0385042353
According to Bill Gates probably the single most useful book you can read if you read only one book on business. I agree. Sloan's business philosophy and advise is disguised in the form of a memoir, but other then with Welch's biography, you can understand how management works, maybe even just by of the examples that he experienced. Sloan must have been one of the best managers the world has ever seen. Read this book, and understand where all the stuff Drucker wrote came from. Sloan recognized the value of giving employees freedom to act guided by objectives and incentives, introduced organizational structures balancing central policy with decentralization as well as collection of key operational data, and looked ahead to preempt problems and see opportunities for innovation on a level where it really becomes a bit scary.
Peter F. Drucker The essential Drucker ***** 006093574X
This is a wonderful compilation of the essential points in Druckers work, selected by Drucker himself. It is the most insightful, thought provoking book on management that I have read as of this writing. Drucker is for management what Tolkien is for Fantasy: everybody else looks just like a bad plagiarist. There are so many gems of wisdom in here, about the purpose of business being to create a customer, about management by objectives, about focusing on contribution to be effective, about the need for conflict to come to good decisions ... it just goes on.
David Allen Getting Things Done : The Art of Stress-Free Productivity ***** 0142000280
Don't try to think of tasks, your mind is bad in remembering things at the right time, and you'll always feel there is something you should do but are not doing. Control, Record, Review. First, decide what you accept into your life. Second, record it all in one place, so you know it will be taken care of. Third, review your tasks. Decide what to do for each item as you process it: is it actionable? If not, scrap it, file it as reference, or as idea. Does it take less then two minutes? Do it now. Otherwise, record the next physical action. Make to-do lists by environment: out, office, home, etc. Make agenda lists for things you delegate. Use a calendar to record dates only - tasks should go on lists, so you can do them when you have a window of time. Use project notes for larger projects.
Stephen R. Covey The 7 habits of highly efficient people ***** 0671708635
This is where all those terms like paradigm, proactivity and empowerment stem from.
Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince ***** 0553212788
A classical instruction manual on politics and power. It seems to me not as evil and corrupt as people make it out to be. It simply examines soberly the realistic options for securing power, without considering moral implications. These recommendations could in many cases lead to more stable and bloody outcomes, then ill-guided desires to make the world a better place. For mergers and takeovers, the advise to make any necessary blood-bath quickly and up-front, rather then protract the bleeding is surely correct. Free e-book at
Nassim Nicholas Taleb Fooled by Randomness **** 0141031484
Could be much shorter, if Taleb would not try to prove how much smarter than everybody he is. He collected intersting thoughts about human bias and errors in perception: Expectation = probability * value, not just probability. Anchoring: you estimate relative to a reference point, so people are happier earning 60, when others earn 50, then earning 70, when others earn 80. Positional goods must by definition be limited to the few. Success makes self-assured, radiating security, which females fall for. Meaningful developments have a larger time scale, daily news are too fine-grained and just measure noise. Losses register twice as strong emotionally as gains. So don't look at your stocks often. Decisions needs emotion to feel when getting more information is not worth the effort it any more. Recency bias: thinking things will go on as in the past. Hume, Popper: Theories can only be falsified, never proven. Survivor bias: in any large group there will be winners by chance alone, but as you only see the winners, you believe they have ability (business leaders, hedge fund managers). Path dependency bias: how you get to a point influences how you see it - owning a million after poverty is much different than after a billion. With conditional probabilities people often ignoring the condition. Thinking result implies cause, when cause leads to result, but so can other causes. People overestimate plastic, imaginable risks and underestimate abstract ones.
Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian Information Rules **** 087584863X
An extremely enjoyable book that applies fundamental strategic and economic principles to information goods, without forcing a lot of newly invented lingo down your throat. The core insights are that information goods are expensive to produce (fixed cost), but easy to customize and nearly free to reproduce (marginal cost), so without differentiation markets will drive the price down to the marginal cost near zero. Therfore you should differentiate the hell out of them, via features and matching pricing for different customer groups. That there is a tendency for lock-in, when information goods get linked with other systems, so that users are stuck with them because of high switching costs. Thus, cautious customers might demand a discount to make up for the pricing power that this gives to you. And that a network economy is characterized by positive feedback, where goods are more valuable the more people use them (demand side economies of scale), which leads to a winner-takes-all outcome. They also have a lot wonderful case studies and of infromation on how and when to wage standards wars.
Jack Welch and Suzy Welch Winning **** 0060753943
A well structured overview of his management advice, covering values, corporate culture, hiring, differentiation, firing, strategy, crisis, mergers, budgeting, work/life balance, and dealing with bosses.
Peter F. Drucker The Effective Executive **** 0887306128
Drucker lists five traits: contribution based on strengh, concentration of your time, tracking of how you spend your time, fundamental decisions, well-conducted meetings.
Peter F. Drucker Innovation and Entrepreneurship **** 0750685085
One of my favorite Drucker books. The temptation for existing business is to feed yesterday and starve tomorrow, yet in the long run, defending yesterday is more risky than making tomorrow. Put every single product, process, technology, market, channel, staff activity on the block every few years. Ask 'Would we start this now, if we were not already doing it?' If the answer is no, ask 'What do we have to do to stop wasting resources on it?' Innovation needs to be immediately applicable, or you'll never get there, and besides, the future will not be what you expect it to be. Since change creates opportunities for innovation look for change. Practical sources for innovation are unexpected success or failure, also customer's, suppliers, competitor's. A mismatch between reality as it is, and as it should be according to your assumptions or experience. Look closer and try to understand: what is going on? Investigate. The bright idea is the riskiest and least successful of innovative ideas.
Tom DeMarco Der Termin **** 3446194320
A book on software project management, thinly disguised as a novel. According to DeMacro, project management is about four things: 1)Choose the right people 2)Give them the right job 3)Motivate them 4)Support them. The rest, like GANTT charts, are administrivalities. Change is needed for succes yet carries risk. People will take risk and show initiative only when they don't fear punishment for mistakes. Be fair, honest, open. Care for your people, protect them. Threats motivate little, destroy trust, can't force people to do the impossible, and must be executed on failure. Pressure won´t speed up. PEOPLE UNDER PRESSURE DO NOT THINK FASTER. Long term pressure leads to burnout, kills productivity. In hiring trust gut feeling. Have two people at the interview, two guts are better than one. Listen more than you speak. Identify and track risks, cut losses, cancel failed efforts early - it's more effective than optimizing what works. Use already working teams, and don´t split them. Have a Kassandra, and provide an anonymous way to tell you about problems. A day lost at the start HURTS JUST AS MUCH as at the end. There´s always pathological policy, you can't do anything about it. Build models to quantify your instincts. Measure the size of what you build, to gauge the effort ahead. Improving processes costs time now to pay off in the long run, maybe. Be wary, rigid processes can eat productivity. Spend your time to understand and make a sound design. Then implementation is swift, debugging short. Ambiguous specs result from interest conflict. A spec should list all inputs and outputs, and you must be able to understand it. Else it's crap. Negotiation is hard, mediation easier. Don´t overstaff, people will get in each others way. Issue topics before meetings and stick to them, so people can skip them, keeping them efficient. Anger and abuse means people are afraid to fail, to be incompetent.
Jim Collins Good to Great **** 0066620996
This book, a blockbuster, goes from good to mediocre. The foundation is great: Collins did a lot of data mining, instead of just promoting his own beliefs. He identified companies that learned to beat the market many times over, and compared them to similar companies, that did not. From this he identified traits for success. These were: personally humble leaders driven to make the company great; get the best people, worry about strategy later; face reality and accept change; find a business model you care about, where you can become the best in the world; use IT to support that model; constant incremental improvement instead of revolution. The bad part is that he invents new terms for these unsurprising facts, as if he found something new, and towards the end of the book all you do is wade through this stuff.
Jr. Frederic P. Brooks The Mythical Man Month **** 0201835959
This is the classical text about software project management with some annotations and the ``No Silver Bullet'' Essay added twenty years later. There seems to be an unspoken law stating that this must be cited in any other book about software projects or any computer book at all, with the following sentence: ``The programmer at wit's end for lack of space can often do best by disentangeling himself from his code, rearing back, and contemplating his data. Representation is the essence of programming.'' But there is much more practical wisdom in it, and it's half-entertaining to read, too.
Herb Cohen You can negotiate anything **** 0806508477
Cohen tells you entertainingly exactly what the title says, and how to go about it. Pretty good.
Peter F. Drucker The practice of management **** 0060878975
Like all of Druckers books, there is a lot of insight here and some of his favourite themes covered: the purpose of business as creatng a customer through marketing and innovation; the importance of profit as a measure and to buffer the risks of enterprise; the need for planning, for organizing and systematically selecting people for their strenghts; that motivation must have its center in the work; the process of descision making . Especially the sections on the spirit of an organization and management by objectives are good. It is a bit dated, being published in 1955 first, but many observations are timeless.
Larry Bossidy and Ram Chandran Execution **** 0609610570
No, this is not a book about how to kill somebody. Bossidy advocates much of the same values as Welch (after all he learned under him at GE), like facing the truth, grooming people, asking and listening, differentiation, follow-through, and informality. He goes into more detail about how to build an stategic and operating plan, pointing out that a great strategy is useless if you do not have the capability to put it to work, or if your try to do too many things to get any of them done. He advocates that you should be immersed into you business day to day, as much as possible. Overall, solid practical advise. Could have been better organized and less repetitve. Points for content, not for clarity.
W. J. King and James K. Skakoon The unwritten laws of business **** 038552126X
A funny title for a book and a wonderful little book. The rules are: However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts. Demonstrate the ability to get things done. In carrying out a project, do not wait passively for anyone - supliers, sales people, colleagues, supervisors - to make good on their delivery promises; go after them and keep relentlessly after them. Confirm your instructions and the other person's commitments in writing. When sent on a business trip of any kind, prepare for it, execute the business to completion, and follow up after you return. Develop a >>Let's go see!<< attitude. Avoid the appearance of vacillating. Don't be timid - speak up - express yourself and promote your ideas. Strive for conciseness and clarity in oral and written reports. Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements. Every manager must know what goes on in his or her domain. One of the first things you owe your supervisor is to keep him or her informed of all significant developments. Do not overlook the steadfast truth that your direct supervisor is your 'boss'. Be as particular as you can in the selection of your supervisor. Whatever your supervisor wants done takes top priority. Whenever your are asked by your manager to do something, your are expected to do exactly that. Do not be too anxious to defer or embrace your manager's instructions. Never invade the domain of any other department without the knowledge and consent of the manager in charge. In all transactions be careful to 'deal in' everyone who has a right to be in. Cultivate the habit of seeking other peoples' opinions and recommendations. Promises, schedules and estimates are necessary and important instruments in a well-ordered business. When you are dissatisfied with the service of another department, make your complaint to teh individual most directly responsible for the function involved. In dealing with customers and outsiders, remember that you represent the company, ostensibly with full responsibility and authority. There are also rules for managers: Every manager must know what goes on in his or her domain. (Yep, a repeat). Cultivate the habit of 'boiling matters down' to their simplest terms. Do not get excited in emergencies - keep your feet on the ground. Meetings should be neither too large, nor too small. Cultivate the habit of making brisk, clean-cut decisions. Do not overlook the value of suitable 'preparation' before announcing a major decision or policy. Learn project management skills and techniques, then apply them to the activities that you manage. Plan your development work far enough ahead of production, so as to meet schedules without a wild, last minute-rush. Beware the lure of 'playing it safe'. Be content to 'freeze' a project when the development has progressed far enough. Constantly review projects to make certain that actual benefits are in line with costs in money, time, and human resources. Make it a rule to require, and submit, regular periodic progress reports, as well as final reports on completed projects. Make sure that everyone has been assigned definite positions and responsibilities within the organisation. Make sure that everyone has the authority they need to execute their jobs and meet their responsibilities. Make sure all activities and all individuals are supervised by someone competent in the subject matter involved. Never misrepresent a subordinate's performance during performance appraisals. Make it unquestionably clear what is expected of employees. Promote the personal and pfrofessional interests of your employees at all occasions. Do not hang on to employees too selfishly when they are offered a better opportunity elsewhere. Do not short-circuit or override your subordinates if you can possibly avoid it. You owe it to your staff to keep them properly informed. Do not critique a subordinate in front of others
Stephen C Lundin and Harry Paul and John Christensen Fish! *** 0340819804
A one hour motivational read about the power to chose your attitude. Focuses on creating an energized, fun work environment by playfulness, sharing your enjoyment with your customers, and being present by giving your full attention to the person you deal with.
Jon R. Katzenbach and Doughlas K. Smith The Wisdom of Teams *** 0887306764
According to Katja, who read the whole thing, all the important points are condensed in the first chapter. A team here is a group of people without a single leader/decision maker. Teams that work are driven by a performance challenge, a goal they want to achive, not by 'being a team'. To be successful the team members need: complementary skills, a common purpose, common performance goals, and a commonly agreed upon working approach. Also the team members must be mutually accountable for each other: they either succeeed or fail as a team. If they fail, it's not a single scapegoats fault, even if his mistake is the reason, it's the teams' fault for not supporting him.
Sandy Weill and Judah S. Kraushaar The Real Deal *** 0446578142
Sandy weill is the guy who made Citigroup the largest financial institution in the world. According to this biography, he did this by buying on the cheap companies in trouble with good sales channels and customer bases, usually by stock exchange in a kind of merger. Then he cut costs by integrating the back office, streamlined operations and laid off staff, and had them cross-sell. Rinse and repeat. Some of his advise: On goals: Recognize and play on your strengths. Never give in for despair. Dream big. Take risks, and get to the next level. On Acquisitions: They should do one or more of: consolidate business and generate savings on shared functions; add products and diversity enhancing the value offerd to customers; add management talent. Only make acqisitions that do not dilute your rate on equity return. On negotiations: avoid pushing for the absolute cheapest deal. Leave some room for the seller to feel good about the transaction, too. Best enter negotiations from a position of strength. On costs: Keep costs under control during good times and keep a strong capital position to be flexible in bad times. One time large investments are OK, but cost day by day must be kept low. No frivolous spending. Speed of action is a great competitive asset. Manage for continuous short term results, and the long term will take care of itself. Use reporting tools that give you real-time information on each businesses' key drivers, so you can identify anomalies early. Contain operating risks - manage day-to-day operations conservatively to have a steady base of recurring earnings. On execution: The CEO must focus on execution. Corporate culture, relations to the outside, coprorate and vision are meaningless if you can't execute. Formality and hierarchy slows decision making. Everybody should think on their feet and express what they believe. If you want to be successful, you need to understand the business
Gene Zelazny Say it with presentations *** 0071472894
Zelazny was the guy at McKinsey respnsible for presentation training. This book about holding a presentation and is presenting it's material surprisingly bad. The most interesting point for me was that you should present your take home message first, the evidence later. Much of the rest is about soft areas like using humor, and the advice is wish-wash, a la 'Use humor when it fits; Use humor that matches your personality'.
Laurence J. Peter Die Peter - Pyramide *** 3499187159
Laurence J. Peter is the one who invented the Peter principle (everyody gets promoted up to the level where he is unable to cope). Here he tries to apply that insight to why large organizations develop into bureaucracies, with unsurprising results. It's mostly worth reading for the snappy quotes: ``If the first operson answering the phone can't answer your question, it's a bureaucracy´´ -Lyndon B. Johnson.
James Surowiecky The wisdom of crowds. *** 0349117071
A delightful little book about how groups can make better decisions than individuals. They need diversity of opinion, independence, and some aggregation or weighing scheme. The best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not of consensus or compromise. Voting systms or markets serve well to consolidate these conflicting views. Everyone has some private information about reality, and individual errors tend to cancel out. Mixed skill levels in a group can also help good decisions by giving more perspectives. Groups of only strong spend too much time exploiting, and not enough exploring. Herding - copying the behavior or opinions of others (also called groupthink) makes them dumber. For yourself, it may be better to follow the crowd then trust your own judgement, but for all, it is better if each decides for himself. Seqential decision making encourages herd behavior, because you observe others' decisions and they influence your own. Speculation, basing your decisions on the expected decisions of others, who do the same, makes groups unstable. It, like herding can lead to bubbles.
Roger von Oech A Whack on the Side of the Head *** 0446674559
This guy tries to make you more creative. The best way to get a good idea is to get a lot of ideas (L. Pauling). The premise is: Mental locks block your creativity. Here are ways to breach them: 1. Find the second right answer. It might be better than the obvious one. 2. Brainstorm, forget about logic, imagine and associate, ask 'What if?'. 3. Play. 4. Explore into areas where you are not a specialist, if you have a trail leading there. 5. Break the rules. Chances are, there is no good reason for them anymore. 6. Allow ambiguity. 7. Do not be afraid of errors. Learn from them, and improve. Finally, judge and organize the results of your creative process. If you came up with a good idea, put work into it and fight for it - since everything new will hit a lot of opposition. This book is chock full of nice quotes, with a series of Heraklitus´ aphorisms at the end.
Herbert E. Meyer Real World Intelligence *** 093516605X
This is an interesting little book about what intelligence (in the sense of the CIA) really is: selecting what needs to be known, collecting raw information, transforming it into knowledge, generating the finished product: a report and finally distribute the product to the policy makers.
William J. Brown and Raphael C. Malveau and Hays W. McCormick III and Thomas J. Mowbray Anti Patterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures and Projects in Crisis *** 0471197130
This is a book about all the awful things you should shun, and giving them entertaining names, too: 'lava code' (old crud that accumulated in your classes), 'The blob' (putting the whole program old-school-style into one big class) etc. - its actually useful.
Edward Yourdon Death March *** 0130146595
James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras Built to last *** 0060516402
The predecessor of Good To Great, this book analyzes higly successful companies that survived for a long time, and compares them with unsuccessful ones, to find out what made them great. It is OK, but uses too much lingo, to make obvious insights sound new. Some of these insights are that they have something to believe in, unchanging values and a core purpose, while their strategies change. That they are specialists in one thing, and try to be the best in the world in this. That having larger-then-life goals can energize and give people purpose, and if they believe in something, people can achieve amazing things. That they try out lots of things and keep what works, and have processes in place to drive this. That they work to improve things every day, and never stop improving, instead of hoping for a big revolution. That they have a culture, driven by their values, and to succeed in them, you have to fit in. That they grow their own managers who know the company from it's guts. He also gives a nice guide how to come up with your own company vision, purpose, and values.
Joan Magretta Basic Managment *** 3423340649
An introduction to management ideas by a journalist. Good for getting an overview, and setting up your framework. Looks more into the relation of company to the market then into making you effective as an individual or people issues.
Dieter Brandes Konsequent einfach *** 3453180720
What made ALDI, a German food discounter, so succesful? Brandes, who was a director there, thinks: a practical mission that could be acted upon at all levels and that could be understood by everyone - `quality for the lowest price by cutting costs`. This lead to a culture of asceticism, attention to detail and continuous, small improvments. Focus, a small array of non-redundand products. Non-overlapping responsibilites, and control feedback to make sure good work is appreciated and slackers weeded out. Decentralisation and minimal need for communication. Logistics were just `where something is missing, we have to put something`. This also makes good coding: knowing what to code, focus on doing one thing well, continually improving, modularisation and decoupling, error checking. Nice book, sometimes a little raving. They never hired consultants, or PR agencies.
Sam Walton Wal-Mart *** 3478386608
This book about the making of Wal-Mart by it's founder Sam Walton focuses on the earlier years. Walton says the reason for his success is that he wanted to do it and he kept going at it. You need to set ever higher goals, or you have nothing to shoot for. And you may not become complacent with what you achieved, no matter how much it is. Otherwise, he would have stopped after he had a few grocery stores. He also praises hard work and team spirtit. His list of 10 rules for success contains challenging conventional wisdom (a.k.a crazy ideas or swimming against the stream) and having fun. And he shows that snooping around and taking all the good ideas you see from your competitors is effective. All in all, nothing surprising.
James M. Kilts and Robert Lorber and John F. Manfredi Doing What Matters *** 030745178X
Kilts promotes much of the same things as Welch or Bossidy: an operating system of regular meetings, facing reality and problems, measuring key areas and benchmarking against others, clear responsibility and simple structures, telling what to achieve but not how, annual appraisal, rewarding only performance, reducing overhead to focus on marketing and product development. Life quote: 'You - don't make dumb mistakes; I don't punish smart mistakes; You - don't make smart mistakes twice; Omissions are as bad as comissions; You are to blame if you did not know.' The book could be more organized, but is solid. I liked his quick screen to make decisions: first check if you can exclude an option for some reason. And if more research will likely not change your decision, stop.
Walter Kaltenbach Was im Verkauf Wirklich Zhlt *** 3938358734
One of my brother's books, who is in sales. I thought it might be useful to understand the methods used on you by sales people, and to better present your own stuff. Kaltenbach is an adept of Brian Tracy, but his book is much simpler and more practical than Tracy's. My main takeaway is that to be a good salesperson, you must like people, must be confident in yourself and your product, and more than anything must listen rather than talk. Ask questions to lead, instead of making statements. Try to understand what is important for the customer, to know how you can fill his need. When you talk, always focus on the customer and his benefit, don't talk about yourself or your product. Objections are good, because they shows interest, someone without would not bother. Don't talk about price before you have been able to understand the need and show the value. Prepare. There are lots of question lists and sample formulations. All in all a useful read.
Mark H. McCormack What they don't teach you at Harvard Business School *** 0553345834
McCormack is in fact street-smart, and unfortunately that is not something you'll be able to learn from a book. This one contains lots of true observations about people and their behavior. Be awake, and keep your eyes and ears open.
Janet Lowe Jack Welch speaks ** 0471413364
A bit dated, the interviews being done before welch stepped down. Typical soundbites of Welch, some quite good, like 'Tell people the truth, because they know the truth anyways' Still, better get 'Winning' instead.
Martin John Yate Hiring the best ** 1593374038
A guide on interviewing from the company's perspective. Lots of typical questions. Interestingly, the same author has a book on the candidates view in Knock 'em Dead.
Peter Hobbs Professionelles Projektmanagement ** 3478860024
A slim introduction. It says some of what you need, but by far not enough. Clearly structured.
Lawrence R. O'Leary Interviewing for the Decisionmaker ** 0882295128
And older book, with a little dusty, ponderous style. Still, there are some sound principles laid out. Not as flashy then the fat books that field hundreds of questions, but still OK.
Martin John Yate Knock 'em Dead ** 1593374526
A guide on interviewing from the candidate's perspective. Lots of typical questions. Interestingly, the same author has a book on the companies view in Hiring the Best.
David Packard The HP Way ** 0060845791
Another memoir style book I read on the premise that the best person to learn something about what works in management and business is a highly successful manager or businessman. There are the usual suspects, like management by walkinging around, values (here: economic, useful technological contribution; quality; trust in and respect for people; organic growth), putting resouces on the best opportunities, listening to customers, incentive compensation. There are also some cute ideas, like 5-year vintage charts, the engineer-next-bench-wants-one test of product desirability, turning down ideas by enthusiasm-inquisition-decision, so the inventor knows his idea is not shot down a priori and 'don't try to take a fortified hill, especially if the army on top is bigger than your own.' and 'More companies die from indigestion then starvation'. Maybe because of the fame of Hewlett and Packard as managers, I had expected a bit more.
Jack Welch and John A. Byrne Jack: Straight from the Gut ** 0446528382
If you're looking for Welch's management insights, this is the wrong book. Get 'Winning' instead.
Martin Lindstrom Buyology * 0385523890
Mostly hot air. The author crows as if he had achieved miracles, while all he effectively reports are a few brainscans to see how people react to stimuli of various images. Just look at the title. Doing a couple of controlled experiments does not constitute a new science, and the findings are indirect and interpretative to boot.
Tom Peters The Pursuit of Wow! * 0679755551
A management and self-improvement book. I heard Peters´ name time and again when it came to management writers and I thought when so many people cite this guy, well, he must have some smart stuff to tell and do it entertainingly to boot. Most of the content of this book (which happened to be available at my local library), is rather common man´s wisdom. I´ve read part of it more to the point in Dale Carnegie, too. All the statements are personal ones. I found it disappointing.