03 – February 24, 2018
First things first, thank you for your interest in reading content at CFO Bookshelf.
1. What I’ve Been Reading
- In the early 1900s, I had no earthly idea New York and other municipalities were in a mess with excess waste, no financial controls whatsoever, and no merit system for city employees. Robert Moses started to change all of that, and he never held elected office. As mentioned last week, I’ll be reading The Power Broker for a while as it’s more than 1,300 pages long.
- I have one chapter left of How to Take Smart Notes by Ahrens. The title is misleading. It’s not about note-taking tactics like the Cornell method as described in this insightful video with more than 1 million views. The book is about how to compile all those notes you’ve ever taken into a bigger system. It’s also a book on learning and thinking. I’ll be reading it again later this spring.
- Need help on your forecasting abilities? While I’ve already read Future Ready by Player and Morlidge, it’s a great primer on forecasting for those of us in financial leadership positions. I will be reviewing it when I finish it this week. I also received in the mail The Little Book of Beyond Budgeting and The Little Book of Operational Forecasting, both by Dr. Steve Morlidge. Pull out your reading glasses. The print is small. Both books are excellent companions to Future Ready.
2. What I’ve Finished Reading
I enjoy reading history, and I was not disappointed with Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory of Yorktown.
Historians generally elevate Washington’s greatness, and rightly so for this selfless leader (but in no way perfect). I was reminded that this was a war that could have and probably should have never been won. Colonists were only paid once for fighting during the war (that I remember from the book). Washington never wins without the help of the French, deadly hurricanes in the Caribbean, and some errors in strategic judgment by Cornwallis.
Lack of food and clothing, limited resources, unaligned leadership, slow communication, long-drawn-out intelligence reports, and shaky allegiances. We have it so lucky today.
3. What I’m Writing
I’m a huge fan of Peter Lynch on Quora–not the guy who ran a successful Fidelity fund in the 1980s. Peter is the founder of ASimpleModel.com, and he took time out to answer a few questionsabout books on the blog.
I also enjoyed writing about my favorite traits of CFOs I admire and respect. Perhaps you see yourself in that long list.
4. What I’m Listening To
Joel Weldon reminds us that our deeply-held values make our decisions easier to make during this short speech at Genius Network(R). Be careful surfing this site of Joe Polish, it’s addicting.
5. What I’m Reading Beyond Books
Does your CEO use the term 10x periodically? Ever wonder where that term came from? I recently purchased The Mythical Man Month by Frederick Brooks which provides the origins of this mindset. 10xfive has a great write-up too on 10x–good read.
6. Homework Assignment
Some of you have read Thinking, Fast and Slow. Is there a deeply-held bias you possess that you have to fight daily? How about those you work with? Check out yourbias.is where you can get quick notes on anchoring, confirmation bias, the sunk cost fallacy and more. Which bias is negatively impacting your decision-making process the most?
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Take care and have a great week. Always keep learning.