57th Edition — March 8, 2020
Tax is power. Whether king, emperor or government, if they lose their tax revenue, they lose their power. Limit taxes and you limit ruling power.Dominic Frisby – Daylight Robbery: How Tax Shaped Our Past and Will Change our Future
1. From Tech Geek to CEO
If I ever meet Gary Boomer again, I will thank him a lot, and then some more. And, I’ll keep doing it behind his back.
This consulting savant is the founder of Boomer Consulting and has been listed on Accounting Today’s 100 Most Influential People in Accounting since 3rd grade. I first met him and his team in 2004 where I learned the names Dan Sullivan, Kathy Kolbe, and Ron Baker. Looking back, those 3 have held a special place in my mind (if not blowing it many times over).
This week, Gary wrote an interesting piece entitled From IT Geek to Executive. He says there are 7 leadership skills that need to be broadened for tech pros. As I read and re-read that list, I found that these 7 skills apply to those of us working in finance and similar roles:
- business savvy
- marketing and sales
- human resources (I prefer organizational health)
- project management
- strategy and planning
For communications, I’d add that our voice needs to be clear, concise, and convincing. Since we all know finance, our role there needs to include mentoring and teaching non-financial managers how to apply the simplicity of numbers when making decisions.
2. A Great Tax Book? Yeah, Right
I can name on one hand the number of accounting books I’ve actually liked that are not textbooks. Tax brothers and sisters, sorry, there are not any tax books included on this shortlist. Sorry guys, J.K. Lasser’s yearly tax guide was given no consideration.
Wait, stop the presses. That may be changing soon. Dominic Frisby’s hardback version of Daylight Robbery: How Tax Shaped Our Past and Will Change Our Future will be released after next week. The Kindle version was released in December.
If you work in the tax industry, you might bookmark this for a post-April read. Many of the reviews I’ve read keep using the word ‘entertaining’ for Frisby’s book that spans the pre-Babylonian empire to the gig economy. Count me in – but I’m rolling with the audio version as the author has a distinctive voice.
3. The Richard Branson of Australia
If I throw out the term ‘pop business book’, what comes to mind, or what’s your definition? I label these books as being pithy, light on depth, and replete with one-line aphorisms that rarely stand against the test of time. You won’t find Christensen, Drucker, (Benjamin) Graham, or more recently, Ray Dalio on such book lists.
When I picked up Cadence: A Tale of Fast Business Growth by Pete Williams, I was pleasantly surprised. The author is a successful Australian entrepreneur and writes this book in the form of a simple parable based around 7 business levers that can lead to more revenues and profits.
If you liked Gerber who told the story of Sarah and her pie shop, then you’ll like Cadence. However, the book is more geared to products-based businesses. But if you work in a professional services firm selling productized services, the concepts apply.
4. Seeking a Good Listen?
Friday, I started listening to Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. I know next to nothing of the author, and already I’m hooked on his writing style and humor in spite of the hatred he experienced during Apartheid in South Africa. I’m only 2 hours in, and I cannot wait to finish the book.
Up next will be Feeling Good by David Burns where the author teaches his readers about cognitive distortions, 10 to be exact.
I’m coming out of the closet by admitting that I’m a recovering perfectionist. And after stumbling upon this HBR article entitled Today, Just Be Average, I found the David Burns book and decided to add it to the queue. The book is not about perfectionism. Instead, it’s about the thoughts that can distort our view of the world and ourselves both internally and externally.
Speaking of audiobooks …
5. Did Corcoran’s Loss Lead to Increased Revenue for Mitnick’s Security Firm?
By now, you have probably heard that Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran was the victim of an approximate $400,000 cybercrime last month.
When I heard the news, I couldn’t help but think of the first Audible book I listened to in 2012 – Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick who was at one time was one of the most wanted fugitives of the FBI. He ultimately served time for his crimes, and now he runs a consulting firm focusing on cybersecurity prevention among other services.
Mitnick’s book reads fast (or how do you say ‘listens fast’ when listening at normal speed?), and I even found myself at times pulling for the author as he was being pursued by authorities. From an entertainment perspective, this narrative non-fiction reads like a Lee Child or David Baldacci thriller. If you like this genre and want to better understand social engineering, Ghost in the Wires belongs on your 2020 reading list.
The New Podcast
Be watching our website for episode number 2 which will be released Monday (March 9). We’re still finding our groove, but we have some great ideas we plan to roll out. Also, a special thanks to fellow CFO, Bruce Reed of PracticeLink, for being a part of this endeavor (we’re calling him the smart, cool one).
Eric Griessel, you rock. Thank you for sending me the book, Jackie, a Boy, and a Dog: A Warm Cold War Story by Mark D. Bruce. I’m reading it this week.
Thank You For Reading
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Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.