Why did the statistician who couldn’t swim drown as he attempted to cross the river? He had been told that the average depth of the river was just three feet. Yet, he perished. That’s because the middle part of the river was nine feet deep. Dr. Sam Savage reminds us of that humorous story in his books and online tutorials. Nevertheless, many of us still succumb to the flaw of averages in our personal and professional lives. Sam teaches us a new skill — the arithmetic of uncertainty.[Read more…] about The Flaw of Averages
Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson could possibly be the simplest book I’ve read on the simplification of four basic personality types that we can all understand. Thomas is an expert in the DISC profile systems, but he’s converted the assessment results into a digestible four-color system along a two-by-two matrix. In this conversation, we will gain an understanding of the purpose of such assessments. We also learn what can cause decision inertia in any senior leadership team.[Read more…] about Surrounded by Idiots
When I think of books geared toward professional services firms, only one author comes to mind. His name is David Maister and some of his titles include Managing the Professional Services Firm, The Trusted Advisor, and Strategy and the Fat Smoker (my favorite). The newest title in this genre is now my favorite, and it’s entitled The Boutique: How to Start, Scale, and Sell a Professional Services Firm by Greg Alexander.[Read more…] about The Best Book for Professional Services Firms
If you think the fall of BlackBerry could have been prevented because it failed to act quickly on new technologies and fend off Apple’s, iPhone, it’s time to turn back the clock and look closer at its fast rise to $20 billion in annual revenues along with the issues the two brilliant founders of RIM faced as its business model started showing cracks in its foundation. The best place to start is the book, Losing The Signal.[Read more…] about The Rise and Fall of BlackBerry
When I read a biography of someone I have not heard of, I want the words to jump out and grab me with the impact they had on others and the world they lived in. I want to learn from them and I especially want to be inspired. Harry Guggenheim is a larger-than-life historical figure who checks all of those boxes, and he’s far more than the godfather of flight, a publisher accolade given to this extraordinary visionary.[Read more…] about Who Was Harry Guggenheim?
Should business professionals read more fiction and if so, why? Dr. Christy Seifert is a professor at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, and she wrote the 2020 article, The Case for Fiction in the Harvard Business Review. After reading that article, I just had to hear directly from this gifted communicator. I was especially intrigued by her discussion about cognitive agility and acuity along with the concepts and ideas behind cognitive openness.[Read more…] about The Business Case for Reading Fiction
For someone who consistently reads more than one hundred books annually including dozens of titles on value investing, I knew nothing about Bill Gross, one of the co-founders of PIMCO. That changed after I read The Bond King by Mary Childs which is the most complete account of this iconic money manager starting with a Hollywood-like origin story and continuing with his creation of a new industry but ending with an exit he probably never envisioned.[Read more…] about The Bond King with Mary Childs
With the passing of the 20th anniversary of WorldCom filing bankruptcy in the aftermath of the whistle being blown on its reporting of fraudulent financial statements, I wanted to revisit Cynthia Cooper’s page-turner, Extraordinary Circumstances. Former CFO Aaron Beam helps us to understand how and why this fraud was committed as he draws on his experience in the financial statement fraud at HealthSouth. Aaron is an author and sought-after public speaker at major universities around the country.[Read more…] about Revisiting WorldCom’s Financial Statement Fraud
One of my favorite CFOs is Bob Lung. For the past 33 years, he’s been chauffeuring players and dignitaries at the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame weekend activities in Canton, Ohio. In this fast-paced interview, we talk about Bob’s favorite moments at the Hall of Fame ceremony, what it means to be a driver during this event, and a couple of special stories. We also discuss whether your business should have a Hall of Fame.[Read more…] about Should Your Business Have a Hall of Fame?
What is the best book on negotiation you’ve ever read? Many readers might suggest Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. What if I said there is another title that’s far more practical with ideas that you can put into practice right now? That book is Negotiation Simplified by Jim Reiman. In this fast-paced conversation, we talk about the core four concepts of negotiating and the best discussion I’ve ever read about goals in the context of negotiating.[Read more…] about Negotiation Simplified with Jim Reiman