Monday, 20 February 2017

Are you a giver or a taker?

Having read Originals by Adam Grant a few weeks ago, I decided to try the prequel - Give and Take.

It's another interesting read, which encourages us all to examine whether we help or hinder others. And whether that has an impact on our business.

Grant's contention is, of course, that being a giver brings positive change to a business and he presents a range of examples that would back it up.

There's an old saying that those who give regularly and generously to others and especially to charity never become poor doing so. Ask Bill Gates. Perhaps there is something in that.

I've always considered myself a giver but I know I can be a taker, too. Which isn't always a bad thing. Read Grant's book and decide where you stand.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The reason fonts have a heart

I heard a fascinating programme about Milton Glaser, the original creator the I Love NY campaign.

He did it as a pro bono project to help NY state, although he's worked as a brilliant designer on lots of other much more lucrative jobs.

And his logo is the reason all typefaces now include the heart emoticon somewhere.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Being more original

This is an extraordinary book, telling the inspirational stories of some extraordinary people. Adam Grant explores new perspectives on how being more original can foster success.

How originals form alliances makes for interesting reading. Might it actually be wiser to form partnerships with enemies than friends or frenemies?

Grant explains how, in one experiment, groups including a dissenter generated 48% more solutions to problems than those including a devil's advocate. And their solutions were of higher quality. Perhaps we should all hold others accountable for speaking their minds.

As someone who always tells it how it is (not always to popular approval), much of this book rings true. How original are you?

Monday, 23 January 2017

Lucky? Or hard working?

Most of Sunday was spent reading 'Life's a Pitch'. I loved it.

The book contains the famous Gary Player quote. When accused of being lucky he agreed, with "and the harder I practise, the luckier I get." Practice really does make perfect.

Not all business books are helpful, but most will bring at least a couple of nuggets and another contained in this one is "You cannot bore someone into saying 'yes'." I've always been convinced that passion is key and you have to do something which makes you happy to kick off the duvet every morning. Otherwise, why bother? If you're bored, you'll come across as bored. And that's never going to win.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Read, read, read

Happy Birthday to me - great choice of gifts from my parents. They'll keep me going for a while.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A great view under grey skies

Sometimes, my life as a writer takes me out and about to the most unusual places. This was almost under the Dartford Crossing, on a grey January day.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

When you don't mind feeling old

A night of pub jazz when I was among the oldest people in the room. And the room was packed.

Jazz is in good hands - the band was Alex and Tom Ridout, Noah Stoneman, Rod Oughton and Joe Boyle (and a guest appearance from the more mature Dave Keech). They're all less than half my age and I really didn't mind.

They're also better players than I am. Don't mind that either.

It was so good to have to fight a path around the bar of one of Hitchin's oldest and coolest pubs, The Highlander. Lots of bright young things and if some of them talked a little too much during the gig, there's worse things. They were obviously loving the music.