those 5 days of sunshine we cherish in the UK each year
I managed to get through some books that have been sitting on my Kindle far too long, here they are
1. Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking
As the title suggests, we are living in a ‘look at my holiday pics’ and a ‘I’m very intelligent so read my post’ era.
Look at the business section of any book store and the titles scream ‘extroversion is the only way you’ll survive in this world, read this book, take action and kick ass!’
Cain discusses how the west developed an extroverted ideal and frowned upon introversion in schools, life and work space. She took me on a journey from Dale Carnegie home town to Harvard Business School, where she noticed every person exude extroversion not only in their communication but even how they walked; proud and tall, chest out swagger
She attends a Tony Robbins seminar and notices the similarities between the big man and a preacher at an evangelical megachurch. She spoke to Asian American students who found the culture of being outspoken (sometimes just for the sake of being heard and not actually inputing value) went against their cultural norms in an Asian environment.
Check out her TED Talk first if you are unsure if this book is for you
2. Michael Jordan – The Life
What I learnt: Impressively researched of Jordan’s early life, his family from his hard working grand father to his dad and mother.
His intense focus on winning when he played in College through to winning NBA titles
What I didn’t like:
- Michael Jordan’s attitude. If like me you know nothing other than his sporting accomplishments, you may also be a little disappointed to know how he was toward his NBA team mates, or anyone who ever doubted him. Watch his acceptance speech into the NBA hall of fame and all will be revealed here
For 20 minutes the man recalls every person, player and coach to ever doubt him. The first few minutes is funny, then it just gets cringe and the humour stops, like someone telling a joke then carrying on the same joke but with different characters.
- its a long book at 720 pages, but the chapters seem to drag on about his college life and some concepts get a bit repetitive ie. he works hard, he is super focused, he doesn’t like the lime light, he is a bit of a recluse, he wants to win.
- the constant referencing to who said what about the great man gets tiresome for me ie. ‘XYZ said of Michael once that he did ABC, this was backed up by an interview with ABC in sports illustrated stating that same thing’.
For me this happens way too much, we all need to reference our sources and thank the author for the hard work, but it’s make it for difficult reading
He played one-on-one with his brother once and during a heated trash talk exchange he reminded him whose name was on his shoes! (Burn!!)
Him and a reporter would play table tennis where Jordan lost the first 7 exchanges in which they agreed was $25 to the winner per game. Being the guy who hates losing Jordan got back 2 quick games and began is trash talking to the point where he won his money back. The reporter says that he’d like to play for fun where Jordan say no, either money or nothing. He couldn’t even play a friendly game of table tennis
3. Linchpin – Are you indispensable?
First book of Seth Godins I’ve read and won’t be the last.
Too many great quotes to mention, most pages are eye opening and inward reflecting of the reader, prodding and asking the tough questions about how valuable we are (or think we are)to the market place.
Some home truths about how we ‘think’ our skills are of value, when in reality they’re not
What I didn’t like: right from the first chapter, it was apparent that I needed to up my game if I’m to survive and prosper in the new world
‘we’re not born to be cogs in an industrial machine, we we trained to be cogs’
‘yesterdays remarkable is today’s really good and tomorrow’s mediocre. Mediocre is merely a failed attempt to be really good’
‘the only way to get what your worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organisations and people care deeply about’
‘show, not tell. Projects are the new resumes ‘
4. Atlas Shrugged by Ayan Rand
It should have been called Atlas Struggled, because that’s what I did trying to read through it
10 hours of my life I won’t get back, I have nothing positive to say about this book
Written in the 50’s about a family run railway company in America, it had my interest 20% in, by the time a love interest was introduced to one of the main characters, all interest was lost
I welcome anyone to shed some light on this book for me, I obviously missed something in the 1000 pages!
5. John Key – Portrait of a Prime Minister
I left NZ in 2004 to go on an adventure around the world and have only been back a handful of times, for holidays
It seems my fellow country men either love or hate our prime minister, so before I form an opinion it’s best I get schooled first.
What did I learnt:
- He was poor – his Jewish mothers family escaped Austria in the 40’s and moved to London, she met an married an Englishman who wanted to move to the other side of the world when JK was a boy. The marriage didn’t last long and his mother left his dad, taking JK and his two eldest sisters to struggle on a single income in state housing
- Hard work : speaking of his late mother
‘she was living testimony that one gets out of life what one puts into it. There is no substitute for hard work and determination’
- He’s now rich: JK was head of the Forex desk at Merrill Lynch in London, where he frequented back and forth to New York sometimes 3 times a week. It’s uncertain how much he is worth, but sources estimate his worth around $50m USD
- He’s ruthless: NZ governments have never wanted to sell public assets due to it being hugely unpopular with the public. However in 2011 he went against previous governments and announced land sell offs to overseas investors which is one of the reason why my fellow country love to hate him
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