Knowing full well that all my readers are successful, highly motivated self-starters (feeling good about yourself now?  That’ll be £2,275.50), I thought I’d catch you before you all disappear off on holiday to recommend the cream of this summer’s new books in the area of business and personal development.  Take any one of these in your suitcase and you’ll return from holiday thoroughly reengineered and ready to reach new heights of personal success.  Plus I get 10% commission if you order them via my website.


Beat The Bullies: Put An End To Victimisation In The Workplace By ‘Crusher’ McGoogan

In this practical and motivating book, ex-convict turned psychologist McGoogan argues that the key to avoid being bullied at work is to shift the power balance between victim and bully.  In the office, as in prison, bullies prey on the weak and need to get the message that you are not to be trifled with. Among the innovative methods he suggests for getting workplace bullies to leave you alone are:

- Train a Pit Bull terrier to attack them

- Pay a big man with a bald head to shoot them in the kneecaps and say “This is a present from [your name here]”

- Put ground glass in their Starbucks coffee.

Don’t miss this groundbreaking book from the man they’re already calling “The best ex-convict psychologist author since that other bloke”.  Dr Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese? says: “Well dust my knuckles: it’s a hit!”.


Shakespeare at Work: Leadership and the Immortal Bard by Polesden Lacey

As actor turned management consultant Lacey says in this mindset-shifting and thought-provoking book: “If music be the food of love, then surely Shakespeare’s verse is the breakfast of leaders.” Lacey argues that leaders in organisations can double their effectiveness by taking some lessons from our greatest playwright.  Among the leaders held up as role models are Macbeth (murders anyone who stands in his way), Richard III (murders anyone who stands in his way) and King Lear (withdraws share options from anyone who stands in his way, and wails a lot).  Other characteristics of Shakespearian heroes the modern leader can emulate are:

- Wearing doublet and hose in the office

- Speaking in lines of 10 syllables

- Telling jokes no one can understand.

Dr Spencer Johnson, Author of Who Cut The Cheese? says: “To read or not to read? No question!”


Office Life Is Like the Passing of The Wind by Bart D. Narter

College dropout turned organisational healer Narter takes the ancient wisdom of Liang-ho Shi’s Art of Wind, first published in 8,000 BC, and shows how it can revolutionise your approach to work.  It’s hard to believe, but thousands of years before the birth of Steven Covey, this Chinese sage understood the essence of personal effectiveness.  Among the many pieces of indispensable wisdom in this mind-expanding and altered-state-inducing book are:

- “To look a man in the eye is to see him.”

- “A grain of rice is twice half a grain: no more and no less.”

- “When paper jams, emotions flow freely”

Dr Spencer Johnson, author of Who Squeezed my Toothpaste? says: “One to meditate on”.


Octagonal Thinking: How to stop the Golden Thread of Strategy Unravelling by John T. Chance, Ulf Forkbeardsson and Dr Marion D Schweiner.

A seismic-rumbling, paradigm-shifting book that will change the way organisations think about strategy.  Following a 30-year study of companies in the West Midlands, the authors argue that the single reason businesses run into trouble is because leaders fail to make clear the distinction between ‘strategic implementation’ and ‘implementing strategy’.  The solution is to hold what they call ‘eight-fold conversations’ in which implementation is strategised before strategy is implemented, using a four-dimensional matrix.   

Dr Spencer Johnson, author of Who Let My Tyres Down? Says: “To be honest, I preferred The Da Vinci Code.”


© Phil Lowe, 2006.  All rights reserved.