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Steve Jobs - The Exclusive Biography

My thoughts

I always find accomplished people interesting to read about. Steve Jobs is, for some, regarded as the Dalai Lama of computers, but for some, not so much. He has made computer history nonetheless, and made Apple one of the greatest computer companies in the world. This entrepreneurial journey is a great example of will and perseverance. Steve Jobs is not always seen as a good leader, but Apple would not have been what it is today if it had not been for him and his determination, manic perfectionism as well as his vision for the company.

Three important things that define a great biography; a fascinating subject, a captivating narrative and accuracy. Isaacson hits the nail on the head of all three of these requirements and does so really well. Not that Isaacson is not biased, but every author is a bit based. As all authors, as they are human beings, Isaacson is slightly biased – however, this does not affect the book too badly We get to enter the successes, dilemmas, ups and downs of Steve’s life from many aspects. He was respected for being a good negotiator, salesman and loved to put on a good performance. He was hated for not being easy to please, being very emotional and always demanding the impossible. All of this is the dynamics of a complex personality that had a intense laser like focus with the will to change the world.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work

Things to learn from Steves life:

1.  Remove the unnecessary

2.  Building an A team

3.  Do and make things you believe in

4.  Collaborate often through discussion

5.  Do the impossible

6.  Simplify experiences to make them greater

7.  Own your work and protect it.

8.  Live between intellect and intuition.

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About the Author

Walter Isaacson born 1952 is an journalist, american writer and university professor of tulane university. He is chairman and CEO of CNN and managing editor at Time. He has also written biographies on, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger and Leonardo Da Vinci as well as Steve Jobs

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The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs

My thoughts

The Real leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs is a great little booklet with inspiring bullet points with some great little memoir attached to from Jobs life. The company many aspire to be like has been ruled by Jobs and this is a amazing little reminder of the leadership type he was and what kept him in the game for so long. This booklet is a great little addition to Steve Jobs biography as it focus on the core leadership facets of Jobs rather his whole journey. Walter Isaacson wrote the booklet in a more descriptive nature of Jobs leadership after the biographie because the response from leaders and top folks wanted a more laid out reflection an Jobs approach to leadership.

“Some people say, "Give the customers what they want." But that's not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, "If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, 'A faster horse!'" People don't know what they want until you show it to them.”

Here is a 14 steps for Jobs-like leadership noteworthy from his life:

  1. Focus
  2. Simplify
  3. Take responsibility
  4. When behind leapfrog
  5. Products before profit
  6. Don’t be a slave to focus and control groups
  7. Bend reality
  8. Impute
  9. Push for perfection
  10. Tolerate only a players
  11. Engage face to face
  12. Know the big picture and the details
  13. Combine humanities with the sciences
  14. Stay hungry, stay foolish

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About the Author

Walter Isaacson born 1952 is an journalist, american writer and university professor of tulane university. He is chairman and CEO of CNN and managing editor at Time. He has also written biographies on, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger and Leonardo Da Vinci as well as Steve Jobs

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Harvard Business Review: 10 Must Reads on Change Management

My thoughts

This book On Emotional Intelligence, I really wanted to read because, I can always improve my emotional intelligence and leadership skills. The New York Times bestseller on Emotional Intelligence is a case based and sciences backed book, well written and easy to dig into. The book was dubbed “One of The 25 Most Influential Business Management books” by TIME Magazine. With every case there is a reflection upon what could be improved, as well as a overall summary of the idea behind the case . 

This is one of those books one should put small markers in to get back to every now and then. Emotional intelligence is becoming more and more widespread as a must amongst leaders. Unlike before were more aggressive and “My way or the highway” type of leadership has been culled. This book gave me a good insight on what to focus on and gave me a checklist of ideas that I could go on with. I rate it 3.9 out of 5 because i think it is an interesting topic, well written and has some good cases in it took me longer than expected to read it as it is not a super catchy book.

A useful rule of thumb: If you can’t communicate the vision to someone in five minutes or less and get a reaction that signifies both understanding and interest, you are not yet done

Here is a little snippet checklist from the book

1. Lead change throught eight critical stages 

2. Establish a sense of urgency 

3. Overcome status qou 

4. Mobilize commitment 

5. Silence naysayers 

6. Minimize the pain of change 

7. Concentrate on the resources at hand 

8. Motivate change when business is good

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About the Author

John Paul Kotter- Born 1947 in California, is a professor of leadership at Harvard Business School. Kotter is founder of Kotter International, a managment consulting firm based in Boston. Kotter teaches in business, leadership and change.

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Harvard Business Review: 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence

My thoughts

This book On Emotional Intelligence, I really wanted to read because, I can always improve my emotional intelligence and leadership skills. The New York Times bestseller on Emotional Intelligence is a case based and sciences backed book, well written and easy to dig into. The book was dubbed “One of The 25 Most Influential Business Management books” by TIME Magazine. With every case there is a reflection upon what could be improved, as well as a overall summary of the idea behind the case . 

This is one of those books one should put small markers in to get back to every now and then. Emotional intelligence is becoming more and more widespread as a must amongst leaders. Unlike before were more aggressive and “My way or the highway” type of leadership has been culled. This book gave me a good insight on what to focus on and gave me a checklist of ideas that I could go on with. I rate it 3.9 out of 5 because i think it is an interesting topic, well written and has some good cases in it took me longer than expected to read it as it is not a super catchy book.

My immersion in research on work performance led me realize that all too often the quality of data on which business people based people decisions left much to be desired.

Here is a little snippet checklist from the book. These are EI capabilities of leadership

1. Self Awareness – Know you own strengths, weakness, drive, principals and influence on others

2. Self regulate – Control & redirecting of disruptive thoughts, impulses, mood

3. Motivation – The pleasure of performing

4. Empathy – The understanding of others emotional composition

5. Social skills – The ability to build a relationship to others & make them go in the right direction

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About the Author

Daniel Goleman is an psychologist and science journalist from California born 1946. He is a lector, a New York Times Bestseller author and has won several awards for his psychological publishings. Some of the topics Goleman has written about include: Meditation, self-deception, creativity, transparency, social and emotional learning.

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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

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Summary

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness is about our choices and how we make them. It is a eye opener in what we do and why we do things. Thaler and Sunstein offers a new perspective on how to prevent the countless bad mistakes we make in our lives. The book covers personal investment, consumptions of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources and more. A nudge makes it more likely that an individual will make a certain choice. By altering the choice architecture we can in a predictable way without forbidding options change automatic cognitive processes to favor a desired outcome. Sunstein & Thaler both describe that we process things in two systems of thought:

       1. System is a automatic, fast and prone to enviromental stimuli

       2. System is slow reflective and take intentions as well as goals into account

A nudge alters environmental stimuli and resulting in choice that is the most positive or desired outcome. Like in a cafeteria where the cake is placed in the end and not as the first item.

To push slightly or gently, especially with the elbow, to get someone's attention, prod someone into action, etc.

My thoughts

I really liked this book but it was sometimes a bit tedious in length. Some critics may say that these small nudges won’t change long term behavioral patterns. When that is said the book gives good insight on how the human brain functions on a smaller scale and has both application in marketing, business and small scale decision making techniques. Some of the book was applicable but I felt other parts could be left out. Overall great and interesting book with a Mentor Score of  3/5

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About the Authors

Cass R. Sunstein is a American scholar of law. Born in Massachusetts USA in 1954. Sunstein has taught for 27 years at the University of Chicago Law School, is the University Professor at Harvard Law School and is a Honorary Doctor at Copenhagen Business School. Studies published between 2009 – 2013 Sunstein has ben found to be the most frequently cited American legal scholar. Sunstein has also been Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2012

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Richard H. Thaler born 1945 and American economist. Thaler was president of the American Economic Association in 2015 and is a Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2017 he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Announced in the Nobel Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that his “contributions have built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making”.

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Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany

Summary

The book is about Germany under the influence of what most people would consider hard narcotics. But at the time no one knew about the consequences of taking high amounts of different substances for extended periods of time. Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany covers how Germany at the time took meth like people drink coffee. You need to be critical of all sources of information, but considering how many documents gets declassified over the years it is no wonder that, more and more juicy stuff surfaces. The history is written by the winners and Germany was seen as a place where everyone was a part of the Nazi regime. A lot of the soldiers, the normal citizens and even Hitler himself was under the influence of some, of the all time hardest narcotics. This begs the question was it like we thought it was? How much was drug related and how much was just pure evil?

The fact was that between the autumn of 1941, when he started being given hormone and steroid injections, and the second half of 1944, when first the cocaine and then above all the Eukodal kicked in, Hitler hardly enjoyed a sober day.

My thoughts

I  think this book was a thrill to read. Just the idea that so many aspects of the war was based on pure “will” gets questioned when you through cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine and other deviants of the former into the mix. According to Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany the blitzkrieg was not even possible, if it was not for “the little blue pill”, with meth in. The book takes you on a journey behind the scenes with the German soldiers and how Hitler’s personal doctor abuses him and others around him with hard narcotics, to keep them afloat. It becomes a deep cross addiction. I really enjoyed this book to the very end, and would recommend to anyone who enjoys history. I rate this book a 4.8/5 because I think that it is a bit to long although you get to see a 360 degree view of Germany at the time which is very well done.

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About the Author

Norman Ohler was born in Zweibrücken in 1970. He is a journalist and has studied culture science and philosophy. He has earlier released novels and short stories. Norman has throughout 5 years made research in archives both in Germany and the US for this book, Blitzed; Drugs in Nazi Germany, which lead to his first non-fiction book.

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Fight for Your Money: How to Stop Getting Ripped Off and Save a Fortune

My thoughts

Fight For Your Money starts out with an introduction about how corporate interest eats up all of our hard earned money. This book serves more as a “read the parts you like”, reference work. I have a good grasp on private economics and this book still gave me more insightful knowledge. The book has a chapter for everything from travel to buying real estate. Personally I got most out of the more universally useful tips and action steps hence I live in Denmark and this book is written with a American audience in mind. It is really pick and choose with what subjects are the most useful for you. Every chapter ends with action steps related to the subjects in question as a resume.

My rating overall considering that the speaker also is a factor and there was no music, which is a plus, I give it a ⅘. I give it this score based on the usable steps for me as a global citizen and that in the audio-book there are a lot of links being read out loud. I also would like that there was a bit on investing but the author stays on topic and only gives advice about how to fight for your money not as much how to multiply it. Otherwise well written and I would recommend anyone willing to evaluate their spending!

 

As a rule, if a product is so unreliable that you need to supplement the manufacturer’s warranty with additional protection, you probably shouldn’t be buying it in the first place

8 Financial Rules to live by from Bach

        1. Save An Hour a Day of Your Income for Retirement

        2. Don’t Get Extended Warranties – Research your purchase

        3. Avoid Most Work-At-Home Opportunities

        4. Get Term Life Insurance

        5. Clean Out Your Mailbox

        6. Ask to Have Your Credit Card Account Closed

        7. Be Careful with Debit Cards

        8. Don’t Trade In Your Old Car – Sell it separately 

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About the Author

David L Bach is a American financial author, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and tv personality. In his early life he has been a senior vice president of Morgan Stanley and a partner of The Bach Group. Bach is best known for his Finish Rich Book and Automatic Millionaire. He has written 12 books since 1998 and has been a 9x time New York Times bestseller.

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10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works - A True Story

Resume

Nightline anchor Dan harris takes on a unexpected and critical journey into self help as well as spirituality. Dan takes on the voice in his head still not convinced that it is possible to calm it. After fixating on the miracle cures peddled by the self help gurus he figures out how to tame his inner voice. Through meditation although really sceptical at first sees how high ranking CEO’s, scientists, and marines are taking this on to endure stressful times whilst increasing calmness and focus. Dan tries with success after learning that meditation can help rewire his brain and make him more calm as time goes by.

If you'd told me when I first arrived in New York City, to start working in network news, that I'd be using meditation to defang the voice in my head or that I'd ever write a whole book about it. I would have laughed at you!

My thoughts

When I started on this book I had not read any reviews or had any previous suggestions on the book. With that in mind I was in a mindset of self help, and personal development. This book is more a story and a perspective from Dan Harris than actionable steps or advice. It was hard for me to extract a golden nugget from this book. Overall it seems like a great book, there is story telling and Dan gets to a point were he finds meditation without being woosy about it. I find that Dan is an ass which he also states himself, this I find funny but it is for sure a taste thing. He becomes more self aware and this process is interesting but the book is to long in my opinion. Overall not my cup of tea. This book I rate a 2,5/5.

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About the Author

Daniel B “Dan” Harris born july 26 1971 is a ABC News correspondent, anchor for nightline, and co anchor for Good morning America. Dan states that his self-examination, which led him to write the book, was an on-air panic attack on June 7, 2004

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Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

My thoughts

I really enjoyed this book it gives you a really good insight on Arnolds, rags to riches. Its a story and biography by a man who has reached far beyond the average man’s potential. He has been a 7 time Mr Olympia champion, Leading man in a dozen big movies, build a real estate empire, several businesses, got with Maria Kennedy and became governor of California. He has done more in a lifetime than most do in one. 

This book really motivates me and it is always great to get a point of view from successful people and see their struggles. It is not a recipe near applicable for most people probably not even half but still a good story and read none the less. 

The golden nugget for this book is definitely that he has a savage work ethic and has laser like focus on his goals. More people need this,  it is one of the reasons people fail. Arnold takes action, and goes through with his actions. He does not accept a no for an answer. Things to take away from this book is also how good Arnold is with people. He seems like a open and like able person that goes his own way with integrity. He has his flaws we all do but one thing that beats all advice is to be a good salesperson, do the work, have unprecedented charisma and drive for success. 

The first part of the book is my favorite and is, i feel at this point the most relevant for me, as a young man. The second part is harder to relate to although it is a really great peek into a different and richer world where money is not a problem and the only limit is the sky. The Kennedy family, the bushes and other political relations.

This book  belong amongst my top favorite biographies. I would rate this book a 4.5/5 in the light of the second part being a little long. I ussually find biographies hard to judge given that it is a persons life that is being judged and the focus should rather be on wich parts are exaggerated or marginalized by the authors aswell as how well written the story is. It is worth noteing that i think this book is heavily influenced by the political route in Arnolds life.

These are the rules Arnold has distilled from his experiences and want to pass on to others:

    1. Never let pride get in your way

    2. Don’t overthink

    3. Forget plan B [Test yourself and grow]

    4. Use outrageous humor to settle a score

    5. The day has 24 hours

    6. Reps, Reps, Reps

    7. Don’t blame your parents

    8. Change takes big balls

    9. Take care of your body and your mind

    10. Stay Hungry

Here are Arnolds golden nuggets:

  • Turn your liabilities into assets
  • When someone tells you no you should hear yes
  • Never follow the crowd. Go where it’s empty
  • No matter what you do in life, selling is part of it

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About the Author

Arnold Schwarzenegger is born in Austria in 1947 and moved to Los Angeles at the age of twenty-one. Within ten years he was a millionaire businessman. After twenty years he was the world’s biggest movie star and after 2003 he became the governor of California and a universally recognized face the world over.

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The 12 Principles for Winning The Mind Game

My thoughts

The 12 Principles are motivational and mindset oriented. This one Is really interesting. You have to really have a open mind. I heard the audio “tapes” as bob refers to. The audiobook is one of those where you need to bear with the music in it. This personally for me, can turn me of a book real fast, but i thought that Bob Proctor was a motivational speaker and probably had some gems hidden in there. Sure enough after hearing the whole book I went back to it once in awhile these following days. 

The book is made in chapters over every power principal. This made it easy to jump right into the subject that I really felt could improve on. To be honest the music really sucks because of the intervening in the chapters. Some chapters the music is only at the start and end. There is a idea that the music should help ease one into the type of message you are about to receive. Sometimes i just let it flow but did not really feel the author’s intention.

I really like the idea that everything is a mindset from your attitude, what you do and how you communicate to others. For me specially the Attitude, confidence and action chapters really spoke to me. This book really is a pick and chose when it comes to material. I mean, I listened to the whole book to be able to review and to get a glimpse of something I could work on.

I would rate this book at a 3.5/5. I give it this score because of the constant music and that I sometimes feelt a certain ‘fakeness’ when trying to interact with the reader/listeners. The book is rather old so there aren’t many reviews for this particular piece of material.

The 12 Chapters for success!

   1Success                  7. Action
 

    2Decision                 8. Money

    3. Risk                         9. Goals

    4. Persistence         10. Attitude

    5. Responsibility     11. Creativity

    6. Confidence         12. Communication

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About the Author

Bob Proctor is an internationally sought after motivational speaker and became a self made millionaire after he dropedout of high-shcool. Bob has traveled the globe and spoken to thousands of people on how to believe, act and succeed. He is a canadian and has made several books on motivational topics.

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