Thursday, December 28, 2017

27 books in 3 days

I recently did a no internet or phone for 3 days Christmas with 2 of my grandkids.  The result  - I got 27 books read.  Some summaries:

Bring out the Best in Every Employee by Dan Brown and Bill Hawkins.  Good book - good studies on what works and what people want.  Good refresher since much of it is intuitive.

Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Very unrealistic and not many good business tips.

Distilled by Charles Bronfman.  A page turner for me.  The family that owned Seagrams went from glory to family infighting and losing their crown jewel.  Charles owned the Expos for a time.  I do not do sports but found some of it interesting.  And it covered much of his philanthropic endeavours.

Twas the Night before Christmas.  Not sure why I needed to read it again - I guess my grand daughter must have thought I forgot something.

Twas the Night before Christmas.  Yes read it again.  I thought children were supposed to have short attention spans but I was the one wanting to move on.

From Pain to Profit - Secrets of a Peak Performance Trader.  A self published book (so I found typos).  Suggested to me by my friend that runs BloomBoss.  98% of it was about psychology and how to think logically.  Interesting book.

Twas the Night Before Christmas.  This time I am wondering what the mice were supposed to be cooking and if it burned on since "Not a creature was stirring - not even a mouse"

Kidnapped by Robert Lewis Stephenson.  Can't be all business.  This was purely for leisure.  Slightly tough to read quickly because of the old English/Scottish.  It was still a good read.

Twas the Night before Christmas.  Who would have thought a 3 year old would know if you skipped a few pages.

Twas the Night Before Christmas.  I am worried Papa Noel (my granddaughter mostly speaks French) is not a good role model.  Over eats, breaks into people's houses.

Twas the Night Before Christmas.  I want to know how to slide down a chimney and get no soot on me.

Better Now - 6 Big Ideas to Improve Healthcare for all Canadians.  Good book by an MD who works in the system.  I agreed with 80% of what she suggested but not the other 20%.  Worth reading to just stay up on what is happening.

Twas the Night Before Christmas.  I am thinking I need to write a business book that rhymes.  It does make the reading more interesting.

Becoming your Best - 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders by Steven Shallenberger.  I had actually previously read this but wanted the refresher.  It is not a bad reminder of what we need to do.

The Zappos Experience by Joseph Michelli.  Great read.  Great reminder that culture is king.  Made lots of notes.  Will re-read.

Twas the Night Before Christmas.  I wonder - do you hit the NY Times best seller list by getting read 100,000 times or do you need to sell different copies?

Leaders Eat Last by one of my favourite authors - Simon Sinuk.  Definitely worth reading.  The gist - people are inspired by leaders who think of others and the good of the organization - not themselves.

And finally - you guessed it.  Twas the Night Before Christmas.  I wonder if I can get it on audio.

A picture of us reading...

Monday, December 04, 2017

In Praise of Brevity

I wrote this a while ago - repubilishing now.

“I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter” by Blaise Pascal (1623-62).
We are inundated with information. People are starved for time and as such they greatly respect and value short correspondence, articles and blog posts. People actually use the length of the message as a way to filter what gets read.
I do not say this just because I am a Time Management geek.
If you want people to read something, make it short and concise. A paragraph that runs five sentences long is daunting and there is a good chance that the reader will not read it.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Use simple, short words: They are easier to understand — so use simple English even if it offends your sense of literacy.
2. Use dashes to shorten up a sentence – most readers are not grammatical experts and value sentences that are more in line with the way they speak.
3. Use bullet points and numbered paragraphs – it keeps the meaning clear and organized in our minds
4. Lines and spacing: The more white background space on the page, the easier it is to read the black text. Double spacing text is easier to read than single spacing
Less text is more effective. And I could keep writing but that would undermine my point.
And since a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps including pictures negates this position on brevity?  And yes that is a Danby fridge on her apron.  She thinks it says Daddy.