"Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple."

Steve Jobs

"Please explain the problem to me slowly, as I do not understand things quickly."

Albert Einstein

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors."

African proverb

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader"

John Quincy Adams

"I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Best Leadership & Business Books of 2014

Here are our Top 5 leadership & business books from 2014, as well as our Rotten Tomato:


1. Consiglieri by Richard Hytner (2014)

This book is how to be (or manage) a great no2, chair, COO, advisor, consultant, vice-president etc. It's full of insights, interviews with great & famous No2s, and good advice on how to become excellent in these roles.
It's also laugh out loud funny. In the Amazon recommendations it has Gordon Brown saying, "I wish I'd read this book." The next recommendation is by Tony Blair who said, "I wish he'd read this book."
Hytner is deputy chair of Saatchi & Saatchi and is Professor of Marketing at London Business School. 


2. Contagious by Jonah Berger (2013)

This Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller is a must for those who want successful word-of-mouth campaigns. If you've ever wondered why certain stories get shared, emails get forwarded or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to make your product or idea catch on.
With research showing that word of mouth is the primary factor between 20-50% of all purchasing decisions this fascinating book is well worth reading and applying.
Berger is a professor of marketing at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 


3. The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters (2012)

This book has been highly talked about because Peters has supported various famous sports stars and teams, for example: "Without Steve I don't think I would have won gold in Athens in 2004," Sir Chris Hoy. 
The Chimp Paradox is a powerful mind management model that can help you healthily manage emotions so that you can improve performance, relate better, and enjoy more sleep. It's science written in an accessible way!
Peters is a Consultant Psychiatrist and is Undergraduate Dean at Sheffield University Medical School.


4. Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet (2012)

Marquet was a US submarine captain. On taking over command of the USS Santa Fe - then the worst perfoming sub in the fleet - he unknowingly gave an impossible order which his crew tried to follow anyway. When he later asked why the order wasn't challenged, the answer was, "Because you told me to." Marquet then began implementing a philosophy of management that turned followers into leaders and saw the Santa Fe become an outstanding boat.
This is a very practical book on how to engage people and solve problems collectively. Think The Hunt for Red October meets Good to Great
Stephen Covey visited the boat and thought it the most empowered organisation he had experienced.


5. Difference by Bernadette Jiwa (2014)

This short book is well worth a read as it will help you develop marketing strategies that don't focus on what's different about you but do focus on helping your customers to make a difference.
The book teaches how to use Jiwa's useful one-page marketing tool. Seth Godin called this book, "A generous work of genius." 


And our 2014 Rotten Tomato: 

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek (2014)

We are fans of Sinek and loved the simplicity of his Start With Why. Leaders Eat Last is well written and is about an important subject - employee engagaement. The problem is that it's a subject that has already been extensively written about and unfortunately Sinek doesn't really offer anything new.
So this title gets our Rotten Tomato thrown at it because we want more from this talented writer and thinker.