Business Comics: November 2016

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The problem with “Let’s”.

How to get through the day when you hate your job.

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Distractions at work.

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Different reactions when the boss cancels the meeting.



Business Books on our 2017 Reading List

Business books that you need to put on your reading list too!

Never split the difference.pngNever Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.



deep-workDeep Work by Cal Newport

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.


launchLaunch by Jeff Walker

“Launch” will build your business—fast. Whether you’ve already got a business or you’re itching to start one, this is a recipe for getting more traction.



lean-startupThe Lean Startup, Eric Reis

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.


4-hr-work-weekFour hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times.


reworkRework by Jason Fried

Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you’ll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition.


flyingFlying without a Net by Thomas J. DeLong

Confronted by omnipresent threats of job loss and change, even the brightest among us are anxious. In response, we’re hunkering down, blocking ourselves from new challenges.


executionExecution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

The book that shows how to get the job done and deliver results . . . whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job.



captureAndrew Carnegie by David Nasaw

Celebrated historian David Nasaw, whom The New York Times Book Review has called “a meticulous researcher and a cool analyst,” brings new life to the story of one of America’s most famous and successful businessmen and philanthropists—in what will prove to be the biography of the season. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times.

capture1The 50th Law by 50 Cent

In The 50th Law, hip hop and pop culture icon 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) joins forces with Robert Greene, bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power, to write a “bible” for success in life and work based on a single principle: fear nothing.


capture3Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic, Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer’s yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top “mental athletes.”


capture4The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christenten

The bestselling classic on disruptive innovation, by renowned author Clayton M. Christensen.



capture5The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun

The riveting story of how a young man turned $25 into more than 200 schools around the world and the guiding steps anyone can take to lead a successful and significant life.



Have you read any of these yet? Share a book review with us by sending an email to






The 23 best business books to read this summer

reading beachA man reads a book at the Anantara Rasananda in Koh Phangan, Thailand.Paula Bronstein/Getty Images


Summer’s officially begun, and that probably means you’re going to need something to read on your next trip to the beach or for the long flight to your vacation destination.

You’ll be kicking back, but might as well bring something educational to accompany that magazine you picked up at the airport.

To help you out, we’ve selected our favorite business memoirs, career guides, and the most exciting research on the future of work.

You’re sure to find something to like that will also leave you with some ideas to take back to the office.

View As: One Page Slides


‘Sprint’ by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz

'Sprint' by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz


Ever wonder how you could bring some of Google’s magic into your office without installing a quirky slide between floors or investing in an on-site chef? “Sprint” can help you out.

It’s a guide from Google’s venture capital arm GV. Its design partners Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz explain how to implement their signature five-day “sprint” session.

They’ll show you how they’ve used this method to launch game-changing products with companies like Blue Bottle Coffee, Slack, and Nest.

Find it here »

‘Shoe Dog’ by Phil Knight

Nike is not only the world’s biggest athletic company, with a market cap of about $88 billion. It’s also, remarkably, been able to be a worldwide leader of “cool” since the 1970s.

It all started with a new college grad named Phil Knight who sold running shoes out of his parents’ garage.

Knight is retiring as the chairman of Nike this month, and he’s using his book “Shoe Dog” as the definitive story of how he built an empire. It’s a well-written and emotionally engaging story about an entrepreneur growing as a human being alongside the company in which he completely invested himself.

Find it here »

‘Originals’ by Adam Grant

'Originals' by Adam Grant

Penguin Random House

Adam Grant is a star in his field. He’s the highest-rated professor at Wharton and the youngest to ever reach “full professor.” His success is built on some of the most exciting and practical work in behavioral science.

In his latest book, Grant takes a look at some of the most innovative and daring thinkers of the past 100 years, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the founders of Google, breaking down what goes on inside the mind of an “original.”

Find it here »

‘O Great One!’ by David Novak and Christina Bourg

'O Great One!' by David Novak and Christina Bourg


When David Novak retired as the chairman of Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut) in May, he left behind a legacy of 41,000 restaurants across 125 countries and a market capitalization of about $34 billion.

His book “O Great One!” is a parable based on his own career that communicates the No. 1 leadership lesson he learned: The greatest thing a leader can do is show appreciation for great work.

Find it here »

‘How to Have a Good Day’ by Caroline Webb

'How to Have a Good Day' by Caroline Webb


Caroline Webb is the CEO of consulting firmSevenshift and a senior adviser to McKinsey, where she was formerly a partner. Her book is a collection of career best practices she’s learned in her 16 years as a consultant.

“How to Have a Good Day” may sound like a book full of self-affirmations, but it’s densely packed with field-tested career advice, from how to have productive meetings to how to deal with an annoying coworker.

Find it here »

‘Grit’ by Angela Duckworth

'Grit' by Angela Duckworth


What’s the one thing that West Point cadets, spelling-bee champs, Jeff Bezos, and Julia Child have in common?

Ask Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and a winner of the MacArthur “genius” award, and she’ll tell you: grit. That is, a combination of passion and perseverance that plays a huge role in determining your success in life — more so even than intelligence or innate talent.

To be sure, “Grit” and the psychology behind it have its critics, some of whom say that the research doesn’t add anything especially new. Regardless of where you stand, the book is a compelling read that will encourage you to start questioning your own potential for achievement.

Find it here »

‘An Everyone Culture’ by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

'An Everyone Culture' by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey


In nearly every workplace, employees are working two jobs: the one they signed up for and the one spent navigating office politics, argue Harvard professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey in “An Everyone Culture.”

There are, however, companies that avoid this, and the authors call these Deliberately Developmental Organizations (DDOs).

Kegan and Laskow thoroughly analyze what they perceive to be the benefits of radical transparency through case studies on hedge fund giant Bridgewater, ecommerce company company Next Jump, and real estate company Decurion.

Find it here »

‘Quench Your Own Thirst’ by Jim Koch

'Quench Your Own Thirst' by Jim Koch


Today, Americans can walk into nearly any neighborhood supermarket or corner store and find at least one quality craft beer. But when Jim Koch left a consulting job with a $250,000 salary in 1984 to start a beer company and compete with the likes of Budweiser and Heineken, he seemed like a lunatic.

Today Koch’s Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams, is a $2 billion company and one of the reasons why it’s no longer seen as crazy to open a brewery in the US.

“Quench Your Own Thirst” is the story of how he got there, told in Koch’s blunt, wry delivery — for example, in one chapter he breaks down the “F— You” rule he implemented at Boston Beer.

Find it here »

‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport

'Deep Work' by Cal Newport


In 2016, nearly anyone living in the developed world has a short attention span from years spent jumping among smartphone apps and web browser tabs. It’s not a benign cultural change, argue Georgetown professor and bestselling author Cal Newport, because the greatest output is the result of what he calls “deep work.”

Newport’s book of the same name explains how one can build sessions of deep work into their work days to get more top-quality work done in the span of an hour than they otherwise would in the entire day.

Find it here »

‘Ego is the Enemy’ by Ryan Holiday

'Ego is the Enemy' by Ryan Holiday


For someone at the start of their careers, acting on ego can prevent them from constructive learning opportunities; for someone who has already experienced success, acting on ego can prevent them from adapting to change.

Bestselling author Ryan Holiday draws from history and philosophy to show how one can master one’s own ego, using examples that range from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Find it here »

‘The Inevitable’ by Kevin Kelly

'The Inevitable' by Kevin Kelly


Kevin Kelly, one of the founders of Wired magazine, has established himself as a guru of Silicon Valley. “The 4-Hour Workweek” author Tim Ferriss un-ironically calls Kelly “the most interesting man in the world” and legendary tech investor Marc Andreessen dubbed “The Inevitable” an “automatic must-read.”

In it, Kelly gives you a sneak peek at the future, and how it will be shaped by maturing forces like artificial intelligence and the on-demand economy.

Find it here »

‘The Sleep Revolution’ by Arianna Huffington

'The Sleep Revolution' by Arianna Huffington


In 2007, after she’d been founder and editor of The Huffington Post for two years, Huffington fainted and woke up in a pool of blood. The likely reason, she determined later, was sleep deprivation.

Today, Huffington is a champion for snooze time. (She says she personally gets a full 8.5 hours of sleep every night.)

In “The Sleep Revolution,” she shares research and expert opinion on why it’s important to prioritize sleep, as well as tips on how to get a better night’s rest. Hint: Don’t bring your smartphone into bed with you.

Find it here »

‘Warren Buffett’s Ground Rules’ by Jeremy C. Miller

'Warren Buffett's Ground Rules' by Jeremy C. Miller


Investment analyst Jeremy Miller’s “Warren Buffett’s Ground Rules” is a thorough but easy-to-understand analysis of the investing principles of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, one of the greatest investors in history.

In fact, Miller’s analysis is so spot-on that the Oracle of Omaha himself gives it his full endorsement. “Mr. Miller has done a superb job of researching and dissecting the operation of Buffett Partnership Ltd. and of explaining how Berkshire’s culture has evolved from its BPL origin,” Buffett wrote.

Find it here »

‘Never Split the Difference’ by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

What to expect during a career change

Sometimes moving overseas is accompanied by a shift in career paths. Are you ready for a career change? This article is not meant to discourage you but presents the harsher side of career changes so that you can prepare and persevere through them.

Career change is one of those things that could work out great or frustrate you completely. If you are ready to be completely challenged in your new field and start afresh, go for it! If not, then find an industry where you can use the skills you have already acquired over your career. Perhaps you don’t have an option and need to start afresh like I did when I moved across continents. Here are some lessons that I had to learn as I worked through my new career.

career-change-copy-2You will most likely have to start all over again. Depending on how different your new career path is – you might end up starting right at the bottom or at a mid-level position. This might or might not be determined by your skills and years of experience. Starting at a level lower than your current level will include its own set of challenges such as more administrative busy work or having to deal with too many managing levels breathing down your neck. Stay humble and power through it – keeping your end goal in sight at all times.

career-change-copy-3Relearning everything. Your boss will either treat you like a champion or will try to teach you everything – even the basics of Outlook. Be prepared to smile through it all and not let it discourage you.

career-changeReestablish every level of expertise that your industry already has. You will be expected to prove yourself at every step. Even if you are your current industry expert, you might have to climb the career ladder all over again. Keeping your focus fixed on your goal can help you get through this challenge.

career-change-copyFlexibility will be important if you need to take a salary cut to fit into your new industry. When opting for a career change, assessing the company and your new manager are more important than you might think.

During the months when I dealt with all of the above struggles, it really helped to start the day with this question: How am I planning to make this day the best ever? Some days will be harder than others but they will all roll into better days. Many have thrived through career changes – you can too.



Rebellion in the workplace that works

Can you think of someone you consider a workplace rebel? Someone who likes to break all the rules, do things differently in a stupid way, and usually get into trouble with ‘management’? I can too. In fact I can think of several rebels who ended up being unsuccessful in their roles because they crossed some boundaries. But I can also think of several rebels who actually thrived and management seemed to encourage their style of thinking.

Why does rebellion at work serve some and hurt others? A lot depends on answering the ‘why’ behind rebellion and let’s explore this intention a little more.

Managers and teammates judge behavior based on their interpretation of the intention. If a majority of your objectives are to help the company succeed, your intentions become very clear and act in your favor. But if you’re someone who likes to be hailed as the rule-breaker so much that you destroy others around you, you can completely ruin your favorable sprint at the company.

Do managers generally dislike rebels then? Not necessarily. But challenging everything and not picking your battles wisely will only hurt your workplace reputation.

You don’t have to be the say-yes-to-everything kind of employee either. An easy way to judge if your attitude will work in your favor is to ask a few important questions:


Do you consider yourself a workplace rebel? How has that worked out for you? Feel free to comment below or leave a comment on The Lead Journal’s Facebook page.



Is Your Boss a Bottleneck?

We have all faced it – we work hard to secure a new deal and the boss takes forever to approve the final step! Bosses can seem super slow at times and you might need some strategies to work around the bottleneck.

Scenario 1: Your boss is a micro-manager.

Some managers micromanage because it’s their management style. Others micromanage to genuinely eliminate errors and improve quality because employees don’t do a good job. Determining the difference will help you start in the right direction. Be great at your job and eliminate reasons for delays. Then follow up frequently for a response. This should help with quicker feedback.

Scenario 2: Your boss has trust issues.

This could very well stem from past experiences. Help your boss restore trust in your abilities. Be transparent and do a great job. Don’t be afraid to let the boss take credit. Everyone knows your boss couldn’t have done it all on their own.

Scenario 3: Your boss has too much on their plate and is terrible at delegating.

We all know them – they like to keep it all till the last minute and then distribute them too close to deadline. Prove your capability and show initiative.

Scenario 4: Your boss just wants to look busy.

This could be the worst case scenario. Bosses who delay approvals just to look busy or they want to do it all because they want to take all the credit. In my experience, letting them know about the impact of the delay and being patient with them while you wait can help you survive this situation.

Scenerio 5: Your boss is disorganized.

The disorganized ones struggle with one more thing – failure to say no. They fail to figure out just how much work they have know, out of sight out of mind. Assist them in managing their projects. Keep track of your own projects. Bosses don’t mind reminders.

Scenario 6: Your boss is not transparent.

Your boss knows something you don’t and either is not authorized to share or doesn’t care to. Get an estimate of the turnaround timeline and ask smart questions to find out what’s really causing the delay. If everything fails, remain patient and assume the best.

If you’re an approving authority for your team, stop being the bottleneck. Communicate the reason for the delay to keep the team motivated and engaged.

Is your boss a bottleneck? Tell us how you work around it? 



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