Into the Storm by NT Perkins with Jillian B. Murphy

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  Into the Storm by Dennis N. T. Perkins with Jillian B. Murphy

Synopsis of Content:

Two books in one, Into the Storm is a thrilling account of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race and especially the challenges faced by the amateur crew of the AFR Midnight Rambler, a small 35 foot yacht that won the race. In the second part of the book the author analyzes the team dynamics of the winning boat and those that lost. From this analysis the authors provide excellent lessons on how to form a team, manage a team and the team dynamics that work best, especially when the team is faced with an extremely demanding challenge.

At its best the Sydney to Hobart race, in Open Ocean, from Sydney, Australia to Hobart, Tasmania, some 732 statutory miles, is a grueling challenge in sailing. It requires the best prepared boats and teams, the highest caliber of sailing skill and the most effective team work. At its worst this race is deadly. The 1998 race was unique in that the boats sailed into a hurricane they did not expect and faced extreme peril. Of the 115 boats participating only 44 reached the finish line. Twenty-five sailors were washed over board and seven died. Fifty-five sailors were rescued. It was the largest sea rescue in Australian history.

The crews that stayed in the race were faced with over 36 hours of bruising conditions. The waves reached 100 feet and winds exceeded 100 knots. The overall race winner, the AFR Midnight Rambler, accomplished what larger boats and professional sailors were not able to due to the remarkable team work.

In the second part of the book the authors discuss the ten prime lessons of team work that made the AFR Midnight Rambler a survivor and a winner. These lessons can be of great value to any team even those not faced with a life threatening challenge.

Usefulness:

Anyone who works with other people, anyone who is part of any kind of team and anyone who depends on a team working effectively will benefit from reading this book. While most readers will never face the challenge this race provided the lessons in team work taught will benefit every team no matter what the challenge.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This book is very well written. The first part is a fast paced page-turner that is entertaining, educational and inspiring. The second part provides useful analysis that is easy to understand but not over simplified.

Notes on Author:

Dennis N. T. Perkins, author of Leading at The Edge, is CEO of Syncretics Group. His group serves as consultants to helping leaders succeed. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. Jillian B. Murphy is Director of Client Services at Syncretics and works as an executive coach.

Related Website:

http://www.syncreticsgroup.com/

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Make the team the rock star. High profile sailors are often given special privileges on boats and they are called rock stars. Treating individual team members this way can have a negative effect on team cohesiveness and effectiveness. Making the entire team a unit and making all members equally important contributes to team success.
  1. Extreme preparation for any challenge is the first essential. When the team believes they have prepared enough they need to prepare even more. Nothing can be over looked and nothing can be assumed.
  1. Effectiveness at “the Edge” requires Relentless Learning by the entire team. It requires continuous innovation and improvement of skills and methods. In the highly competitive world where teams operate today this principle is essential.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Into the Storm by Dennis N. T. Perkins with Jillian B. Murphy

Copyright holder: 2013 by Dennis N. T. Perkins

Publisher: Amacom Books, a division of the American Management Association.

Books2Wealth Book of the Month for June 2013

Buy the book here:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

The Power of Good Behavior

Beverly Langford has written a timely book on the advantages of good behavior in the business world. It applies far beyond business of course, good behavior is important to success in any organization. Langford’s book, The Etiquette Edge, is about the etiquette skills that help us advance in our work with others. It is about good communication skills, social savvy, and understanding appropriate behavior.

Etiquette may sound like an old-fashioned word. Maybe that is because in today’s world it is too often missing. It is not that etiquette has died or is no longer important. In an increasingly inter-connected world it may be more important than ever. Proper etiquette need not be stuffy or about rules that no longer seem relevant. Langford has updated the etiquette tool box so that it remains relevant to the modern world. Etiquette is the lubricant that makes organizations run smoothly and facilitates relationships to run smoothly. We can all benefit from a deeper understanding of what behaviors help us work with others. This book is a gem.

Read a review of The Etiquette Edge on BusinessBookTalk.com here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Title and Author:  The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Synopsis of Content:

This is a compilation of various writings by America’s grandfather of success, Benjamin Franklin. It begins with the introduction he wrote to his autobiography. It is then divided into three sections:

The Way to Wealth

In this section Franklin discusses the importance of Industry (what we would today call hard work); Self-Reliance; Frugality; Charity; Experience; and all peppered with pithy axioms and Yankee sayings. Little has changed since Franklin wrote these words. He did not invent these ideas. They represented the native Yankee work ethic and the Judeo-Christian ethic.

Advice to a Young Worker

In this short article Franklin remembers the disciplines and methods that served him so well in his youth in the working world. It is a short review of those “virtues” as he calls them, of hard work, persistence, frugality, etc. He frames these ideas for the young man or women seeking to do well.

The Path to Virtue

As a young man Franklin began a self-improvement project, concentrating on one virtue every week until he felt he had incorporated them into his life. He discusses the value of Temperance (avoiding over indulgence), Silence (avoiding trifling conversation), Resolution (resolving to follow through), Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Tranquility, Chastity, and Humility.

As was customary in the 18th century Franklin did not divorce personal integrity and virtue from personal success. The improvement of the person was required to attain success on both a personal and business level. He understood, as did Jim Rohn two centuries later, that you cannot be less a person and a success at the same time.

While some of Franklin’s moral teachings may seem naïve and preachy today one has to wonder if the world would not be a much better place if more people heeded this advice. Today’s headlines all too often describe the deceit, cheating, and lack of integrity among our leaders and business leaders. Franklin understood that one must constantly work to improve themselves to be successful. One must be a good person to be a successful person.

Usefulness:

Anyone serious about genuine self-improvement and development of the whole self in order to be successful will benefit from this timeless work. In it you will find the fundamental principles that nearly every success author since has espoused.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

Franklin wrote remarkably clearly for an 18th century author. He wrote for the common man, not for the intellectual. While the organization and style of that period is a little difficult for modern readers his work was much more readable than most of his contemporaries.

Notes on Author:

Benjamin Franklin was an eminently successful American from the 18th century. He succeed in the printing and publishing business so well that he was able to retire from active business by his early 40s. He spent the rest of his life as a statesman, diplomat and inventor. He was instrumental in many public improvement projects founding the first public library, insurance company and fire department in the United States. He became one of the sages and principle architects of our nation and helped write the US Constitution. He was one of the most important founding fathers.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. When someone complained about paying taxes Franklin responded, “We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly. It is only by mastering one’s own self that one can truly attain success in life.
  1. Franklin appreciated the value of time, our most precious asset. He wrote, “If dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”
  1. In one proverb Franklin incorporates both the need for hard work and the balance equally important to a successful life: “Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise, Poor Richard says”.

Publication Information:  

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Published by Best Success Books (Kindle). This material is in the public domain.

This was the Books2Wealth Book of the Month Review for March 2013.


 

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Learning from John G Miller

As I transition content from my books2wealth site to this site it is like visiting old friends. The articles, book reviews and interviews are worth looking at again. In 2010 I sent my newsletter readers my book review of John G. Miller’s book, Outstanding! – 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Great and that year I also published my interview with John. Both the book review (posted last October) and the interview are now available on this blog.

Miller is the founder of QBQ, Inc. and a best-selling author. In addition to Outstanding! he also wrote QBQ: The Question Behind the Question. Miller is a speaker and consultant. His books are very informative and well written. A wonderful thing about books and interviews is that we can go back after some time has passed and learn even more from them.

Read the book review here and the interview here. You will pick up some great ideas about how to improve how an organization works and you may well be able to apply them in your organization, whatever it may be. You will also find some gems about how be more effective as an individual.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Beyond Words by Carl Safina

(What Animals Think and Feel)

livescience.com

livescience.com

Once in a while I just have to write about an important book that does not easily fall into the categories I usually write on here. This is one such book. It will move you, inform you and delight you. It is important, now and then, to read a book like this that tells us something important about our world.

Safina examines what we know, what we think we know and what we do not know about how animals think and feel. He traces our misguided ideas from the past including the beliefs that allowed the barbaric practice of vivisection to the newest discoveries of the present.

As a scientist Safina has struggled with what science is able to prove to the satisfaction of many scientists and what he finds undeniable if we will observe and interact with animals. The more closely we examine animal behavior the more undeniable it becomes that they do think and feel. One an even see behaviors in animals that are human like. Here he must struggle with those who warn against anthropomorphizing animals. He does not favor doing this and maintains they are their own species and they think and feel their own way, though there are often surprising similarities to humans.

He closely examines work being done with wild elephants in wildlife refuges in Africa, wolves in Yellowstone Park and finally Orca whales (which are actually dolphins) in Puget Sound. We see how all these highly social animals behave, interact and obviously feel. He brings us the great joy in seeing these animals express happiness, sadness, grief, and other powerful emotions as well as how immensely smart they can be. However he also brings us the deep sadness in seeing how we are killing these animals at such a rate that they face almost certain extinction.

This book is highly informative and moving. It will make you smile and it will make you cry. It is an outstanding book.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Outstanding! By John G. Miller

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Synopsis of Content:

Using great illustrations John G. Miller presents 47 ways to make your organization great in his latest book. You are not likely to discover a lot of truly innovative ideas here. But that is OK. Miller concisely presents tried and true ideas that separate the great from the mediocre organizations. He does so in a way that can be used for most anyone in any organization, no matter where you are in the hierarchy.

Miller eschews the trendy and buzz word ideas and concentrates on the fundamentals. It is, after all, getting the fundamental right that make the difference between great and not so great.

Some of the 47 ways focus on how you should or should not conduct yourself, such as Being Fast, Being Humble, Speaking Up and Do What You Promise. On further reflection these same traits are as important for an organization as they are for an individual.

He teaches you how to treat all your “customers” in “360 degree” accountability – treating suppliers, employees, bosses and those below you in the organization all as customers. He also explains why this is good for business.

If every employee, manager and CEO would work seriously to implement these 47 ideas their organization would become great. This is a great yet simple blueprint for the attributes of a great organization. It is directed however at what we can influence – ourselves – and how we function in that organization.

Miller urges the reader to resist the temptation to put this book on a shelf and forget it. Rather, to get the most out of it, in fact to get anything of value out of it he urges the reader to go back to it repeatedly, selecting the chapter or idea that seems to be most useful today and implement it. He is right. A quick read through will be informative – study and application of the 47 ways to make your organization exceptional will be transformational and will make this book far more valuable.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This book is very readable. The chapters are very short, most not exceeding 5 pages, and concisely illustrating the point to be made. The entire book is a gold mine and each chapter stands alone in its value.

Notes on Author:

John G. Miller, founder of QBQ, Inc., and author of QBQ, the Question Behind the Question, has worked with hundreds of organizations in business and the nonprofit sectors training, speaking and consulting.

 

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Dedicate your efforts to continuous improvement, not just in slogans, but in daily practice. Do it, follow up and continue the practice.
  1. See everyone as a customer – including your colleagues, bosses, and vendors – it takes all these people to make an organization run well and all should be treated well.
  1. Focus on what matters, whether that be proper management, being coachable, speaking clearly, and many more important practices that make a difference. Do this instead of wasting time on vision statements that everyone ignores and platitudes that mean nothing to the people who matter.

Publication Information:  

Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional by John G. Miller

Copyright 2010 by John G. Miller

Hardcover published by Penguin Group. 206 pages. No index.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

When Organizing Is Not Enough

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  When Organizing Isn’t Enough – Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Julie Morgenstern 

Synopsis of Content:

Bringing the art and science of organization to a new level Morgenstern’s book introduces her SHED system. SHED stands for “separate” your treasures, “heave” your trash, “embrace” yourself, and “drive into the future.”

As radical as it may sound this book advocates eliminating most of the “stuff” which complicates your life. She suggests that you keep only 10% – 20% of the things that clutter your thinking and your life.

First she shows you how to go through all your things and eliminate what is not serving you well. Then she shows how to get rid of the things, the habits and the other refuse in your life to identify your true self. This then permits you to fill your life only with those things which will truly fulfill your life and your genuine goals. Part of this also is trimming your schedule to eliminate those activities that do not serve you well and concentrating your efforts and your time on what is important.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written and reasonably easy to follow.

Notes on Author:

Julie Morgenstern is a speaker and consultant who teaches others how to get organized.

Related Website:

http://www.juliemorgenstern.com/blog/

http://www.juliemorgenstern.com/

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. To begin the effort at getting organized you must take a complete inventory of your life including your possessions, your time, how you spend it and your habits.
  1. You must then evaluate how all these things and activities help you achieve what is important to you or hinder those efforts.
  1. You must then take action – with some ruthlessness you must then eliminate the clutter, which for most people is a great deal of what they hold onto, and focus on the small part left which is truly important.

Publication Information:  

When Organizing Isn’t Enough – Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Julie Morgenstern

© 2008 by Julie Morgenstern.

Published by Fireside, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., N.Y.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

How I Made My First Million on the Internet by Ewen Chia

Book Review

Title and Author:  How I Made My First Million on the Internet by Ewen Chia

Synopsis of Content:

Chia maps out for the reader the basic steps required to set up an internet based affiliate business. While useful to the experienced internet marketer it is meant for the novice. A basic understanding of how computers work and how the internet works is necessary to understand the book. However the book does address the basics in marketing and affiliate marketing on the internet.

The author tells his own story to motivate the reader and make it clear that anyone can do this. He points out some of the errors he made which a reader can benefit from not repeating. He makes it clear that a great deal of work is involved and he spent over 8 hours a day for five years to reach great success and earn his first million dollars.

You will find here all the basics about affiliate marketing including identifying your niche, locating and qualifying products, building your list, marketing the products, generating traffic, creating front, middle and back ends to your sales funnel and duplicating the model.

This book is an excellent starting place for the affiliate marketer. It is not intended as a comprehensive manual. Every internet marketer must continue to learn more and more about the work to be successful. This is an excellent place to begin.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This book is well written. The text is broken into easily understandable blocks and well organized in outline style. He provides examples, illustrations, screen shots and valuable tips. This is easy to understand.

Notes on Author:

Ewen Chia is a very successful internet marketer who trains thousands from websites and speaking engagements. Beginning in 1997 he began his internet marketing career after having obtained his degree in management with honors from the Singapore Institute of Management. He began training others in 2007.

Related Website:

www.ewenchia.com

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. You must have the right mindset to succeed in internet marketing. It requires a lot of self-education, commitment, consistent application of what is learned and hard work. The pay off can be substantial.
  1. You must identify a market and then a niche within that market where there is a substantial demand for information or other products that can be satisfied with affiliate products. It is crucial to do the homework and make these choices carefully. Everything that follows requires the right market, the right niche and people willing and able to pay for the products.
  1. To succeed you must treat this as a business and not a hobby. You must develop a clear and well thought out plan including what actions you will take each day to effectively drive traffic, build a list, and market your products. Once that system is set up and made as automated as possible it will pay off repeatedly with less work on your part.

Publication Information:  

How I Made My First Million on the Internet by Ewen Chia

Copyright 2008 Ewen Chia

Published by Morgan James Publishing

Rating for this Book

Overall Rating for Book: Very Good 

Writing Style: Very readable; well organized. 

Usefulness: For anyone contemplating internet marketing this book is a must read. For those considering or doing affiliate marketing it will be very useful. 

Difficulty: Moderate

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Should You Quit Your Job?

Should you quit your job before you have another one?

Stephanie Vozza discusses this on the FastCompany blog. She starts out discussing how Tess Vigeland did this. She quit her of 11 years without any safety net. Is this wise?

Vigelan wrote a book on her experience: Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want. That may not be the longest book title ever but it is certainly a mouthful.

She discusses how to know when it is time to leave your current job. Is your job mistreating you? Is it causing severe stress that is manifesting physical symptoms?

She then talks about what to do when you decide to leave your current job.

Here she is practical enough to caution anyone considering leaving one job without another to make sure you can pay the bills between jobs.

I have not read the book so I cannot comment on how good it might be. I can however observe some very practical considerations one should look at before quitting a job without having another one.

Interim resources: what resources do you have that will pay the bills until the new job starts? It is often advised that one should have enough savings to pay all living expenses for at least six months. That is excellent advice. If you have a six to twelve month reserve than quitting a job without another one immediately available will not plunge you into poverty, but it will dwindle your reserves and leave you more financially vulnerable.

How employable are you: in the article the author who quit her job had an 11 year proven track record as a journalist. If she decided to stay in journalism she at least had some good experience to stand on. Before anyone quits this way they need to assess their skills and experience. They need to determine how readily it is likely they can land a new job in a reasonable time. Do you have up to date marketable skills? Are you planning just a job change or an entire career change?

Do you have the chutzpah to be unemployed: many people are so fearful of being unemployed that taking this leap is not even imaginable. Not only are the paralyzed by fear at the job of being jobless they may not have the confidence to go it alone for a while. You need to make a reasonable assessment of your emotional ability to do this.

Do you have impediments: some people have impediments to employability. Like it or not the older one is the more difficult it can be to break into new jobs or careers. There are other handicaps that can make employability difficult. It is important to be realistic about these things when making this decision.

What about your family: if there are others depending you financially you need to discuss this with them. If all goes well this decision may not affect them adversely, but if the transition to a new job or career creates a long term reduction in income it can a completely different story.

How awful is your current job: is the current job really that bad? Are you merely dissatisfied with aspects of your job that could be changed? Are you really prepared to change jobs or careers at this point in life? Again a very realistic assessment of these things is necessary.

I do not suggest here that one should never leap without a net as this author did. People do it all the time and often succeed very well in the process. Others struggle a great deal. I do suggest that one very realistically evaluate why they want to leave their current job. One should also be very practical about the financial impact of this decision on themselves and their dependents.

If you have planned this out well and the plan is sound this can be a very liberating experience. One can open doors and seek opportunities that they never would have seen continuing on the same job. It is fair to say however that quitting your job without having a new one waiting is risky. Is this risk worth it? Or would it be easier and wiser to find the next job first and avoid the risks?

Like it or not when the bills must be paid and especially when others depend on your income you have to be practical.

Read the full post here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com