Virtual Freedom PDF Summary

Virtual Freedom PDF Summary

How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business

It’s the 21st century, and many things have gone virtual.

Why should your staff go virtual too?

Chris Ducker explains it all in:

Virtual Freedom.

Who Should Read “Virtual Freedom”? And Why?

Virtual Freedom is for all of the business leaders out there who suffer from a “superhero syndrome,” believing that in order to be successful they need to be able to do it all.

The truth is, that is impossible. And as Virtual Freedom argues – there’s a much better way than banging your head all the time over trivial matters.

Namely, hiring someone else to do that for you – and spending your time on the big stuff instead.

If you want to achieve that, then Virtual Freedom is just the book for you, regardless of whether you’re a small or a big business.

Or to quote Ducker himself, “If the word ‘recharge’ only applies to your cell phone, you need this book more than you know, believe me!”

About Chris C. Ducker

Chris C. Ducker

Chris C. Ducker is, in his own words, “a serial entrepreneur” and bestselling author.

Cambridge-based, Ducker owns and operates numerous businesses, and employs over 400 workers from all over the world.

A keynote speaker, blogger, and a podcaster, Ducker is also the founder of a website
“on a quest to become the number one resource for personal brand entrepreneurs around the world” and the host of the annual Youpreneur Summit held in London.

In addition to Virtual Freedom, he has also published a few other eBooks, most recently, Rise of the Youpreneur.

Find out more at

“Virtual Freedom PDF Summary”

“Remember when you first started your business? The enthusiasm you had? It’s my job as the author of this book to restore that feeling,” says Chris C. Ducker in Virtual Freedom, a step-by-step guide to building a business with virtual employees.

Why do you need them?

Well, let’s see!

The Benefits of Having a Virtual Assistant

Now, let us guess: before you decided to become an entrepreneur, you thought you were getting into a Steve Jobs/Elon Musk type of world where you’ll be inventing stuff and changing the world all the time.

Fast forward a couple of years, and there’s a big chance you spent most of your day writing checks, managing meetings, reviewing budgets, and answering emails.

Who knows, you may even like doing some of these tasks, says Ducker, and you may even be good at doing them. “The question is, should you bedoing them, as the business owner?”

The answer, of course, is not:

As entrepreneurs, time is our most valuable commodity (MVC). Money will come and go, but once you’ve invested your time into something, that time is gone forever. It stands to reason that if there are any actions we can take as business owners to free up more time in our daily routines, we should take them.

Fortunately, there’s a great way to get your money back: outsourcing some of the administrative tasks to Virtual Assistants (VAs).

Why not regular ones?

Mostly because of two reasons:

#1. Because it’s the 21st century and you can have a virtual assistant, namely someone you can contact almost all of the time even if he/she is living on the other side of the planet;

#2. Because there are some highly talented people out there, who are waiting to be employed as your VA. In fact, according to stats, every seventh American works as a freelancer or a self-employed consultant.

The Assistant to Manage All the Assistants

Now, just like you’re no superhero able to do everything yourself, your virtual assistant will never be a superhero himself.

One of the worst mistakes you can make during the process of outsourcing is dumping all of the administrative tasks to one virtual assistant.

Just think about it: the tasks you’re giving him/her took about 90% of your time, and you had serious problems managing them; and, should we remind you, it was your business!

Do you really think your VA won’t crack or do a lousy job if you give him so much work from the start?

A better strategy is to hire a few virtual assistants, and if you can’t manage them efficiently, to hire a GVA as well.

Yup, that stands for General Virtual Assistant, the one who’ll manage all of your VAs for you.

Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Of course, hiring a VA is easy, but finding the right one is not as easy as you may think it is.

The following few tips and tricks – which Ducker devised through experience and the ever-reliable trial and error process – may help you:

#1. What applies to hiring a “normal” employee, applies to hiring a “virtual” one as well; even though you’ll never see them face-to-face, VAs are people too; so, act as if you’re hiring someone for your office;

#2. Of course, the first thing this means is that you should never hire a VA via email or Google chat; always use Skype or Google Hangouts for at least one interview;

#3. Rule #1 also means that you should hire a VA suitable for the role of VA and not for the urgent job; if, say, you need someone to make Excel spreadsheets, it’s wrong to hire the VA who has the most Excel knowledge; you’ll need other things from your VA as well – so think about that in advance;

#4. In other words, pen a good job description and be very precise and clear in terms of what you’d like from your future VA; use bullet points and be straight to the point;

#5. Don’t ever sacrifice quality for cost. Good GVAs cost about $900 per month, about 3.5 times less than what a virtual app developer may cost you. Of course, you can lower that significantly if you find an oversee employee, as well you should if you find a good one.

However, the keywords in this equation are “time zones”: just imagine how difficult it’d be if you need to wait for five hours for your employee to answer an urgent task!

Speaking of which…

Training Your VAs

Hiring a VA is merely the beginning; training and managing are, expectedly, as necessary.

The three training tenets advocated by Chris Ducker are the following:

#1. Just like you are obliged to pen a good job description before hiring (see above, #4), you are also required to clearly define the expectations you have from your new VA (or GVA) and the limits of his role; take your time to explain everything; don’t let them make mistakes;

#2. Allow your new VAs to ask you any question they like during the first month or so; our age is just too dynamic, and you shouldn’t allow them to learn through the oh so familiar trial and error process; that’s not a luxury you have;

#3. Be always aware of time zones; if you decide you hire one who’s living in a different time zone than yours, then be clear both about the demands and the fact that, at least during the training process, he/she will have to change his/her biorhythm; after all, you don’t want to have to answer questions at midnight!

Managing Your VAs

Now that you’ve hired and trained your virtual assistants, it’s time to learn how to manage them.

The best way to do it?

Start with an FAQ and an IFTTT.

You probably know what the first thing is: better than being asked all the time about things you know you will be asked, just prepare a document of frequently asked questions in advance.

But also, prepare an IFTTT cheat sheet.

Now, that may be something new to you.

IFTTT stands for “if that, then this” which is short for “if that happens, then you should do this, no questions asked.”

So, basically, it’s like an emergency evacuation procedure.

Treat your business the same way.

After all, not many people are heard during a fire or an earthquake in a hotel when the emergency procedures are followed.

The good part about having an IFTTT is not only that it helps you to focus on other things, but also that it helps your VA develop without being micromanaged.

Children get too clingy when they know their parents are there for them, no matter what; the same will happen to your VA if, instead of training him/her, you just make his work dependent on your micromanagement practices.

Now, in time, if all goes well, no FAQ or IFTTT will be able to absorb the complexity of your projects and internal communication.

That’s why, you should always have in mind a good Cloud managing system, using either Dropbox or Google Drive to communicate with your VAs on anything.

The best part about this?

Your VA wouldn’t have to file any more reports!

Key Lessons from “Virtual Freedom”

1.      The Five Rules for Hiring a Good VAs
2.      The Three Tenets of Training VAs
3.      How to Manage Your VAs

The Five Rules for Hiring a Good VAs

When you’re hiring a VA (that is a virtual assistant), always have in mind these five rules:

#1. Act as if you’re hiring someone to work in your office;
#2. Use Skype, Google Hangouts, or some other video chat software to make a face-to-face contact before making the final decision;
#3. Hire for the role, not for the job;
#4. Be very clear and straightforward in your job description;
#5. Don’t sacrifice quality for cost.

The Three Tenets of Training VAs

It would be wrong to expect from your virtual assistant to be exceptional at everything from the start.

Of course you’ll have to train him/her first!

These are the three tenets of training, according to Chris Ducker:

#1. Clearly define the role for your VA once you hire him; be as exact as you can be;
#2. Allow your VAs to ask you any question whatsoever during the first few months; don’t allow them to learn through a trial and error process, because this might cost you more;
#3. Be always aware of time zones if you hire someone living in another country.

How to Manage Your VAs

Managing VAs is also an essential part of the process of getting the best VA possible.

Use these tips and tricks from Drucker’s book and vast experience:

#1. In addition to allowing your VAs to ask you anything at the beginning, create an FAQ so that you save yourself the trouble from answering a question you know you’ll be asked;
#2. Also, be sure to provide your VAs an IFTTT cheat sheet, aka a document not unlike an emergency procedure which lists everything your VA should do in case of some predictable events (IFTTT stands for “if this, then that”);
#3 Finally, use cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox to manage processes and stop dealing with annoying things such as reports.

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“Virtual Freedom Quotes”

If the word 'recharge' only applies to your cell phone, you need this book more than you know, believe me! Click To Tweet Remember when you first started your business? The enthusiasm you had? It's my job as the author of this book to restore that feeling. Click To Tweet You like doing certain tasks, you might be good at doing them. The question is, should you BE doing them, as the business owner?!! Click To Tweet As entrepreneurs, time is our most valuable commodity (MVC)... It stands to reason that if there are any actions we can take as business owners to free up more time in our daily routines, we should take them. Click To Tweet Money will come and go, but once you’ve invested your time into something, that time is gone forever. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Many of the things written in this book make sense. But one can that about many other books as well, and some of them have proven to be a combination of impractical and wishful thinking.

Fortunately, Christ Ducker both talks the talk and walks the walk. As Derek Halpern, the founder of says:

“Who would you rather trust to learn about building a virtual team, to help grow your business? Someone who ‘talks’ about outsourcing, or someone who lives it? Chris Ducker lives it – everyday – and this book proves it!”

Michael Hyatt’s review is even more glowing:

“Think about the most useful book you’ve ever read. It will now become the second most useful. This is the field guide for building a team, outsourcing, and taking back control of your life.”

If you ask us, some things Ducker advises in this book come too early, others not early enough. We have no doubt in our minds that, very soon, some of the practices suggested by Ducker in Virtual Freedom will be mainstream practices.

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to try to implement some of them and catch the early train, ha?    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Gas Wars PDF Summary

Gas Wars PDFCrony Capitalism and The Ambanis

Crony capitalism, as a term is coming in full swing due to the disproportionate distribution of wealth.

It merely manifests the ties between the government and corporations to gain high profit and secure their position.

In this book, you’ll find out more about the economic struggle and utilization of India’s natural resources.

Who Should Read “Gas Wars”? And Why?

Well, we don’t believe that this book will be a good fit for the larger audience. That’s partly because of the complex terminology, but also due to other factors, such as willingness to explore the corporate myths.

In other words, “Gas Wars” is recommended for anyone who wants to delve into the secrets of the Indian crony capitalism.

Paranjoy Guha ThakurtaAbout Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Subir Ghosh

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta is an Indian journalist, author, and a documentary filmmaker born on October 5th, 1955.

As a member of the Press Council of India, he was given the authority to get a glimpse into the paid news, which infested the country’s politics.

Subir Ghosh is also a journalist born on September 7th, 1966. He has expressed great interest in environmental and human rights.

“Gas Wars PDF Summary”

Every Indian has a rough perspective on the vast disparity that exists between the upper and lower class. It’s estimated that approximately 25% of the Indian population lives below the poverty line. This is a huge defeat for a socialist country, such as India.

To better illustrate the problem, we turn our attention over to Dhirubhai’s two sons – Mukesh and Anil. For those that don’t know them, they are one of India’s wealthiest and most influential individuals with a combined net worth of over $40 billion.

As legitimate wielders of industrial power, they control much of India’s gas and power sector. Following their father’s death in 2002, RIL or Reliance Industry Limited was starting to fall apart. In an interview, Mukesh admitted to having ownership issues with his younger better.

This unfortunate turn of events divided the conglomerate into two billion dollar corporations: Reliance Industry Limited and Reliance Group – founded in 2005. According to the author, their somewhat different personality and character only added to the demerger.

Between November 2004 and June 2005, the Ambani brothers resisted one another, which marked the beginning of an all-around economic, social and political struggle.

RIL couldn’t hold for much longer, and that same year split into two. Anil took control over the power generation empire, while Mukesh focused on the oil and gas exploration. Their fight was far from over.

Three years later, in 2008, Mukesh using the “right of first refusal” disavowed the deal Anil-led Reliance Communications and the South African Telecommunications group – MTN.

They started arguing on many topics, and their debate turned into a live one. At first, they tried to keep this issue to themselves, but things got out of hand and ended up in the Bombay High Court. The main matter of contention was the dominance over KG gas and the pricing.

On 15 June 2009, the Supreme court ruled in favor of Anil, but the battle continued. With the conglomerate parceled out 4 years earlier, the verdict included counts which urged Mukesh to honor the terms of the agreement, because otherwise, he’d risk arbitration.

Reliance Group put up a fierce resistance by launching a media campaign in which they attempted to discredit both RIL and the Indian government. He believed that the petroleum ministry gravitated towards Mukesh, and not him.

Anil demanded that the Supreme Court should review the case and reconsider their decision. To some degree, Mukesh won this battle, but the Supreme Court issued an act, according to which – the pricing of natural resources should be enforced and adequately monitored by government officials.

In 2010, the Indian government realized that the gas industry is crucial to the Indian economy, therefore they are allowed to interfere in all matters of interest. In layman’s terms – the conglomerates are not allowed to sell too cheap, or unreasonably high.

The truth behind the KG Basin

In 2010, Atul Chandra (Head of Operations at RIL) expressed grave concerns about the price of deepwater gas, $4.2 per mBtu. According to him, the only solution would be an increase due to the risk incorporated into the process.

K. Srivastava (the Director General of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons) countered these assertions by hatching a plan for reaching 60 mscmd of natural gas quote by April 2011. The plan failed because not all of the 22 wells were in motion.

RIL attempted to cover this loss by exploiting the KG-D6 fields, but then again – the deficit remained an issue. The government, on the other hand, was compelled to undertake a procedure regarding the problem and find a permanent solution.  

Sudini Jaipal Reddy (Union Minister for petroleum and natural gas), played on the safe side and didn’t want to reveal government actions, beforehand.

The Indian government instructed RIL that some sectors should be given priority over others. In all honesty, Mukesh didn’t have much of an argument here; he could only comply with the regulations enforced by the officials.

On 4 June 2011, Mukesh as the leading shareholder of RIL decided to address the problem which reflected the pricing gap. He got in touch with Manmohan Singh (India’s Prime Minister at the time), but no one knows the main topic of the discussion.

To calm the unrest among the stakeholders, Reliance Industry Limited embarked on a 50:50 business venture with British Petroleum. The main goal of this effort was to source gas in India and become an essential factor in the oil and gas global industry.

Crony Capitalism, at its finest

Crony capitalism is merely another word for corporate corruption, where venal politicians use their position to help private companies to take over the market. They achieve this by cutting their taxes and providing other benefits.

The same situation cropped up when the Indian petroleum and gas industry demanded more authority and less interference.

In 2013, the finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, Montek Singh Ahluwalia (deputy chairman of the Planning Commission) and, petroleum minister Veerappa Moily, came to a conclusion that increasing the price would be the best option.

During that business session of the CCEA, the officials gave the green light for increasing the price to $8.4 per mBtu.

Who suffered the most? Yeah, you guessed it – the ordinary people. Why aren’t we surprised?!

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“Gas Wars Quotes”

A small portion of our population, over the past two decades, has been chanting incessantly for increased privatization of the material resources of the community, and some of them even doubt whether the goals of equality and social… Click To Tweet

The neo-liberal agenda has increasingly eviscerated the state of stature and power, bringing vast benefits to the few, modest benefits for some, while leaving everybody else, the majority, behind. Click To Tweet

The cost-recovery model of the old system whereby an explorer would first recover the entire expenditure in development of the fields before sharing profits with the government, was junked in favor of a system where share of revenue would… Click To Tweet

We want to quickly bring out gas, but within a legal framework – Rae. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We hate to say it, but it was insanely difficult to cover every critical information in this summary.

Therefore, we urge you to buy the book and leave no stone unturned during the process.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Winning with People PDF Summary

Winning with People PDFDiscover the People Principles That Work for You Every Time

Managing human resources as a process is in full-motion since the stone age.

People aligned in groups to improve their chances of survival.

These days, the cutting-edge technology grants us the opportunity to explore the magic in building strong and unbreakable bonds between people.

In this book summary, you’ll get a glimpse at these principles.

Who Should Read “Winning with People”? And Why?

Winning or influencing people has always been the topic of tense debates. Emperors, kings, managers, leaders, opportunists, and careerists, all strive to understand the psychology of influence.

Winning with People” is best suited for managers and leaders, who wish to pull the strings and act upon the feedback they receive from others.

About John C. Maxwell

John C. MaxwellJohn C. Maxwell IS ONE OF AMERICA’S finest authors and experts on leadership and influencing.

He is the author of many bestsellers – 21 Laws of Irrefutable Leadership, Developing the Leader within You, 5 Levels of Leadership, etc.

“Winning with People PDF Summary”

So, Maxwell known for its transparent and genuine approach jumps right into the 25 Principles that can enhance your relationships:

1. The Lens Principle

Have you ever wondered – What may destroy or improve relationships? – According to the author, the way people engage themselves in a conversation is a factor number one. For instance, if you suspect other person’s intentions, that may indicate that you feel pretty much the same way about yourself.

2. The Mirror Principle

If there’s anything harder than not judging others, that’s being aware of these notions. Self-awareness is difficult because people are trapped in the endless circle of thoughts. Trying to solve these tendencies amidst all the confusion, creates the mirror effect.

3. The Pain Principle

Often referred to as the pain body – according to Eckhart Tolle; the pain principle illustrates the magnitude of psychological or mental struggle. A person who experiences these sensations is prone to hurting others and judge those who don’t abide by their norms.

4. The Hammer Principle

Being a drama-queen/king is one-ticket to damaging your relationships. Some people have a habit of pushing the panic button on a regular level. Overreacting creates a brick wall between themselves and the interlocutor, and thus obstructs the process of nurturing strong and effective relationships.

5. The Elevator Principle

Don’t be surprised to hear that you’ve got the power to change another person’s life. It sounds even shocking for most people because they would rather indulge in gossiping than assisting other to overcome their insecurity. Their destructive mindset brings about hatred and impatience.

6. The Big Picture Principle

Well, putting the benefits of others above yours is not a popular approach in the capitalist era, now is it? However, if you persist in making and building great bonds with others, they have to witness sacrifice on your part – not just words.

7. The Exchange Principle

Generally speaking, putting yourself in the shoes of others can drastically reduce the judging notion, and help you get the big picture. By doing so, you’ll become a better listener and a more trusted companion.

8. The Learning Principle

What are your thoughts on helping others craft their skills?  Do you have a firm stand? – Make your presence count at any stage by being the “Example” in the room. A bad attitude renders such process impossible and forms invisible barriers.

9. The Charisma Principle

According to Dale Carnegie, a charismatic leader knows how to get the most out of its associates and employees. It’s proven that friendly body language gives positive vibes and incites people to return the favor in the same manner by being creative and productive.

10. People want their achievements recognized

If you constantly try to undermine the achievements of others, you’ll seriously damage the company/organizational performance. Think about your motives and question your ideas that make you undervalue great successes. Without trust and mutual respect – you can’t flourish.

11. The Confrontation Principle

If you and your team are propelled into a hostile situation, the only thing you can do is provide arguments. Conflicts are an integral part of life, and these events shape your decision-making abilities. Don’t fight the current, just act smart and call a meeting to solicit the views of everyone involved.

12.The Bedrock Principle

As we mentioned, the backbone or the cornerstone of every successful bond is trust. The pillars of building such relationship are formed in the fire of mutual understanding. Being a person with integrity or an individual whose words don’t differ from its actions, represents this principle.

13.The Situation Principle

Having the situation under control at all times seems like an impossible task. Temporary defeats can reduce the credence given to your plans, but that must not be an excuse. Even a top athlete can lose its concentration during the game, so don’t judge yourself, and understand that momentary setback is neither the judge nor the jury of your efforts.

14. The Bob Principle

Have you noticed that every group has a black sheep in their ranks? Leaders need to make sure that everyone’s agendas align with the organization/team/company/ plans. Don’t be that problem-maker and provide support to the management.

15. The Approachability Principle

It’s clear as day that people have no inclination talking to people they dislike. Being available to listen to their complaints can really prove to be a win-win situation. Respect their individuality, because in the 21st century, organizations are customer-centric and every single internal/external preference must be met.

16. The Foxhole Principle

They say – Any friend shows its true face when you are in trouble. So, find the ones that don’t back down when things get messy. Find those who can withstand pressure, and don’t succumb to the strain.

17. The Gardening Principle

Think of relationships as flowers; if you don’t put water, they will dry out. So, renewing and watching after these connections is the only path you should take. Otherwise, you won’t be able to cultivate the bonds you create with people.

18. The 101 Percent Principle

Not many individuals take into account each other’s interests. They just want the other party to honor their side of the agreement, and that’s it. Embrace differences and don’t be pulled by greed because that way you’ll damage your reputation.

19. The Patience Principle

In general, groups tend to be a bit slower than individuals. As such, they require more time in preparations, management, delegation, and execution of tasks. So, if you find yourself in a complex environment, be patient, and remain with both feet on the ground.

20. The Celebration Principle

Everyone is dependent on encouragement, especially after a setback. You need to provide cover and support for the actions of your employees. When joint efforts generate great results, make sure to sing the praises of every individual who contributed to the outcome.

21. The High-Road Principle

This principle emphasizes three rather practical approaches to handle different personalities:

  • Middle road – how you would like to be treated.
  • The lower road – a bit worse than your initial demands.
  • The high road – to be treated better than your demands.

22.The Boomerang Principle

The 22nd principle gives some honest explanation on the give-and-receive attitude. When you lay eyes on a relationship worth investing; you need to do everything in your power to establish a healthy communication between you and the other party. Help others = help yourself.

23.The Friendship Principle  

Friendship is essential for good business. It’s proven through case studies that the art of making a deal heavily depends on harmony and affinity between the parties. If you possess social skills, you are surely aware of this revelation!

24. The Partnership Principle

Two heads think better than one; two leaders can easily outperform a single decision-maker. Partnerships are vital for keeping the ideas flowing in and out. Benjamin Franklin endorses the same assertion by indicating that self-improvement often works better in a union.

25.The Satisfaction Principle

Sharing similar experiences and encounters can often straighten any problems out among members of the same organization. That’s precisely why people indulge in staying together and have this excitement at the beginning of every relationship.

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“Winning with People Quotes”

Any married man should forget his mistakes—there’s no use in two people remembering the same thing. Click To Tweet

A person with a negative self-image will expect the worst, damage relationships, and find others who are similarly negative. Click To Tweet

People knowledge is much more important than mere product knowledge. Click To Tweet

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. Click To Tweet

I may not be able to change the world I see around me, but I can change what I see within me. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

John Maxwell never disappoints. His actionable tips and effective strategies regarding leadership made him the person he is today.

We cannot think of any misleading info that we encountered while reading this book.

We give our thumbs up!!!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

A Complaint Is A Gift PDF Summary

A Complaint Is A Gift PDFRecovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong

Customers are gold, and the business should revolve around their needs, not your agenda.

Experienced managers and marketers realize that understanding their position is like having the wind at your back!

In this book summary, we try to melt all the vital info and lay the foundations for a new strategy.

Who Should Read “A Complaint Is A Gift”? And Why?

If you ever plan to run a business or expand your expertise regarding CRM, this book should be on your pending list!

We believe that “A Complaint Is A Gift” is like a research bomb, whose clock is already ticking.

Therefore, newcomers in the world of managers, business experts, and marketers need to dive right into the essence of this masterpiece and use its sources to devise better plans.

About Janelle Barlow

Janelle BarlowJanelle Barlow is an expert in customer behavior and the president and owner of TMI US. Her contribution to customer-management is out of the question.

Despite being the author of four books including (Emotional Value), she has also provided many top-notch brands with consulting services!

“A Complaint Is A Gift PDF Summary”

If you didn’t see this one coming – we have to explain that receiving complaints doesn’t reflect “The End of the World.” Truly, there’s a number of useful practices that can help you understand the big picture. For instance, you can accelerate your business career by knowing how to interpret complaints and appreciate their effect.

If companies can begin to see complaints as gifts, it will open an entirely new path for interacting with customers and benefit everyone.

Janelle insists on observing especially highly-negative complaints as messages, which help you steer your company. In other words, using this vital info can give you the upper hand in defeating your rivals. You don’t need us telling you that this is not the industrial era – for every action, there is a suitable reaction.

So, why gifts?

There’s one thing to keep in mind – if you decide to conduct an analysis regarding consumer behavior, or if you endeavor to make heads and tails of something, you need valuable and sincere feedback from the other party.

In this case, that other legal body/union/group/association are your customers. If you label yourself as a customer-centric organization that is not merely profit-driven, you have to put customer behavior on top of your priorities.

Their feedback is priceless because it directs your company on the right path. Always be passionate about complainers, they are your corner guy! Make them feel like you care for their objection.

Fortunately, Janelle Barlow designed 8 Step Fundamental Technique – named The Gift Formula that helps you determine what to do in which situation.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Say, “Thank you.”

Expressing gratitude means that you are not biased when it comes to the company’s performance and you take all notes into account. On top of that, you don’t evaluate nor verify the legitimacy of the complaint.

When it’s your birthday, and you receive a gift – we assume you don’t ask nor demand specifications about the present. Where it was purchased, how much it costs, who bought it, and so forth. Whether you need it or not, it’s polite to say “Thank You.”

  1. Explain why you appreciate the feedback.

Customers love their needs to be met, and you can’t do much better than explaining your official status about the quarrel.

You know the old one? – The customer is always right! That means, even if they don’t have trustworthy arguments you must put their interests above yours.

  1. Apologize for the mistake.

Do you have to apologize for specific errors in the process? – Indeed, but only after you complete the first two stages, and created an official stand about the problem.

If you merely apologize, the customer would feel as if the company plans to do nothing, and their feedback means very little to you. Give them a feeling that the organization is working on improvements to meet their needs.

  1. Promise to do something about the problem immediately. Take responsibility.

What customers value the most? – To be involved in the process of decision-making! It’s sound a bit strange that a one-time customer can dictate your operations, but it’s the only path you should take.

Start by saying what and how fast you plan to fix the problem to change their opinion.

  1. Ask for necessary information.

If you monitor these processes or if you are one of the employees who handle customer complaints, you need to possess certain expertise and full-knowingness of the tunnel for dealing with such issues.

Making the customer feel pleased with the company’s efforts, is vital to keep the organization functional. A significant portion of these complainers don’t expect any action on your behalf; they just want to share their issue with the organization.

  1. Correct the mistake – promptly.

Well, speed does matter. Look at it this way, you go to an expensive restaurant, and you order caviar and wine for you and your lovely lady. The waiter accepts the order but delivers it 50 minutes after the initial demand is made. What would be your response?

Your patience has expired, and even if the food is delicious, your overall experience with the restaurant is not that great. Fixing any issue at lightning speed is critical for transforming these unhappy customers into loyal “subjects.”

  1. Check customer satisfaction.

After you completed all these steps in the process, it’s vital to assess the customer satisfaction and see whether their aversion is starting to fade away.

Make a call is one way to do it and ask whether the solution to the problem satisfies their appetites. In some rare occasion, you can also share the precautions taken to prevent the issue from occurring again.

  1. Prevent future mistakes.

Train your staff to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Make sure that you don’t pass the blame on them, always take “We” instead of “You” “I” “He” “She,” that way you’ll make everyone equally responsible for both successes and failures.

If you display excellent management skills, your staff members will eagerly put your instructions into action and implement the solution to its full extent.

Key Lessons from “A Complaint Is A Gift”

1.      The customers are your most precious jewel
2.      You are not right
3.      Take one step at the time

The customers are your most precious jewel

Profit-driven companies hit the bottom quicker than you ever thought possible.

We are not saying that you should not be making money, that is absurd, but your primary incentive must be making the end user happy and satisfied.

You are not right

If you have all the arguments in the world to prove the customer wrong; you’ll still be leaning towards the losing side!

It’s not what you can prove, or how well you can contradict the consumer’s statements, but how you handle complaints.

Take one step at the time

Don’t simply rush into conclusions; making split second-decision won’t do you any good. To deliver a superior product, you have to execute all steps with utmost perfection.

In doing so, you’ll build a strong base of loyal admirers!

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“A Complaint Is A Gift Quotes”

If companies can begin to see complaints as gifts, it will open an entirely new path for interacting with customers and benefit everyone. Click To Tweet

We must welcome these complaining customers and make them want to come to us with their feedback. Click To Tweet

Without open communication between front-line personnel and managers, service quality is very difficult to achieve. Click To Tweet

Poorly written policies encourage front-line employees to pay more attention to enforcing company rules than satisfying upset customers. Click To Tweet

Organizations need to encourage staff to seek out complaints because this will define what customers want. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Your customers don’t feel pity for you, and they expect something in return for either their time or money.

Janelle teaches you how to make the most out of any situation by advocating for superior-quality.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Tribe of Mentors PDF Summary

Tribe of Mentors PDFShort Life Advice from the Best in the World

Every now and then we feel cornered. The inner tension is escalating and finding that strength to endure amidst all the confusion can turn out to be a nightmare.

In this book summary, you’ll learn what it takes to break from the daily grind and tailor your strategy.

Who Should Read “Tribe of Mentors”? And Why?

Do you have your mentor – that person who has looked after you? – If not, you don’t need looking for one; just psych yourself up with the right attitude!

Tribe of Mentors is a comprehensive piece that puts an accent on the present moment, and all the benefits emerging from this state. As such, it’s suitable for everyone, because it provides an excellent cover for every person’s actions.

About Tim Ferriss

Tim FerrissTim Ferriss is one of America’s finest authors, entrepreneurs, and keynote speakers whose words spark decisiveness and eagerness.  

He is the author of The 4-Hour Workweek; Tools of Titans; The 4 Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef.

“Tribe of Mentors PDF Summary”

In the modern era, the term “success” has extended beyond the everyday ordinary meaning, which refers to the momentary satisfaction of job well-done. One word signifies and takes the shape of an evaluator, which displays the person/mentor’s level of achievement.

So, before we outline a few mentors whose careers speak for themselves, it’s crucial to ask – what is common for all these leaders and decision-makers?

Let’s find out!

Tim Ferris in his study or should we say research, discovered that books have a pivotal role in both inspiring and providing solutions for people. These leaders or mentors are highly dependent on new ideas, which can derive in various forms, and one of them is through reading.

You are not human if everything so far, went according to your plans and predictions. Experiencing defeats or stumbling right before the finish-line is an integral part of life.

Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know.

Making the most out of it, involves getting up, and making gigantic strides towards the final goal.

Revolutionizing your mindset is highly essential in order to suffocate the negative influence coming from all sides. Life isn’t a fairy-tale story; if you go about portraying yourself as a victim, the others will become your predators.

Patton Oswalt clearly states that without failure, a person can’t reach a mind-stage where it can actually start accelerating its career.

Nevertheless, this development or progress can’t flourish if you underestimate your abilities. Questioning your second nature is a must for every individual who intends to make a radical internal shift.

There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.

Trading bonds, stocks, and other securities is not the only type of investment. You can invest in your health, well-being, education, information, the availability of resources, and so forth.

Taking your career onto the next level is one of the few ventures you wouldn’t want to miss or sidestep. Top mentors argue that remaining calm under pressure is perhaps the greatest asset one can have. For the same purpose, they suggest meditation.

Tim compiles a list of meditation practitioners, who also express the benefits of having a quiet time with yourself, and defeating the endless chatter of thoughts.

Jimmy Fallon, Jim Carrey, Yuval Noah Harari, Oprah, David Lynch, are among them. Not knowing the world tells the meaning of not knowing yourself; being self-aware means being vigilant about the world.

Happiness is a choice you make and a skill you develop.

Even if you are at the top of the world, you can’t say – That’s it, I know it all. There’s always enough space for you to grow or enhance personally and professionally.

So, what about the methods, which ones maximize the effect, which ones should be held responsible for eventual failure? – You need to find the control button, and pave your own way; the only thing mentors can give you is attitude and basic schooling.

Bear Grylls has a lot of nicknames throughout the world for his “craziness” and passion pointed at nature and adrenaline adventures. As a former military man and Star of his own TV-Show Man vs Wild, he understands the exact meaning of the notion “cracking under pressure.”

He implies that there’s nothing wrong with being afraid, but not doing something because of it, is horrible.

Living in the moment is the only advice you’ll ever get, and fears shouldn’t stop you from being what you are!

Social Media sensation Gary Vaynerchuk argues that saying No while feeling Yes, is like signing your capitulation. Being open to life requires more than words, it depends on attitude, determination, and eagerness to build your future.

Imagine that you are in such position, where you can share your story with first-year students, or recent graduates. What would be your advice? – How would you advise them to start and nurture their careers?

These days, you’ll often hear comments about the digital age, and the importance of engaging your audience online.

Growing on social media and building your brand, must not become your primary concern. Wise people focus on delivering superior quality because they thrive on their work.

Before drawing the final conclusion, let’s underline the fundamental priorities! – It’s not about making more money, but about enjoying your work, and develop into a real master.

Reading more, can definitely help you soar above the clouds and give you another perspective!

Key Lessons from “Tribe of Mentors”

1.      Design the perfect formula that works for you
2.      Quality comes first
3.      Get in the right frame of mind and define your goals

Design the perfect formula that works for you

Not all mentors believe that practice absent strategic orientation can bring about success and happiness.

According to them, becoming a specialist revolves around two sets of things: craft, and healthy habits. Without exercising your mastery, you’ll never be really good at it!  

Quality comes first

In general, you don’t have to be overcommitted to anything, just be fully aware of the endless opportunities that are just behind the corner.

Beware of ideas that reduce the quality of your output, and emphasize the short-term money-making approach.

Get in the right frame of mind and define your goals

Mentors fully agree that there’s one hint in being successful.

If you don’t focus your energy on remaining productive, creative and innovative – your talent and craft will never rise to the surface.

Put more effort than you did yesterday, and strive to set new boundaries!

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“Tribe of Mentors Quotes”

Never let a good crisis go to waste. It’s the universe challenging you to learn something new and rise to the next level of your potential. Click To Tweet

I’ve realized that instead of following the trends, you want to identify the trends but not follow them. It’s good to recognize trends, but if you follow them, you get sucked into them, and then you also fall with the trend. Click To Tweet

Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask. After all, conscious thinking is largely asking and answering questions in your own head. Click To Tweet

I believe that the key to self-sufficiency is breaking free of the mindset that someone, somewhere, owes you something or will come to your rescue. Click To Tweet

Don’t do things that you know are morally wrong. Not because someone is watching, but because you are. Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We all need that corner guy that will push us over the limit and help us to get through this difficult time.

Wise mentors understand your suffering and respect your agendas. They have a habit of encouraging you to get up, even if the whole world has turned its back on you.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Age of Agile PDF Summary

The Age of Agile PDFHow Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done

Is there anything that can enhance the company’s performance? – Of course, there’s no such thing as perfection.

Stephen understands this perfectly well and devises a plan to help you utilize your resources in a much more cost-effective manner.

Improve your market position by becoming a customer-centric organization!

Who Should Read “The Age of Agile”? And Why?

Regardless of where you live, or what are you planning to do, providing service is the only way to make an honest living. “The Age of Agile” stresses the need for full-scale reforms on a managerial level by creating a superior product or service.

In our opinion, this book is a perfect match for managers and leaders in the making, and those who want to learn a thing or two about agile management.

About Stephen Denning

Stephen DenningStephen Denning is a former World Bank employee, who held several respectable management roles.

He is also the author of several books: The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management, Squirrel Inc, The Secret Language of Leadership and others.

“The Age of Agile PDF Summary”

U.S intervention in Iraq disclosed some organizational issues in the military and bureaucracy. Despite the cutting-edge technology, digital support, and weapon superiority, the U.S. Army failed to defeat the poorly equipped extremists.

General Stanley McChrystal was put in charge because of his reputation as a successful military commander. His job was to identify the reasons behind the U.S. defeat in the Middle East and see whether that has anything to do with the hierarchy.

The acclaimed General discovered that the implementation phase didn’t have the momentum to keep the operations going. The U.S. military headquarters weren’t aware that their directives were not set in motion due to misconstrued information.

The troops couldn’t enforce the orders on the battlefield, which led to total disorganization and chaos.

The intelligence gathered from CIA, FBI, NSA, was delivered to U.S. Marshals and executives who had the authorization to access such data.

Despite all the support from the Intelligence Agencies, McChrystal realized that the hierarchical chain was reducing the impact of the counterinsurgency force led by America.

McChrystal revolutionized the U.S. Army by transforming its structure into a network. In that case, a position would hold no meaning, and a person of lower rank but a higher competence can be commander-in-chief of selected kinetic or non-kinetic operations.

Businesses have also opted to stretch their perspectives, by embracing flexibility and questioning traditional rigidness. Companies and corporations of the highest order, have initiated many acts, which give power to those second-rated employees and associates.

In such open-minded and free environment, the cost-efficiency and the level of productivity grows. Creating value is not just a task for the superiors, but for all people involved in the process. They are granted the privilege of escaping the routine circle by injecting a dose of uniqueness into the job.

Japanese management, for instance, stands out from the rest, but not even their practices can handle the ever-increasing problems in all industries.

The fast-paced lifestyle forces us to adopt “agile management,” to deal with organizational issues. Rapid change inflames the situation even further and proves the ineffectiveness of the traditional management.

Agile management is at odds with much of what is practiced in public corporations and taught in business schools.

The Three Laws from “The Age of Agile”

1.      The Law of the Small Team
2.      The Law of the Customer
3.      The Law of the Network

The Law of the Small Team”

Lesser in size groups can efficiently enact various ideas, and thus enhance the performance of the team. Here’s what you should take into consideration:

“Advocate for flexibility” – Many systems don’t reach the phase of implementation due to the changes which occur after the strategy is underway. Nowadays, companies and organizations have a tough time coping with the digital demands, and macro-management has proving to be a nightmare.  

The Law of the Small Team concerns a mindset, not a specific set of tools and processes that can be written down in an operational manual.

Reducing the scope of the project or sustaining its size but splitting into few major goals delegated to smaller teams, can often straighten things out, and provide valuable deliverables.

“Use smaller teams” – Agile management sets the optimal number for most members in a group, to maximize productivity and output. 7-12 people goal-driven people, with a unique set of skills which can provide cover for the project is the ideal combination for success.

“Set deadlines” – Time = money, and your team must be aware of the importance of finishing the job in a specific time-frame.

Make sure that nothing slows the performance down, and strive to get a good display of everyone involved.

“Lay emphasis on – getting things ‘done” – This is a tricky phase and successful goal-drive teams, evaluate the effectiveness of the project by assessing their input, and the overall implementation of the agile management.

Don’t be slowed down by either paperwork nor by unfinished pending tasks, which await your final touch.  

“Work full-steam ahead” – Don’t get distracted by external factors. You can only be flexible about the methods, but the goal must always remain unchanged.

Once you started working on a project, don’t jump from one task to the next, stay concentrated and showcase your skills.

“Campaign for transparency” – Agile teams unlike traditional systems, have no trouble to spread the word if things go in the right or wrong direction.

Every party involved should share its perspective; this collective mindset is an essential pillar of the organization.

The Law of the Customer

Peter Drucker, as a management expert, revolutionized the business world in the 50s by stating that the companies should move from profit-driven to customer-driven organizations.

During those days, all companies were merely focusing their energies and efforts on creating profits, while neglecting the necessities of the customers.

Globalization sparks fierce competition; providing a valuable and superior product, or service is the only way you’re going to get to the top. From what we see, customers are now in the center of attention, and every company fights for their affection.

Firms acknowledge the absolute necessity of agile management as a tool for finishing off with flying colors.

  • Ideal Buying Persona” – Every successful business, knows its target customers. If you cast your net too wide, you risk of going home empty-handed.  
  • Conduct thorough investigation about their needs” – Their demands and wants must match the company’s vision, otherwise your business will become a sinking ship. It’d just a matter of time.
  • Outsource your work” – Start-ups can provide an excellent cover for your plans. Do what you have to do, to build a loyal customer base!  
  • Pay attention” – Make your service or product easily accessible and affordable.
  • Use your imagination” – Don’t remain stuck in your shallow mindset. Be innovative, provide some free trial, bonus, refund, make that aversion go away.
  • You can’t please everyone” – One way or the other, someone will not be too happy about your progress, but that’s none of your business.
  • Customization as a tool” – Allowing your customer to adjust the product to fit their needs can give you the edge in the struggle for superiority in the market.

The Law of the Network

Once you got all bases covered, it’s time to create a decentralized network of small teams which will enforce your strategies. Smaller groups = Greater efficiency.

Centralized chains of command, implemented in conventional management systems are not applicable in the modern age.

Top-to-bottom hierarchies are outdated, and managing large and complex organizations requires many competent leaders, who can take the “Final Shot” in the last seconds of the match.

Three main Network Chains: Top-to-bottom, Bottom-Up, and combined approach between these two.

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“The Age of Agile Quotes”

The ability to adapt to the complexity and continuous unpredictable change was more important than carefully prepared plans. Click To Tweet

Complexity responded to competence, not authority. Click To Tweet

There is no longer a choice to be made between disciplined execution and innovation through teams. The new way of operating enables the firm to do both at the same time. Click To Tweet

It was frustrating for managers to find that the more they tried to control things, the less progress they made. Click To Tweet

The living customer with mercurial thoughts and feelings is now the center of the commercial universe. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Stephen Denning never fails to impress us with his wide array of skills.

The expertise he possesses in this realm is out of the question, and his prowess as a management expert stands to reason why we should apply the tips extracted from “The Age of Agile.”    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Why We Should Bulldoze the Business School PDF Summary

Why We Should Bulldoze the Business School PDFYou want to go to a business school?

According to Martin Parker – you shouldn’t.

Even more – nobody should.

In an article for “Guardian” – basically a part of his most recent book – Parker explains “Why We Should Bulldoze the Business School.”

See if he can convince you to join in.

Who Should Read “Why We Should Bulldoze the Business School”? And Why?

There are 13,000 business schools on Earth,” writes Martin Parker. “That’s 13,000 too many. And I should know – I’ve taught in them for 20 years.

If you have as well – then you probably won’t agree with Parker; however, if you’ve studied there, your answer may be a bit more ambiguous.

Regardless, it’s fairly important that you read this article – not the least because it’s written by someone who should know what he’s writing about.

Martin ParkerAbout Martin Parker

Martin Parker is Professor of Organization Studies at Bristol with a background in anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies.

He has previously held positions at Staffordshire, Keele, Warwick, and Leicester universities.

In his writing, he attempts to widen the scope of what is usually covered in business and management studies, as well as discuss alternative organizations such as workers self-management.

His most recent book is directly related to this article: “Shut Down the Business School: What’s Wrong with Management Education.”

“Why We Should Bulldoze the Business School PDF Summary”

Do you know what MBA stands for?

Master of Business Administration, right?

Well, according to a whole genre of jokes, it also stands for “Mediocre But Arrogant,” “Management by Accident,” “More Bad Advice,” and “Master Bullshit Artist.”


Because most of the MBAs you know are probably intellectual frauds and profit-mongers of the kind Nassim Nicholas Taleb would really love to bulldoze.

With him, we don’t even know whether it’s just metaphorical.

With Martin Parker – we have no doubts: when he says that we need to bulldoze business schools, he really means it.

If you expected that there’s some catch – since, well, no sane person would ever want to do such a thing – the joke’s on you: according to Parker, no sane person would ever consider going to business schools if he or she cares even a bit about society and humanity.

Spoiler alert:

He or she doesn’t.

Show me a business school student – says Parker – and I’ll show you a selfish, egotistical person who believes that greed is the pinnacle of civilization.

Show me a business school – and I’ll show you “a cancerous machine spewing out sick and irrelevant detritus,” a den of corrupted money-loving thieves which should be shut down immediately:

Having taught in business schools for 20 years, I have come to believe that the best solution to these problems is to shut down business schools altogether. This is not a typical view among my colleagues. Even so, it is remarkable just how much criticism of business schools over the past decade has come from inside the schools themselves. Many business school professors, particularly in North America, have argued that their institutions have gone horribly astray. B-schools have been corrupted, they say, by deans following the money, teachers giving the punters what they want, researchers pumping out paint-by-numbers papers for journals that no one reads and students expecting a qualification in return for their cash (or, more likely, their parents’ cash). At the end of it all, most business-school graduates won’t become high-level managers anyway, just precarious cubicle drones in anonymous office blocks.

Just two centuries ago, the world didn’t have one single business school.

And then, in 1819, the École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris, a privately funded institution, was established in an attempt “to produce a grande école for business.”

(Yup, there goes another invention you’d think it’s American!)

Fast forward to today, and you can count at least 13,000 business school worldwide – almost a fourth (3,000 of them) in India!

You are an American and want to study at some of the highest-ranked among them?

Be prepared to shell out at least $100,000!

And what do you get in return?

Few lessons on how to become the person who, instead of giving that amount of money, is on its receiving end.

And that’s the root of the problem: the only thing you’ll learn at a business school is a destructive ideology, one that is basically responsible for half of the world’s problems.

You’d think that business schools would hide this?

But no – “in the business school, both the explicit and hidden curriculums sing the same song.”

And that song is the luring song of the Sirens – which is not true in itself, but which can become true if we don’t put our fingers in our ears and ignore it.

The message that management research and teaching often provides,” warns Parker, “is that capitalism is inevitable and that the financial and legal techniques for running capitalism are a form of science.

However, tooth-and-claw capitalism is not inevitable, and there’s nothing scientific in the way it works. And, as it is, the world already has too much selfishness for it to be institutionalized in over 13,000 buildings worldwide!

Even worse – “for us to assume that global capitalism can continue as it is means to assume a path to destruction.”

Business schools do this better than anybody, since they teach students unethical methods to accumulate wealth, safeguarding the ideas that egalitarianism is wrong, that humans have no integrity, and that everything is allowed in business and war – which, to them, are actually the same thing:

The easiest summary of all of the above, and one that would inform most people’s understandings of what goes on in the B-school, is that they are places that teach people how to get money out of the pockets of ordinary people and keep it for themselves.

The world needs to do away with business schools: their poisonous messages are on par with Stalin’s and Hitler’s, and their “propaganda machinery” is worse.

Since no one sees the obvious threat.

Key Lessons from “Why We Should Bulldoze the Business School”

1.      There Are 13,000 Business Schools Worldwide – and 13,000 Too Many
2.      Business Schools Teach Selfishness and Greed
3.      Capitalism Is Not the Only Form of Organizing as Business Schools Claim

There Are 13,000 Business Schools Worldwide – and 13,000 Too Many

The first business school opened in France two centuries ago. In the meantime, 13,000 more spawned across the world.

According to Martin Parker – that’s 13,000 too many. Since none of them actually teaches something which helps societies and humanity in general.

But all of them teach many things which will inevitably lead to the destruction of both.

Business Schools Teach Selfishness and Greed

Business schools are expensive: you (i.e., your rich parents) will need to set aside $100,000 so that you can learn from few selfish people how to pocket as much money in the future – straight from the pockets of the ordinary men.

In other words, business schools proliferate the problems we have, gendering an environment of power and domination, control and cunning, inequality, selfishness, and greed.

Capitalism Is Not the Only Form of Organizing as Business Schools Claim

As far as business schools are considered, capitalism is the only viable form of organization.

Everything else is peripheral and a historical abomination.

However, Martin Parker is Professor of Organization Studies and knows full well that this is a lie. On the contrary, there are many ways we can – and should organize – if we want to live better and more fulfilled lives in general.

Unsurprisingly, none of these alternative organizations allow for the existence of business schools.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Why We Should Bulldoze the Business School Quotes”

If we educate our graduates in the inevitability of tooth-and-claw capitalism, it is hardly surprising that we end up with justifications for massive salary payments to people who take huge risks with other people’s money. Click To Tweet

The problem is that business ethics and corporate social responsibility are subjects used as window dressing in the marketing of the business school, and as a fig leaf to cover the conscience of B-school deans. Click To Tweet

There are various surveys of business-school students that suggest that they have an instrumental approach to education; that is to say, they want what marketing and branding tells them that they want. Click To Tweet

The business school assumes capitalism, corporations and managers as the default form of organization, and everything else as history, anomaly, exception, alternative. Click To Tweet

If we want to be able to respond to the challenges that face human life on this planet, then we need to research and teach about as many different forms of organizing as we are able to collectively imagine. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We usually don’t take sides, but we have to say that we agree with many of the things Martin Parker says in “Why We Should Bulldoze the Business School.”

Read the article and see if Parker can convince.

We’re looking forward to reading the whole book!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Reengineering the Corporation PDF Summary

Reengineering the Corporation PDFA Manifesto for Business Revolution

You want to make your company more successful?

How about reimagining it from scratch?

Reengineering the Corporation” offers a blueprint.

Who Should Read “Reengineering the Corporation”? And Why?

“Reengineering the Corporation” was probably “the most successful business book of the last decade,” so people interested in business management don’t really have the luxury not to read it.

However, parts of it are a bit outdated, so be sure to consult the revised edition – and even that with a lot of caution.

About Michael Hammer and James A. Champy

Michael Hammer

Michael Martin Hammer was an American engineer and management author, as well as long-time professor of computer science at MIT, from where he earned a Ph. D. in EESC in 1973.

He was ranked as one of America’s 25 most influential people by “Time” magazine in its inaugural 1996 list.

James A. Champy

James A. Champy is an American business consultant, with an M. S. in civil engineering from MIT and a J. D. from Boston College Law School.

CEO of the CSC index, Champy is currently a senior research fellow at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative and is primarily known for his work in the field of BPR.

“Forbes” voted “Reengineering the Corporation” – a book Hammer and Champy co-authored in 1993 – as the third most important business book of the past 20 years.

“Reengineering the Corporation PDF Summary”

Back in 1776, in the very first sentence of his monumental work, “The Wealth of Nations,” Adam Smith – the world’s preeminent economist for centuries – pointed out that division of labor is the essence of industrialism and progress.

In other words – to use his example – by dividing the manufacturing process into several steps and assigning each step to a particular worker, a pin maker will certainly produce many more pins than if each of his workers was assigned with making a complete pin.

Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Well, everybody in America seems to have shared this opinion up until the 1990s when two important things happened: modern technology and globalization.

Most of the American companies tried countering the effects by swift automatization of certain processes, but a 1989 MIT study titled “Made in America” uncovered that this might not have been the best strategy.

Namely, even after implementing it, many US companies still lagged behind their foreign counterparts in terms of productivity, time-to-market, and competitiveness.

Obviously, Adam Smith’s organizational strategies were a thing of the past.

But, what was the future?

In 1990, Michael Hammer, a former professor of computer science at MIT, in a suggestively titled 8-page article published in the “Harvard Business Review,” suggested a radical change:

Reengineer Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate.”

In other words, Hammer didn’t think that technology should just computerize some of the steps the manufacturing processes had been broken down to in the past.

Oh no!

According to Hammer, IT should completely reimagine the process by which one company works, making it (contrary to Adam Smith) much more holistic and integrated.

Three years after this study, Hammer teamed up with James A. Champy – the CEO of the CSC Index (the management consulting arm to the Computer Sciences Corporation) – and wrote “Reengineering the Corporation,” the management Bible of the 1990s, which practically made BPR (business process reengineering) a fad on par with Macarena.

In fact, by the end of this very year, more than half of United States’ Fortune 500 companies had either initiated or planned to initiate a reengineering effort!

But, what is BPR?

Straight from the book, as a purely theoretical framework:

Reengineering is… the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary modern measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed.

In practical terms, BPR means reorganizing a company in a way which will put quality and control first, while establishing a more direct connection between the managers and the customers, something which Smith’s division of labor practically prevents altogether.

And the first and most important step of BPR proved to be the least popular one: combining jobs.


Because, combining jobs meant that some people would get a lot more responsibility, but others would lose their jobs.

Which is exactly what happened during the first half of the 1990s, when, to many laymen, BPR sounded much less as an acronym for a progressive management strategy (Business Process Reengineering), than as an abbreviation for a notorious corporate dictum (a Bunch of People are Redundant).

Even so, BPR worked well for numerous giants in their industries, and Hammer and Champy share the success stories of IBM, Ford, Duke Power, and even Kodak – which, in retrospect, may not have been the best choice for a success story.

Because, after all, BPR doesn’t merely mean combining jobs.

It also means giving workers decision-making power, which many books in the meantime have proven is a better way to manage a company than the obsolete leader/follower philosophy.

An appropriate implementation of IT – let’s not forget that Hammer was an engineer – can certainly make this possible.

And, case in point –

By today, two and a half decades after “Reengineering the Corporation” saw the light of day, there’s basically no successful company in the world which doesn’t use shared databases, expert systems, telecommunication networks – and many other disruptive technologies which now make possible for a company to be both decentralized (in reality) and centralized (in its virtual cloud-based existence).

To sum up –

Hammer and Champy – by their own admission – may have been wrong in terms of people and layoffs – but they were right about many other things.

And numerous companies have profited from implementing BPR.

Key Lessons from “Reengineering the Corporation”

1.      Adam Smith’s Division of Labor Is an Obsolete Business Strategy
2.      Business Process Reengineering Revolutionized Business Management in the 1990s
3.      Rethinking the Business Process… and Layoffs

Adam Smith’s Division of Labor Is an Obsolete Business Strategy

Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” is rightfully considered one of the greatest economics books ever written.

Published at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the book – among many other things – is credited with identifying labor division as the essence of industrialism.

In other words, dividing a manufacturing process into several steps and assigning a specific worker for each step results into a substantial increase of productivity.

However, in the 1990s, the world was in the middle of another revolution, the IT revolution.

And, it seemed that automating some of these steps – the straightforward option – yields worse results than completely reimagining the processes – the radical solution.

Business Process Reengineering Revolutionized Business Management in the 1990s

Largely inaugurated by this very book, “Business process reengineering” (or BPR for short) was possibly the first – and certainly the most famous – business management strategy which took into consideration the fact that IT may be able to produce previously unimaginable hybrid-companies.

Namely, such that could be decentralized at workers-level – granting workers more responsibilities and combining their jobs into a cross-position – but centralized at a computerized, technological level (networks, shared databases, decision-supporting tools, etc.)

And this made all the difference!

Practically two-thirds of the Fortune 500 companies implemented BPR, and many of them survived the reengineering processes as much stronger, more productive, and bigger conglomerates.

With fewer employees.

Rethinking the Business Process… and Layoffs

Now, BPR is a radical strategy, in that it aimed (and, in fact, still aims) to rethink how a company works from root level, justly claiming that many of the processes which are still followed in most of these companies are just a remnant of some previous times and have added no value to the final product for decades.

It’s a four-fold cycle, divided into two phases: the as-is phase when companies identify, review, update and analyze their current processes and the to-be phase when they are designing, testing and implementing their wished-for procedures.

However, as it soon became much too obvious, in practice making the move from as-is to to-be meant layoffs.

A lot of them.

This gave BPR its bad name, which meant that by the later editions, Hammer and Champy had no option but to defend their strategy on the grounds of efficacy, with companies realizing in the meantime that, in the long run, people may be just as important as profit – if not more.

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“Reengineering the Corporation Quotes”

To reengineer a company is to take a journey from the familiar into the unknown. The journey has to begin somewhere and with someone. Click To Tweet

Reengineering is not restructuring or downsizing. Click To Tweet

As few people as possible should be involved in the performance of a process. Click To Tweet

Reengineering… demands the direct and personal involvement of senior management. Just as it cannot bubble up from the bottom of the organization, reengineering cannot be delegated. Click To Tweet

We say that more than 50% of reengineering efforts have failed, not that they inevitably will fail. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

When it appeared in 1993, “Reengineering the Corporation” was a pioneering work that even well-established management thinkers advocated as a great new tool for achieving success.

Peter F. Drucker described it as “an important book” adding that BPR is “a new and systematic approach to structuring and managing work.”

However, thousands of sackings later, BPR fell out of favor, and even the revised and updated edition of the book didn’t rescue the concept from its notoriety.

In other words, there’s a lot you can learn from this book – but there’s also a lot in it which is currently behind the times.

So, use it with caution.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Trump: The Art of the Deal PDF Summary

Trump: The Art of the Deal PDFDonald Trump has always been both criticized and praised for his controversial approach.

His methods are hardly ever conventional, which indicates that he’s a person whose actions cannot be anticipated.

In the book summary below, we summarize the key elements in making a good deal.

Who Should Read “Trump: The Art of the Deal”? And Why?

Trump – The Real Estate Godfather, has really made a name for himself. To what does he owe his success? Unlike other people in business, Trump rarely takes “NO” for an answer.

Trump: The Art of the Deal” is an excellent business guidebook, that is suitable for all business people in all spheres of influence. Entrepreneurs and economy students will find it particularly informative and mind-blowing.

About Donald J. Trump

Donald J. TrumpDonald J. Trump had been given the honors to serve a four-year mandate as the 45th, U.S. president. In 1968, he started a business career, alongside his father. Since then, Donald Trump Organization has never stopped expanding.

He is the author of several books, including How to Get Rich.

“Trump: The Art of the Deal PDF Summary”

Briefly, here’s what you should take into consideration when making a deal:

Think big” – Well, how it’s even possible to get a firm grip on success, without broadening your perspectives and destroying your limitations.

According to various keynote speakers and motivators, the key to success is illustrated through the ability to fixate your attention on the most critical tasks during the day. That’s how Donald Trump managed to stay on top for so long.

Beware of hidden dangers and protect the downside” – In the capitalist era, it’s unlikely that you can beat the market unless you have a plan B. In other words, Trump emphasizes flexibility and despises gambling, which can be construed as an aversion, or inability for controlling the outcome.

When you are close to reaching an agreement with a third-party, never rely on only one main scenario.

Having a backup strategy in your pocket at all times can increasingly improve your chances of becoming a winner. As time goes by, and the bar is raised to a higher level, you wouldn’t want to be drained by the hostile environment.

Choose your words and actions carefully” – Things didn’t go as planned? – So, what? – There’s always a better alternative just around the corner, and that’s precisely why Mr. Trump keeps many options on the table because the deal-making process is too complex.

It’s been said that tough negotiators are those who are aware of their bargain capabilities. In order for their plans to come to fruition, they stand their ground and don’t back away from their demands.

Understand the core of the market” – It’s not about what you do, is how you do it. One thing is for sure; you cannot merely indicate that the market is overflooded with competition, and there’s no room for your ideas to kick in.

Trump doesn’t rely on consultant help and trusts his instinct but not to feed his vanity, but because it’s the right thing to do. Every baffling problem or enigma can be solved if you have that inner edge, to pull some maneuver and turn the situation to your advantage.

Find common ground, but not at the expense of your capital” – If you show signs of desperation when bargaining a better deal, or if you try to speed up the proceedings, the counterpart may use that against you. Put the accent on something; the other party can’t simply do without.

Play wisely, because after all, it’s just a game.

Make yourself visible” – People in a hurry, tend to make bad decisions. And in order to be seen, that are inclined to agree with almost any foolish deal.

Lay down your foundation on a location that serves a dual-purpose. After you make up your mind, spend a few extra dollars, to make that location look a bit trendier and classy.

Such action fueled by integrity will aid you in your endeavors to gain respect from the business community and strengthen your ties with other investors and businessmen.  

Promote your business” – Throughout the course of history, great conspirators were always on thin ice which could have collapsed at any moment. Their boldness as a way of handling things, grant them all-deserving praises and rewards.

When it comes to business, you might want to use the same strategy, and thus the press will safeguard your interests. Evidently, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and being in the spotlight is all that matter.

Never back down” – Don’t be a pushover, because in life you’ll encounter various personalities who will try to bring you to your knees. When the word is spread out, that you crack under pressure, the competition will destroy you in a flash.

Leverage: don’t make deals without it. Enhance

Deliver superior quality” – If your products, services, or opinions don’t stand out, your project can never reach its peak. The most frightening thing in today’s market is that everyone is replaceable, and loyalty is long gone.

If you want to remain on the top, you have to deliver a product/service of unparalleled quality.

Reduce the costs” – No, you thought wrong, Donald Trump is not a spender, he is an investor. He advises that you should cut down some expenses that aren’t yielding any positive results.

If you purchase commodities that you don’t need, you’ll eventually end up selling the things you are in desperate need of.

Rejoice in life” – Money is just the name of the game, so don’t take it too seriously, have fun!

The most important thing in life is to love what you’re doing because that’s the only way you’ll ever be really good at it.

Key Lessons from “Trump: The Art of the Deal”

1.      The power of persuasion
2.      Take precautions, and don’t deviate from your plans
3.      Prepare yourself for what is to follow

The power of persuasion

If you don’t have what it takes to influence other people, perhaps the least you can do is not allowing other to do that to you.

Believe in your methods and gauge the competitive level.

Take precautions, and don’t deviate from your plans

Although staying flexible is key to success, sometimes it’s best if you don’t allow a single doubt to enter your mind.

Following your instinct can make a world of difference to you, and your project.

Prepare yourself for what is to follow

If you thought that this ride is going to be smooth, you are far away from reality.

Such attitude can backfire on you because you’ll not have all bases covered when things take an unexpected turn. The wind blows where it wishes, and you don’t have the power to stop it.

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“Trump: The Art of the Deal Quotes”

I've read hundreds of books about China over the decades. I know the Chinese. I've made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind. Click To Tweet

I’ve always felt that a lot of modern art is a con and that the most successful painters are often better salesmen and promoters than they are artists. Click To Tweet

I discovered, for the first time but not the last, that politicians don’t care too much what things cost. It’s not their money. Click To Tweet

My people keep telling me I shouldn’t write letters like this to critics. The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want to about theirs? Click To Tweet

I don’t hire a lot of number-crunchers, and I don’t trust fancy marketing surveys. I do my own surveys and draw my own conclusions. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Trump clearly knew what he was doing, and it’s in our interest to follow his example. If you are afraid of a little controversy and challenge, the business world is not for you.

Thriving on problems is the perfect mentality one can embrace. So, don’t hesitate to jump on the bandwagon and start your adventure.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Smartest Guys in the Room PDF Summary

The Smartest Guys in the Room PDFThe Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

Enron’s rise and surprising collapse in 2001, left everyone wondering what was going on, behind the curtains.

In this book summary, we try to encapsulate all the events that contributed to the ultimate fall.

Stay tuned!

Who Should Read “The Smartest Guys in the Room”? And Why?

Are you the smartest guy out there? – Who is, in fact, the decision-maker of the house? Many people are eager to encounter success, and you might want to jump on the bandwagon as well, don’t you?!

The Smartest Guys in the Room” is a story about a company which asserted its dominance and wanted to showcase a dose of strength and invulnerability. As such, we believe it’s suitable for managers, leaders, and students who are in the process of learning.

About Bethany McLean & Peter Elkind

Bethany McLeanBethany McLean was born in 1970. She is the author of several books and works as a columnist for Fortune.

Peter Elkind is also a prominent author and highly-skilled reporter who is also a contributor for New York Times, Fortune, and other renowned journals.

“The Smartest Guys in the Room PDF Summary”

The Smartest Guys in the Room provides a recap of the story that will later be known as the rise and fall of Enron. This energy trading company suddenly collapsed in 2001, leaving pretty much everyone in shock and disbelief.

Enron was something like the middleman in the whole process, or should you prefer – an intermediary between gas suppliers and buyers.

What made the company grow so fast, was the plan which emphasized the importance of paying the gas sellers in advance, and making a deal to supply the buyers with a new source of energy, even before the purchase.  

Selling the gas to buyers for a fixed price allowed the company to reduce the risks linked to the supply and demand and the uncontrollable gas-price curve. This was a win-win situation because buyers loved nothing more than a full-cohesion and support in the process, while the sellers needed money beforehand to finance their operations.

This pure ingenuity revolutionized the energy markets in the U.S. Enron without facing any real competition, and encouraged by its position in the market, forgot about the process of providing quality of service.

Both the employees and the executives working in there began preparing contracts that would be traded in the foreseeable future.

To make matters worse, these “fictive” deals were actually reported as incomes, without even fulfilling the company’s side of the agreement. In the meantime, the executives received a considerable amount of money, because the stock price went up.

The Smartest Guys in the Room recounts the effectiveness of the operations which were launched off the radar; and why no one was left in command to supervise the company’s proceedings. The organizational culture was revolving around rewards and bonuses, without taking into account the imminent threats:

1) First and foremost, what your associates and employees are motivated to do is synchronized with the company’s risk-reward system.

The employees encouraged by a potential grand slam did almost everything that could grant them their reward. Although Enron’s mission statement indicated that the company advocates for integrity, transparency, and respect; in reality, people were paid for doing the opposite.

2) What you strive for, will ultimately become your reality. From today’s standpoint, experts argue whether Ken really knew what was going on. Apparently, he craved for respect, and the idea to develop an unsurpassable company in the market.

Sometimes wrong, but never in doubt.

The idea was not to provide high-quality service, but use internal competition, backstabbing and ultimately deception to build a successful organization, at least on paper. Ken Lay liked the idea of heading such a huge market leader, without even putting too much effort into it.

If the delayed their growth, probably things would have unfolded differently, and Enron would still be functional.

3) Jeff Skilling, Enron COO, was the man of the hour. He was the one who came up with this brilliant idea of structuring the open contracts, but his over-commitment to devising genius plans, left him exposed to a variety of problems.

Skilling was the one Enron executive who did not take the Fifth Amendment before Congress, though his lawyer advised him to do so.

He had some insights about the problems Enron was facing but didn’t have enough clue to stop the ongoing operations or supervise a full-scale modification.  Evidently, Jeff didn’t believe that a slight exaggeration of the stock-prices would harm the company. He always felt that his methods would eventually crush any problem.

By all means, Jeff’s idea to wipe out the books, which verified the accounting deceptions, is known as the biggest boondoggle, in energy-trading history.

This tips may come in handy to you when you create your own company. As it turns out, Enron lost its grip on the market in a heartbeat. Although they were shooting for the stars, the lack of planning, vision, and pure intentions lead them to the bottom of the corporate success-chain.

To sum it up, Enron learned the hard way – that lying is wrong.  

Key Lessons from “The Smartest Guys in the Room”

1.      Build up for what is to come
2.      The one-way ticket to reaching the bottom
3.      Promote and encourage integrity, not scamming

Build up for what is to come

Enron’s fate was sealed, and before the collapse, the company was literally labeled as unsinkable, same as Titanic, and we all know how that story ended.

They preferred illusionary growth, before a steady and gradual enhancement.

The one-way ticket to reaching the bottom

Ken Lay as the mastermind of the whole operation, was instigating an unethical behavior.

In reality, almost all of Enron’s executives and employees lied about many things, to get their hands on promotion.

Promote and encourage integrity, not scamming

When doing business, many managers put to the side the idea of working in accordance with some moral principles.

Enron used pitfall traps to reach the sky and eventually ended up in one.

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“The Smartest Guys in the Room Quotes”

He once gave a speech advising anyone who wanted to complete a power project to get all the lawyers in one room, then shoot them—in the mouth, because it’s impossible to miss. Click To Tweet

McKinsey partners tend to be designers of ditches, not diggers of ditches. When it comes to executing their lofty theories, well, consultants lean toward leaving those messy realities to the companies themselves. Click To Tweet

Figuring out whether a deal was worth doing was nothing if not an exercise in calculating risk: did the size of the potential return justify the risk of all the things that could go wrong? That’s a question that every executive at every… Click To Tweet

Never, ever do the easy wrong instead of the harder right. Click To Tweet

I don’t like shorts promoting their position. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

As book enthusiasts, this is one of our favorite stories that is told from a critical point of view.

It shares an unbiased perspective of Enron’s rise and fall, and what fueled it, in the first place.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF: