Learn the facts, Steed-Asprey used to say, then try on the stories like clothes.— Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, by John le Carré This email newsletter has been cross–posted from Antonym. You can subscribe here if you want to see how the experiment goes. Dear Reader Welcome to the second of my newsletters. This week seems to be…… Continue reading The insurrection will be monetised.
This isn’t a review, it is a reflection, an act in keeping with the lessons shared by a master of his crafts – of writing, research and explaining power. Robert A Caro is well-known for taking a long time to write his books (a biography of Robert Moses, the person who shaped modern New York…… Continue reading Review of Robert A Caro’s Working
This is cross–posted from my new Antonym Substack – an email newsletter/blog platform. I published it there as a series of five posts – but have combined them here. Be warned, it’s a long read… When the going gets tough, the tough get reading. We all had extra burdens to carry in 2020. People found their different…… Continue reading My best reads of 2020
Albrecht Dürer’s The Four Horsemen This article is adapted from a letter to my team at Brilliant Noise last week. It has a special resonance on the eve of the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Dear Brilliant People They are beginning to ease the lockdown in Italy. And other places too. It looks like we’re past…… Continue reading Invisible bombs
Would you take management advice from this man? (Source). A friend asked on Twitter: “What two books would you recommend a new people manager reads and why?” One book I recommended was The Prince, by Niccolò Macchiavelli. Why on earth would I recommend a book by him? To people managers? Well, I wouldn’t advise treating The…… Continue reading Why you should read Machiavelli
Sometimes we talk about being less busy as a kind of dream or a luxury. Not being overworked is not a luxury that you earn through success –it’s the key to being successful in the first place. If each of us wrote down our definition of how to be be a good leader would we…… Continue reading Brave enough to not be busy
A secondhand bookshop in Foix, southwest France Writing about what I read in the past twelve months has become an annual ritual, part of the seasonal no-man’s-land between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve when we relax and reflect and get confused about what day of the week it is. This year I read 59…… Continue reading My best reads of 2019
My lovely sister-in-law and her husband gave me this TLS monograph as a Christmas gift: The Hero, by Lee Child. It’s rather magnificent, so I’m posting my Goodreads review here too: This is a very short book. You’re either going to read it because you like Lee Child’s writing or are curious what the author…… Continue reading The Hero
Tyson: Plans change… TL;DR: “dynamic, self-adjusting system cannot be governed by a static, unbending policy” is academic for “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”. Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has plans until they get hit.” In the odd process that popular quotations go through, it is often misquoted as “Everybody has a plan…… Continue reading Systems, planning and punches to the face
The different approaches at WPP and Publicis are examined in an FT article today. While both companies have endured falling share prices for the past few years, there are signs that WPP may be beginning to recover. Meanwhile, Publicis is talking a good game, but the markets are impatient for them to deliver better results.…… Continue reading Two ad giants falling. Will either get up again?