Are you a tyrannical leader without even realising?

Most business leaders are tyrants. Even the most kind. Even the most friendly. Even the most fair. Even the most democratic. Even, I dare say, you. When it comes to the way you run your business, you probably embody the worst archetype of leadership.  One of force, coercion, manipulation, and control. I expect that intuitively […]

Going deep on strategy with the Hungry podcast

An exciting change of pace this week, where I’ll give you a break from the essays and point you instead to my recent appearance on the great podcast, Hungry. Hungry is a podcast for challenger food and drink brands which has featured the founders of many breakthrough brands, top thinkers such as Rory Sutherland, and […]

The secret process of expert thinkers

I’m going to level with you. It’s about how I work. And I’ll admit up front, it makes me look kinda lazy and unprofessional. But through this essay I hope to show that not only is there logic in the laziness – but that it’s actually the only way to do effective intellectual and creative work. First, […]

You have a responsibility to be interesting

Let me let you in on a secret. It’s not something they’ll teach you in business school. Or in strategy books. Or on branding courses. In fact to be honest I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard it explicitly referenced anywhere at all – although the hints of it aren’t hard to find: If you […]

Why the secret of climbing higher is aiming lower

You know who gives terrible advice? Really successful people. Billionaires, celebrities, top ranking athletes.  You know, the very people whose advice we most seek.  The people whose advice is, supposedly, the most valuable. I’ll get on to why this is, but first I want to outline why it’s important. Human beings are copying creatures.  We spend all […]

The “Thingness” of strategy: The mindset shift that changes everything

If there’s one part of my job that really sucks, it’s this: Nobody is shopping for what I’m selling. There are companies out there thinking “we need a lawyer”, so they go shopping for a law firm.  There are companies thinking “we need a new website”, so they go shopping for a web developer.  There […]

The lie of expertise

Before getting into this week’s essay, I just to alert you to a new undertaking of mine: Concept testing on Linkedin. From now on I’m going to be doing one post a day on the platform where I’ll be trying out new ideas and theories, having a chat about them, and then potentially expanding on […]

Strategic confidence: this is everything

It’s not every day that I come across a new idea in this field which stops me in my tracks, but I heard something recently that did just that.  I’m paraphrasing but it was along the lines of: Marketing is the barrier you put up between yourself and the world. This is epic, so let me […]

If you want to do great marketing, never use this word

As long time readers will know, my views on business begin and end with one simple belief: Business is the practice of delivering value to people. That’s it.  Each and every company is nothing more than a system designed to give value, and thus receive it in return.  Sure, you can create a business that […]

How to make strategy stick

The other day I stumbled across this Kevin Kelly quote which really sums up something I’ve learned in the past couple of years: “To make something good, just do it. To make something great, just re-do it, re-do it, re-do it. The secret to making fine things is in remaking them.” In some fields this […]