The deep strategic error that keeps you poor

Here I’m going to lay out a fundamental strategic mistake that I’ve been making my whole life.  I expect you have too. It’s a mistake that leads most people into starting businesses, or embarking on careers, where their chances of meaningful success are minimal.  Where their whole lives they will be sweat, struggle, and hustle, […]

How to get people to actually give a damn about your strategy

As you may recall, I believe strategy has two jobs: 1. To decide what to do 2. To motivate people to actually do it The first is well understood, the second, not so much.  People believe that good ideas should speak for themselves, and that energy will build behind a solid plan – but this […]

How to use goals to provoke an awesome strategy

Historically, I’ve kinda thought that goals for businesses are a waste of time. After all, aren’t the goals always the same? • To grow • To increase profits • To get more customers • Etc. It’s all so obvious it goes without saying, so I’ve preferred to “cut out the middle man” and just jump […]

The humility hack – the secret weapon of great CEOs

Everybody agrees that it’s good to be humble. But why? Mostly I think it’s because we believe humility is “nice”.  You are a “nice person” if you are humble.  You are kind, thoughtful, and gentle.  Never mind the fact that humility isn’t necessarily any of these things (it’s perfectly possible to be a humble asshole […]

How a team of accountants created the greatest brand of all time

Like anyone, when I read a non-fiction book I’m looking for lessons.  Stuff I can use, and of course stuff I can bring to you in this newsletter. Naturally I want such lessons to be surprising and counter-intuitive, but even so I wasn’t quite prepared for this one: Wanna create a legendary brand?  Then leave […]

How working from home kills strategy

What exactly is wrong with working from home? From what I’ve been able to gather, many organisations are starting to ask this question.  It’s not a straight forward one, because the nature of the benefits and drawbacks aren’t symmetrical. The benefits are very direct and obvious.  Anyone can see them, and one hardly need make […]

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 […]