© 2019, Kevin Bélanger., All right reserved.

Good reads

It you have any recommendation, drop me an email at [email protected] !

Getting To Yes Book Cover
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (2011) – Roger Fisher, William Ury, et al

This book gives actionable negotiation concept that gives you the direction and steps to get to yes. It also goes to explaining negotiation positions and common jargon along the way. I really enjoyed that one as I like everything around negotiations and the way the authors bring BATNA and “separate the people from the problem” examples helps any reader get into it.

Any method of negotiation may be fairly judged by three criteria: It should produce a wise agreement if agreement is possible. It should be efficient. And it should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties.

Thinking Fast and Slow Book Cover
Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011) – Daniel Kahneman

No wonder this book is a best-seller. Daniel Kahneman has done a tremendous job at writing about many important aspects of how our minds work. This book is a must read for anyone interested in either human behavior or investing. Kahneman demonstrate that while we like to think of ourselves as rational in our decision making, the truth is we are subject to many biases.

A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.

The idea that the future is unpredictable is undermined every day by the ease with which the past is explained.

The McKinsey Way Book Cover
The McKensey Way (1999) – Ethan M. Rasiel

Seen as a high standard in consulting, Ethan does a great job at vulgarizing what it is like to be a consultant at McKinsey. He put into context valuable lessons on diverse consulting topics such as marketing, interviewing, team building, and brainstorming. He shows how McKinsey consultants think about their clients problems and how they work at solving them, explaining the way the firm approaches every aspect of each step. I like how the book is written in a behind-the-scenes way and is easy to read. I highly recommend the book if you are looking into doing consultant at a big 4.

These techniques are immensely powerful. They allow McKinsey consultants very rapidly to fit the raw data that lands on their desks into a coherent framework and give them insights into the nature of the client’s problem.

Start With Why Book Cover
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2009) – Simon Sinek

Great book that get into the details of the famous Why concept that went viral thanks to his popular TED Talk : How Great Leaders Inspire Action. This book is an easy read and give simple examples on how leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers started with Why. Furthermore, Sinek explain The Golden Circle, a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.

There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.

The Inevitable Book Cover
The Inevitable (2016) – Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly explains in this book the 12 technological forces that will shape our future. Unfortunately, I learned nothing in this book and felt like it was a waste of time reading it. If you have no clue what the cloud is or don’t yet know that artificial intelligence will shape our future, then this book might be for you, otherwise, I would look somewhere else. I have to give it to Kevin that he does take the time to vulgarize each of the 12 forces very well for the average reader.

We are morphing so fast that our ability to invent new things outpaces the rate we can civilize them.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People Book Cover
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People (2013) – Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey does a great job at giving 7 habits that anyone can put in place in their life and be more effective. This book is a classic and I did appreciate it, but it could have been a lot shorter by spending less time explaining each concept. The 7 habits can be summarized as 1. Be Proactive 2.Begin with the End in Mind 3. Put First Things First 4.Think Win/Win 5. Seek First to Understand, Then be Understood 6. Synergize and 7. Sharpen the Saw.

By centering our lives on correct principles and creating a balanced focus between doing and increasing our ability to do, we become empowered in the task of creating effective, useful, and peaceful lives… for ourselves, and for our posterity.

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck Book Cover
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck (2016) – Mark Manson

At first, I was highly skeptical about this book. But after reading it I have a complete different opinion, thanks to Mark Manson view of prioritizing things in life, as well as what giving a f*ck is. This book is definitely a must for our generation to help have grounded lives.

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes.

The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.

The Peter Principle Book Cover
The Peter Principle (2011) – Laurence J. Peter

Since there was no book or any reference to the concept of incompetence in individuals or organizations, Laurence, J. Peter went ahead a did it. This is the first and maybe the only book on the subject. Well written back in 1969 with great examples,  I like the way incompetence is addressed as a very serious subject but with a sense of humor at the same time.

In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.

Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.

The Art of War Book Cover
The Art of War (2002) – Sun Tzu

Another classic here. I read this one by simple curiosity but I did enjoy reading it. Written 2000 years ago, it is widely regarded as the oldest military treatise in the world. Sun Tzu explains the rules to follow to win every war. What I note from this book are two basic things: A leader leads by example, not by force and you have to believe in yourself.

Plan for what it is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel Book Cover
Zero To One: Notes On Startups, Or How To Build The Future (2014) – Peter Thiel

One of the must read if you are young and thinking about going to work for a startup or found one. Peter Thiel gives in-depth insights and shares his knowledge as a founder of a successful startup (PayPal) but also as an investor in over 100 startups.

EVERY MOMENT IN BUSINESS happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.

Blue Ocean Strategy Book Cover
Blue Ocean Strategy (2015) – W. Chan Kim | Renée Mauborgne

If you are a business student or have any interest in strategy, you most likely heard of Blue Ocean Strategy. First published in 2005, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne give a concrete framework of actions to set your business apart from the competition by creating a leap in value for the company, its buyers, and its employees while unlocking new demand and making the competition irrelevant.

Value innovation is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy. We call it value innovation because instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space. Value innovation places equal emphasis on value.

The Google Guys Book Cover
The Google Guys (2011) – Richard L. Brandt

I have never been much of a reader, but this first book is what got me into it. It was not an easy task in 2011 to publish a book about both Co-Founders of Google, but Richard L. Brandt did it with brillo. The book really gets us into the brains of Larry and Sergey. Since Richard does get into some IT stuff, I can only recommend if you have an interest in both Google and IT stuff.

But in reality, none of them could have been Google. They didn’t have Larry and Sergey or their deep understanding of the Internet, their evangelical zeal and dedication to “the search” as the savior of the Internet. Larry and Sergey had instincts that pointed them in the right direction, like an arrow flying toward dead center of a target. Those traits are what made Google so damnably successful.