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THE SUPREME VIRTUE OF ‘HAVING BEEN’

Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

THE SUPREME VIRTUE OF ‘HAVING BEEN’

“Man considers only the stubble field of transitoriness, and overlooks the full granaries of the past, wherein he has salvaged once and for all his deeds, his joys, and also his sufferings.  Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with.  I should say, having been is the surest kind of being.” My text for this post comes from Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor who developed the “third wave” of psychology after Freud and Adler.  Frankl was the high priest of personal meaning – people are in search of meaning in their lives,...

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11 FUNDAMENTAL BUSINESS CONCEPTS

Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

11 FUNDAMENTAL BUSINESS CONCEPTS

“Conceptual thinking is the skeleton or the framework on which all the other choices are sorted out.  A concept is by its nature an oversimplification.  Yet its fundamental relationships are so powerful and important that they will tend to override all except the most extreme exceptions.” So wrote the Pope of business thinking – Bruce Henderson – in 1977.  “Concepts are simple in statement,” he continued, “but complex in practice.” So true.  In my experience, very few business leaders base their actions on concepts.  But then again, most of...

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CARING & THE POWER OF THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND

Posted by on Apr 23, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

CARING & THE POWER OF THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND

We all carry around with us something of infinite power and creativity. Few of us realize that we do or tap into its power. I’m talking about the unconscious mind – also called the subconscious. In this post I give some examples of how it works, and then turn our attention to the key condition for using this fabulous and neglected asset. The American playwright Neil Simon says, “I don’t write consciously – it is as if the muse sits on my shoulder.” He never knows how a play will end up, he says: “If I knew how it was going to come out in the...

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BOOKS YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ

Posted by on Apr 9, 2019 in Blog | 6 comments

BOOKS YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ

I recently had a lot of interest for my post “here”about Philip K Dick’s great book The Man in the High Castle, and I’m always interested in the books that friends read, so here I’m going to give a bunch of authors and books I really rate – a mixed bag of fiction, business, and other non-fiction. Robert Goddard is an English writer of middlebrow, mainly historical, thrillers.  I’ve read all his books and enjoyed the last one, Panic Room, very much.  On the whole, though, I think the earlier ones are better, and I commend Found...

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RECYCLE THE 10 GREATEST BUSINESS IDEAS OF ALL TIME

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

RECYCLE THE 10 GREATEST BUSINESS IDEAS OF ALL TIME

If you want to succeed, don’t innovate. Imitate. Andrew Black – known to his friends and close associates as “Bert” or “Bertie” – is the greatest genius and innovator I know. Except he didn’t really innovate. He tweaked an old idea and used it in a new context, and made a firm worth over $3 billion. He invented the idea of person-to-person betting, cutting out the bookmaker. As a brilliant mathematician, professional gambler, and technology geek, he was ideally suited to do this.  As a result, he made himself and many other people – including...

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THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION EVER?

Posted by on Mar 12, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION EVER?

Today I’d like to introduce you, if you haven’t read it, to one of the best science fiction books ever, and even if you don’t like SF, you should read this book.  It’s of the same quality as 1984 and Animal Farm, and I’m promoting this book to the top three of ‘political science fiction’ books, along with Orwell’s two classics.  It’s also a great work of fiction, a novel which can be read for pure pleasure.  Most of all I love it because it made me think about our current political situation, in the broadest possible sense.  It has made me...

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TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR STUDENTS

Posted by on Feb 26, 2019 in Blog | 5 comments

TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR STUDENTS

Sean Abrahams from the University of Cape Town has asked me to say briefly my advice to students wishing to develop their potential and possibilities.  Here are my Ten Commandments:   1. Do your own thing. Yes, I know. It’s very 1960s. But it’s very 2010s and 2020s too. Even more so.  Because today if there is one thing which depresses me about people in their teens and twenties, it is how conventional they often are.  Everyone follows the prescribed path. Think about it.  Everyone wants exceptional results and possibilities.  But if you...

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IN PRAISE OF REVOLUTIONARY CONSERVATISM

Posted by on Feb 12, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

IN PRAISE OF REVOLUTIONARY CONSERVATISM

I had a most interesting and gratifying experience last week in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where I attended the Freshers Event at the University.  This is a very long tradition – each year at the start of their university degree, the freshmen and freshwomen at each college create a song and dance routine to entertain each other, their parents, and anyone who wants to attend.  The productions are of surprisingly high quality, lasting around 20 minutes or so, and repeated all evening so that audiences totaling several thousand can...

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THE FALLACY OF LOYALTY

Posted by on Jan 23, 2019 in Blog | 5 comments

THE FALLACY OF LOYALTY

Corporate loyalty – the idea that you should be loyal to a corporation and it should be loyal to you – is a lie, at best a benign illusion that belongs to the past; at worst, a crude attempt at manipulation and a denial of the virtues of the market. But there are other kinds of loyalty, and these are the essence of good living. The Fallacy of Corporate Loyalty When I joined Shell International – the elite managerial part of the oil company – at the age of 21, I heard a lot about loyalty.  Shell was a most interesting company, at least to...

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TOWARDS THE POST-PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Blog | 2 comments

TOWARDS THE POST-PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC

Guest Post by Marx Acosta-Rubio Can we get beyond the Protestant work ethic, which Richard damned, in a recent post? Richard says that hard work does not equal success, and isn’t even desirable. IF hard work isn’t the key to success, then what is? But I’d like to propose something different – the ‘Post-Protestant Work Ethic’. 1. Maybe we need to redefine the term “work” Work has been termed a negative thing recently. We either love our work, hate our work or have to do work. But the truth of the matter is that in today’s world, work just...

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