Book Review: The New Rules of Marketing and PR

I tweeted about this book a couple of times while listening to it because the one liners inspired me to share immediately. I usually wait until I am completely done with a book before I even mention it just because I am never sure how good it will be by the end. This book, from the start, was perfectly on topic, great tips, and does a amazing job explaining this new era of marketing and PR. Even going pretty deep in explaining the success of Trump and his tweets. Controversial or not, social media gives the individual more power than any time before in our history. Thought leaders, writers, and video blogging has empowered an entire generation of kids to learn how to make a lot of money just being themselves and doing what they like. It’s the new dream , the “I want to be a baseball player when I grow up” terms used by my generation – now it’s “I want to be a YouTube star” or have my own “show“. I highly recommend to any company that is looking to grow a solid customer base, become involved with those customers, become a trusted advisor, and engage with them like never before – this is the book for you.

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Book Review: The Dichotomy of Leadership

With a heavy focus on “extreme ownership” and balanced leadership, this book was excellent for aspiring leaders. Especially if you have a military background, it was like watching Saving Private Ryan and learning from all of the leadership examples but with a business focus.

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Book Review: multipliers – how the best leaders make everyone smarter

This was an excellent book from the beginning to end. The book introduces the concept of multipliers and diminishers. It also does a great job providing many examples of both. By the end, you realize there are characteristics of both diminisher and multiplier within you, however, we all try to be multipliers to some extent because we want our teams to succeed with us. I especially liked the aspect as described in the book that sometimes you have to be a diminisher – sometimes the performance is so bad the team needs to be reset, ego’s are too high and production now suffers from too many “pre-madonna’s”.  In the end, you have to realize you have smart people working for you and challenge them. Give them responsibility, give them a challenge, and most of all, allow them to grow!

It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do – Steve Jobs

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Book Review: 101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers

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Lot’s of great tips in this little gem. Easy to follow along and I really liked the ideas for opening and closing your presentations. I have never been a “script” speaker and I try to learn and understand what I am speaking about as best I can so the pitch comes off as natural as possible. This book gave me a few more great tips I will be sure to include in my next presentation.

Two new books I picked up at THINK

One reason I like going to conferences is you can get books you have been eyeing for 20% off. This year I picked two books I have been thinking about getting for a while. The first one by colleague Sanjev Sharma, “The DevOps Adoption Playbook”, I hope to hone in my cloud development and management skills. Being a long time user of IBM Cloud (formerly BlueMix) this should be a fun read.  The next book is the “The Strategic CIO – Changing the Dynamics of the Business Enterprise”. I was browsing in the IBM book store and I came across this book. I love books with many stories and use cases and little anecdotes about running a business or in this case an IT department. My current role is similar to where we strive to serve the sales, services, and partner community with first class demonstration capabilities similar to a production run team – servicing our partners, sellers, and services. In the first few chapters I can already relate to what Phil Weinzimer has written about being “business first, technology second”. That has been my goal, how I my team and I make the most impact on the business and continuously innovate to make it run smoother.

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Book Review: Learn To Program with Minecraft

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Ok, I know it has been a long time since I did a book review but I really like this book and now I am trying to get my son to go through it.

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Book Review: jQuery Hotshot

Did you ever go to a web site and think, wow, how did they do that? Or, wouldn’t that be cool to write? I know I do.

Well, this book is filled with 10 small projects you can use in real life. So unlike an API book where it focuses on the small granular API calls this book focuses on completed solutions.

It starts off in the preface with a high level summary of what jQuery is and the basic concepts of the API so you really don’t even have to know jQuery to read this book. You do however need to know HTML and JavaScript basics but I will add, all of the source code is available and the massive 296 page book does a great job going step by step. The beauty of the book is it covers a lot of areas for where jQuery can be used – from developing games to building your own jQuery. Many of the techniques used in the book are very creative and well thought through.  Each project has plenty of screen shots and narrative to help you digest the content. Did I mention all of the source code is downloadable? Yep, so you can casually read the book and then go back and play with the finished source code if you wanted.

From beginner to advanced this book is a valuable resource to see how different things can be done with jQuery. It mixes some really good JavaScript API’s along with jQuery API’s to create real life projects.

Well done Dan Wellman.