Business Beach Reads 2015

Some people love to relax on holiday, taking time to smell the roses (or the Ambre Solaire) and forget all the work worries.  Other people hate the idea of relaxing, but can tolerate slowing down just enough to read some business books and get some inspiration on vacation.  If you’re the sort of person who hides a copy of The Economist inside a lifestyle, fashion or sports magazine to fake relaxation, then here’s some ideas for your Kindle this summer:


The Misfit Economy

Ever felt like you didn’t really fit in?  Ever sat staring out at the ocean, or down from a skyscraper, wondering how you would cope with life as a pirate, drug runner or people trafficker?  Our advice is that you should never try those career options, but do think about what you could learn from them.

How can someone with no educational advantages set up and run a successful crime cartel, organising networks of people, ensuring a motivated workforce, forging deals across international boundaries, and keeping law enforcement off their trail?  The Misfit Economy explores what can be learned from what the authors euphemistically call “informal entrepreneurs”, it turns out, there’s quite a lot.

Winners: And How They Succeed

We’ll resist the easy snark that comes from a segue from gangsters to Alistair Campbell, and look instead at why Campbell has something interesting to say about winning.  As someone who has had his fair share of lows, he knows the difference between winning and losing.  Having had a successful career in politics, training in journalism, and a passion for sports, he has great contacts and knows how to talk to them about success.

There’s more than a hint of failure in the book, but the “winners” responses to failure may just be what makes them successful in life.  An easy read, with a few political anecdotes thrown in for fun, this is a good wind-down book to ease you into your holiday.


A Curious Mind: The Secret To A Bigger Life

You may never have heard of Brian Grazer, but you will have heard of films and TV shows he’s produced.  He counts A Beautiful Mind, Splash, Apollo 13, Arrested Development and 8 Mile among his successes.  A curious mix of films from a curious man.

He attributes much of his success to his curiosity, making time every week to talk to interesting strangers and people who have a different world view and a different set of talents to his own.  Rather than only hanging out with movie types, gaining a deeper understanding of his industry, he recommends getting out there and learning about other lives.

You could read this book and learn something, or head out of your hotel and go to a gallery or museum, take a stroll through a local market or go talk to strangers in a cafe.  Your choice.

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