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16 posts categorized "Books"

May 04, 2009

100 Tweets: Thinking About Law Practice in 140 Characters or Less.

I really like Twitter.  For those who follow me, you know that I try to share lots of legal-themed tips, thoughts and ideas.  In fact, most of my Ten Rules posts started out on Twitter -- where I'll test 15-25 "rules" to see which ones work best before picking the ten favorites.

However, there's lots of stuff that lives on Twitter now that used to live here on the blog.  And since I don't expect everyone reading this to follow me there (or go back and read through my 2000+ Twitter messages), I decided to compile a "Best Of" list of my favorite tweets. 

So, here (in .pdf form) is a little e-book I've titled: 
100 Tweets: Thinking about Law Practice in 140 Characters or Less.  It contains my favorite 100 tweets, in no particular order, and should give you a sense of what I share on Twitter that you don't always see here.

If you enjoy it, and would like to follow me on Twitter, I'll see you there.

April 30, 2009

Selling Through a Slump E-Book

I had the privilege of contributing the legal chapter in the new Selling Through a Slump:  An Industry by Industry Playbook

Oracle and The Customer Collective co-sponsored the guide, which contains great advice for selling in multiple verticals, including accounting and consulting, retail, the public sector, health care, insurance, telecommunications, services, technology, media and manufacturing.  The author list reads like a who's who of industry experts, and I'm honored to be in such great company.



Check it out here.  Registration is required, but the download is free.

July 30, 2007

BlawgWorld 2007

I am honored to be one of the bloggers featured in BlawgWorld 2007, the one-of-a-kind e-book from my friends at Technolawyer that collects the best posts from the best writers in the legal blogosphere. If you'd like to download your own copy for free, you can do so here (pdf).  Enjoy!


April 15, 2007

Extreme Outsourcing

I just happened across Timothy Ferriss' site (blog) and saw this article on "Outsourcing Life" that I'd like to share.  If you are experimenting with outsourcing work in your firm, check out some of the extreme suggestions on outsourcing a few other things.  Timothy has a book coming out.  I've asked for a review copy and will share my thoughts if it comes my way.

August 30, 2006

Things I Like

I’m playing around with Amazon’s new “AStore” product.  It allows me to build a virtual storefront with products I choose.  I’m going to change it every month with new and cool books, magazines, and gear that I personally recommend.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

May 02, 2006

Management by Baseball - Book Review

A few weeks ago, Jeff Angus, the author of the phenomenal Management by Baseball blog, contacted me and asked me to read his new book, also titled Management by Baseball.  In the book, Jeff breaks down management into four discrete “bases” (get it?) that one must reach in order to become a Hall of Fame manager.  The four bases (from the book’s website):

Managing the Mechanics  Every day of the baseball season, skippers skillfully juggle complex decisions from choosing a lineup to calling for a steal. In the dugout, they handle abstract concepts like time management and training techniques. In the office, they pore over research reports and apply them to the problems at hand. Learn from the masters the methods of successful operational management (and lessons in what to avoid from baseball's biggest bunglers).

Managing Talent  Great baseball managers know how to get the most out of a team over a long season by understanding how to evaluate and motivate players, and when and how to hire and fire them. Learn how to apply their models and get the most out of your team.

Managing Yourself  The most successful managers in and out of baseball learn enough about their own habits, biases, and strengths to overcome preconceived notions. Boost your own skills through examples of how baseball's best and worst came to grips with intellectual and emotional blind spots that undermined their effectiveness.

Managing Change--and Driving It  The best baseball managers know how to adapt to significant changes in the game. So should anyone who works outside a ballpark. Lessons from baseball will improve your ability to thrive in times of change and actively drive changes to your company's advantage — and your own.

There is a lot to like about the book, and I’ll share some of the insights I gleaned from it in a few posts later this week. For now, the Box Score:

 HITS: 

  • Great baseball anecdotes told in a way even non-baseball nuts will understand and appreciate.
  • Insightful management tips and tricks I’d not seen before.
  • Good set of baseball-like “Rules” throughout the book.

RUNS:

  • In depth economic analysis of business decisions told in a way that makes difficult concepts easily understandable.  Jeff’s explanation of “The Book” in baseball, stochastic decision making, and the Law of Problem Evolution in Chapter Four was really, really great.
  • Jeff’s introduction (to me, at least) of the diseconomies of scale, has changed my thinking on the advantages of large organizations.

ERRORS:

  • Not enough baseball.  Jeff is a top-flight consultant, but too often he digresses from baseball to share a lesson he learned in consulting.  If he is going to rely upon the baseball metaphor, he should do it completely. 
  • The format of the book makes for difficult reading.  There are too many sidebars that break up the flow of the narrative.
  • Jeff’s “Rules” should be collected at the end of the book, either as an appendix or as a separate, pull-out supplement.

Admittedly, I am a big baseball fan and expected to like the book, which I did.  I do think, however, that even a casual observer of the game will find valuable lessons.  One caveat, the book is not an easy read.  It isn’t that it is difficult to understand, or that the words are too big, it just didn’t “flow” like I’d hoped.  Several times, I set aside an hour or two to focus on reading it, but would stop after a chapter or two.  I started to get more from the book when I would limit myself to reading a chapter at a time.  It may have been just me, but I needed time to process the information in small chunks.  I think this is because Jeff packs so much complex business and economic analysis into a such a small book.

With that caveat, I heartily recommend Management by Baseball.  Jeff has found a unique way of looking at (and explaining) business behavior that worked for me.  If you like baseball at all, it will work for you too.

March 03, 2006

Be the Same and Be Second

Found this summary of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing on Mike Vance’s absolutely fantastic MineZone Wiki, where there are dozens of business book summaries.  Here is one great nugget:

If you're shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the market leader.

  • "You must discover the essence of the leader and then present the prospect with the opposite. (In other words, don't try to be better, try to be different."

February 22, 2006

MegaTrends in Professional Services

Ross Dawson e-mailed me a link to a new White Paper he’s written, titled The Seven MegaTrends of Professional Services.  You can read the paper online (one trend at a time) or download it from Ross’ blog.  I’m through Trend Two, and find it pretty interesting reading so far.

In case you are wondering, Ross’ Seven MegaTrends are:

  • Client Sophistication
  • Governance
  • Connectivity
  • Transparency
  • Modularization
  • Globalization
  • Commoditization

Ross is sending me a copy of his new book, the Second Edition of Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships and I’ll let you know what I think.  I own the first edition, and am looking forward to reading the second.

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February 15, 2006

Legal Writing Tips from Elmore Leonard

Well, not exactly tips on legal writing, but pretty solid advice from my favorite author.  The best of the bunch?

Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.  The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with “she asseverated,” and had to stop reading to get the dictionary.

Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” . . .   he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances “full of rape and adverbs.”

Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.  A rule that came to mind in 1983. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he’s writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perhaps taking another shot at the weather, or has gone into the character’s head, and the reader either knows what the guy’s thinking or doesn’t care. I’ll bet you don’t skip dialogue.

Imagine if Law Review writers followed the last tip.  No more footnotes!

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November 17, 2005

Don't Knock it Until You Buy it.

The worst thing about reading all the blogs I do is that I have hundreds of people constantly telling me about the things they think are really cool.  As a result, I spend money buying things they recommend. ;-)

One of the things that just made it on to my list is the book Knock the Hustle.  According to my friend David Burn at AdPulp:

What’s really great is that Knock The Hustle isn’t just a rant about minorities in advertising or a personal memoir. It’s a transparent account of how the ad business operates—from creative concepting to client billing, new business presentations to office politics. And Hadji has plenty of concrete ideas on how the ad industry could change its practices, where most people in the business just give lip service to the notion of progress. Actually, there’s a good amount of wisdom that nearly any business in any industry can apply. If that weren't enough, many parts of this book are funny as hell.

Sounds right up my alley.