Book SummariesJul 12, 2021
Will by Will Smith Summary
If you like biographies and the entertainment industry, I recommend reading, or listening to, Will by Will Smith. Will did the narration for the audiobook and he did an outstanding job. This is one of my favorite books that I've read in the last year. He shares his humanity and weaknesses as equally as his successes and strengths.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2022/10/20/will-smith-summary/
The Ideal Team Player Book Summary
The Ideal Team Player has insights into building company culture, what makes good team players, and specific tactics for interviewing and hiring. The book has value for any leaders, managers, employees, and especially for anyone involved in hiring and human resources.
The book is written in a narrative format, similar to The New One Minute Manager, and is really easy for anyone to listen to and understand the main concepts.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2019/07/11/ideal-team-player-summary/
Built From Scratch Book Summary
Built from Scratch is the story of the founding and growth of The Home Depot. I really enjoyed this book and it is written in a similar style to Sam Walton Made in America. It covers topics of customer service, developing people, leadership, management, growth, and more.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2020/07/06/built-from-scratch-summary/
The E-Myth Revisited Summary
This is a good book if you are a business owner, entrepreneur, or work in a management position where you have input in how the company operates. It includes a lot of advice for developing systems and processes in your business.
One of my favorite lessons is understanding the difference between working in your business and on your business.
This episode is also available as a blog post at: https://jsilva.blog/2020/08/31/e-myth-summary/
Covert Cows by Steve Robinson Summary
Covert Cows is a well-rounded book about marketing, sales, hospitality, brand building, and creating company culture. While it focuses on the food and beverage industry, most of the lessons can be applied to businesses in other categories.
This episode is also available as a blog post at https://jsilva.blog/2021/10/21/covert-cows-summary/
Algorithms to Live by Book Summary
I wrote this summary several years ago, so it's not as detailed as I would make today. In spite of that, it is one of my more popular summaries so I wanted to make it available in audio format.
Algorithms to Live By is a surprisingly fun book considering the subject matter. It contains mathematical philosophy for decision-making on a wide range of topics. Including hiring, dating, real estate, sorting, and even doing laundry.
This episode is also available as a blog post at https://jsilva.blog/2019/02/05/algorithms-book-summary/
Atomic Habits by James Clear Summary
James Clear did a nice job of compiling and summarizing knowledge on habits from various sources and then adding specific actionable steps. He has also created good tools and media as companions to the book which are available for free, links in the summary on my blog.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2020/03/30/atomic-habits-summary/
Fanatical Prospecting Book Summary
Fantastical Prospecting is a well-rounded book on prospecting and sales. I like the advice on leveraging text messaging and social media for prospecting. The section in chapter 9 on building familiarity and the number of touches required was helpful and a good mental model to be aware of.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2019/02/27/fanatical-prospecting-summary/
Getting Things Done by David Allen Summary
In 2019 I listened to Getting Things Done and it helped improve my productivity so much that I read it again. David Allen says “The implicit purpose of this book is urging you to operate from a higher level. To assist you in making your total life expression more fulfilling and better aligned with the big picture.”
My notes don’t do the book justice. If this resonates with you, I encourage you to purchase a copy and read or listen for yourself. The author narrates the audible version himself which enhances the delivery of his material.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2020/11/23/getting-things-done-summary/
Deep Work by Cal Newport Summary
Deep Work gives insights into the importance of mastery and the value of doing deep work. I really like, and agree with, the thesis and hypothesis of the book. Every one should find value in this book and I often recommend it as one of my favorites.
The book’s thesis: A deep life is not just economically lucrative but also a life well lived.
Deep work hypothesis: the ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2019/08/15/deep-work-book-summary/
Get Rich With Dividends Book Summary
The purpose of the book is to introduce investors to investing in dividend stocks using the author’s 10-11-12 system. There are several good concepts and ideas in the book, I learned a lot from it.
Note that some of the figures and statistics used have survivor bias, but that doesn’t detract from the value of the book for me. As with any book, you’ll need to use your own judgment when evaluating the charts and figures used.
This episode is also available as a blog post. The post includes links to the resources listed in the book.
A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley Summary
This is my book summary of A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley.
My favorite quotes from the book:
Those who are the most disagreeable tend to be the most creative. This is because creative people challenge existing answers and assumptions.
Merely glancing at the solution to a problem and thinking you truly know it yourself is one of the most common illusions of competence in learning.
The dread of doing a task uses up more time and energy than doing a task itself.
Procrastination can be like taking tiny amounts of poison. It may not seem harmful at the time, but the long-term effects can be very damaging.
One might say that work substitutes for talent, or better yet, that work creates talent.
Simple explanations are possible for almost any concept, no matter how complex.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2020/09/28/mind-numbers-summary/
The Motive by Patrick Lencioni Book Summary
This is my book summary of The Motive by Patrick Lencioni.
My Favorite Quotes from The Motive
Your job as the CEO is to do things that nobody else in the company can do.
If you are having bad meetings, you are making bad decisions. You’re almost certainly not talking about all of the right things.
Just because someone is in their 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s and has lots of experience doesn’t mean they do not need to be managed. Management is not a form of punishment or a sign of a lack of trust.
Good leaders are far more concerned about employees being uninformed than they are about being criticized for redundancy.
It is important for leaders to surround themselves with people who will be honest with them.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2021/07/26/the-motive-summary/
Mastering the Market Cycle Summary
This is my summary of Mastering the Market Cycle by Howard Marks.
Howard Marks is one of my favorite writers on investing and I enjoy reading his memos throughout the year. Mastering the Market Cycle has insights for learning to see the big picture in the economy and investing.
My Favorite Quotes from Mastering the Market Cycle
It is from the extremes of the cycle of fear and greed that arise the greatest investment profits.
The rational investor is diligent, skeptical, and appropriately risk-averse at all times. But also on the lookout for opportunities for potential return that more than compensates for risk.
The greatest source of investment risk is the belief that there is no risk.
Cycles will happen to you, what you do in response is key.
Being too far ahead of your time is indistinguishable from being wrong.
You need a strong stomach for being wrong because we are all going to be wrong more often than we expect. Being wrong is inevitable and normal.
Success is not good for most people. Success can change people, and usually not for the better.
In investing there is a complex relationship between humility and confidence.
Ignoring cycles and extrapolating trends is one of the most dangerous things an investor can do.
My book summary of Mastering the Market Cycle is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2020/08/03/mastering-market-cycle-summary/
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel Summary
This my book summary of The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. This episode is also available as a blog post at: https://jsilva.blog/2021/07/12/psychology-of-money-summary/
These are my favorite quotes from The Psychology of Money:
Your personal experiences with money makeup maybe 0.00000001% of what’s happened in the world but maybe 80% of how you think the world works.
Not all success is due to hard work, and not all poverty is due to laziness. Keep this in mind when judging people, including yourself.
There is no reason to risk what you have and need for what you don’t have and don’t need.
The hardest financial skill is getting the goalpost to stop moving.
Money’s greatest intrinsic value, and this can’t be overstated, is its ability to give you control over your time.
Using your money to buy time and options has a lifestyle benefit few luxury goods can compete with.
When most people say they want to be a millionaire, what they really mean is “I want to spend a million dollars,” which is literally the opposite of being a millionaire.
The world is filled with people who look modest but are actually wealthy, and people who look rich who live at the razor’s edge of insolvency.
You can build wealth without a high income but have no chance of building wealth without a high savings rate.
At every stage of our lives, we make decisions that will profoundly influence the lives of the people we are going to become. -Daniel Gilbert
Thinking of market volatility as a fee, rather than a fine, is an important part of developing the kind of mindset that lets you stick around long enough for investment gains to work in your favor.
Most people, when confronted with something they don’t understand, do not realize they don’t understand it.
The Ride of a Lifetime Book Summary
My summary of The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger.
These are my favorite quotes from the book.
It is vital to create space in each day to let your thoughts wander beyond your immediate job responsibilities, to turn things over in your mind in a less pressured, more creative way than is possible once the daily triage kicks in.
Avoid getting into the business of manufacturing trombone oil. You may become the greatest trombone oil manufacturer in the world, but in the end, the world only consumes a few quarts of trombone oil a year.
Do what you need to do to make it better.
One person’s unwillingness to give a timely response can cause so much unnecessary strain and inefficiency.
I would much rather take big risks, and sometimes fail, than not take risks at all.
I do not want to be in the business of playing it safe, I want to be in the business of creating possibilities for greatness.
The need to be comfortable with failure is the most profound lesson he learned in his first year running primetime at ABC. If you want innovation, and you should always, you need to give permission to fail.
Anything that reminds you that you are not the center of the universe is a good thing.
Managing your own time, and respecting others’ time, is one of the most vital things to do as a manager.
The tone you set as a leader has an enormous effect on the people around you, no one wants to follow a pessimist.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of making the best possible decision.
A little respect goes a long way, and the absence of it is often very costly.
You have to approach your work and life with a sense of genuine humility.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2019/11/07/ride-of-a-lifetime-summary/
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell Summary
This is an audio version of my summary of Talking to Strangers.My Favorite Quotes from Talking to Strangers
If you don’t begin in a state of trust, you can’t have meaningful social encounters.
The right way to talk to strangers is with caution and humility.
There are clues to making sense of a stranger, but attending to them requires care and attention.
This episode is also available as a blog post at https://jsilva.blog/2020/01/06/talking-strangers-summary/
Effortless by Greg McKeown Summary
When we apply effortless actions to high-leverage activities the return on our effort compounds.
When we invite joy into our daily routine, we are no longer yearning for the far-off day when it might arrive. That day is always today.
After I complain, I will say something I am thankful for.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. -Maya Angelou
When we are fully present with another person we see them more clearly, and we help them see themselves more clearly.
Simplicity, the art of maximizing the steps not taken, is essential.
Most geniuses prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities, but by exploiting unrecognized simplicities. -Andy Benoit
There is no mastery without mistakes.
If you are not embarrassed by your first product launch, you launched it too late. -Reid Hoffman
The most useful knowledge often comes from fields different than our own.
Reading a book is among the most high-leverage activities on earth.
Identify knowledge that is unique to you and build on it.
Knowledge may open the door to an opportunity, but unique knowledge produces perpetual opportunities.
When we invest our time in actions with a long tail, we continue to reap the benefits over a long period.
Each new moment is a chance to start over, a chance to make a new choice.
Just think how the trajectory of a life can shift in the most fleeting of moments.
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2021/06/21/effortless-summary/
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Summary
My Favorite Quotes from Outliers
Practice isn’t the thing you do once you are good, practice is the thing that makes you good.
People at the top do not just work much harder than everyone else, they work much much harder.
What started out as adversity ended up being an opportunity.
It is not how much money we make that makes us happy, it is whether our work fulfills us.
The kinds of errors that cause plane crashes are invariably errors of teamwork and communication.
This episode is also available as a blog post: at https://jsilva.blog/2020/10/26/outliers-summary/
Living with the Monks by Jesse Itzler Summary
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2021/02/05/living-with-the-monks-by-jesse-itzler-summary/
My Favorite Quotes
Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it. -Andy Rooney
The process is often more valuable than the outcome.
Distractions are the enemies of your goals. Learn to move past the distractions and you will succeed.
I prefer to look at happiness as a lifestyle, not a goal.
It only takes a minute to quit, but the moment will replay in your mind tomorrow and many tomorrows after that.
Getting over the fear of being embarrassed is one of the most liberating gifts you can give yourself.
If your why is big enough, the how usually emerges. A big why crushes smaller obstacles every time.
There is nothing so fatal to character as half-finished tasks. -David Lloyd George
Thinking is a skill, a craft, and an art. It can be worked on and improved with practice. We all have an opportunity to become better thinkers.Key Questions
If nobody told you how to do your job, how would you do it? You can get amazing results by asking this question.
How will you feel tomorrow if you quit too soon?
How many days do you have left?
How do you want to spend them?
Whom do you want to spend them with?
Did I do my best today?
Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich Summary
This Restaurant Man Book Summary is also available as a blog post at https://jsilva.blog/2021/03/19/restaurant-man-summary/My Favorite Quotes from Restaurant Man
Once you’ve been hungry, things are never the same.
The road to excess does not lead to the palace of wisdom.
When you fire someone, you are securing and enforcing the position of everyone in the restaurant.
Once your ego is making the decisions, it’s over.
Quality tells, every time.
Discounting is degrading the quality of your service and undermines the professionalism of the restauranteur.
We are in the business of exceeding expectations.
Everything on the table sends a message. A big statement is not to put salt and pepper on the table. If you are a chef driven restaurant, why would you allow your customers to alter the flavor of the food?
Failure and victory are not so far apart.
Never make decisions on your best day, and never make decisions on your worst day, make all your decisions on medium days.
What is this meal really worth in terms of the experience?
If there are misspellings on the menu, how much do you think the people who created it really care?
Would you want your doctor to give you a discount? Would you go to a different doctor because he offered a 25% discount?
If you are a chef-driven restaurant, why would you allow your customers to alter the flavor of the food?
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey Summary
This episode is also available as a blog post: https://jsilva.blog/2020/11/09/greenlights-summary/My Favorite Quotes from Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
- Knowing the truth, seeing the truth, and telling the truth are all different experiences.
- To lose the power of confrontation is to lose the power of unity.
- It’s better to jump than to fall.
- The intellect should simplify things, not make them more cerebral.
- We often don’t get what we want because we quit early or we didn’t take the necessary risk to get it.
- We are all made for every moment we encounter.
- If we stay in the process and within the joy of the doing, we will never choke at the finish line.
- Have immortal finish lines.
- Sometimes which choice you make is not as important as making a choice and committing to it.
- Some people look for an excuse to do, others look for an excuse not to.
- It is not about whether you win or lose, it’s about accepting the challenge. When you accept the challenge you have already won.
- Great leaders are not always in front, they also know who to follow.
- We must be aware of what we attract in life because it is no accident or coincidence.
- Time and truth, two constants you can rely on. One shows up for the first time, every time, while the other never leaves.
- I hope to give my children an opportunity to find what they love to do, work to be great at it, pursue it, and do it.
Nobu: A Memoir Book Summary
This episode is also available as a blog post: Nobu: A Memoir Book Summary.My Favorite Quotes from Nobu: A Memoir
- Keep moving forward, even if it’s just a millimeter a day.
- The character of the people who work at a restaurant is more important than its size or reputation.
- I would rather be known as a good man than for my restaurant to be known for making money.
- Put your heart into your work.
- Guests can always tell whether or not we have prepared their meal with heart and soul. Food that has been made from the heart will touch the hearts of those who eat it.
- The only way to ensure that our guests go home happy is to notice when something isn’t right before they tell us and to act on it immediately.
- You can only be considered a full-fledged chef once you can pass on the skills you have learned from others to up-and-coming chefs. Only when an apprentice finally reaches your level can you call yourself a master.
- It takes time to teach others. If we only consider the work we need to do that particular day, it would be far faster to do it ourselves. If we don’t teach others and cultivate their skills, we will never have time to do the work we really want to do.
- Putting our guests’ satisfaction first is crucial, as long as we do that, results will always follow.
- Cooking is very truthful. A dish made by a chef who longs with heart and soul to explore new things tastes very different from a dish made by a chef who feels obligated to come up with something new.
- As long as our focus remains superficial, we will get no closer to the true nature of our work. If we haven’t grasped its essence and don’t love it from the bottom of our heart, our work will never bear fruit. Once we have found the essence of our profession and start doing it purely for the love of it, our hard work will always open the path before us.
- Instead of trying to beat or make more profit than someone else, the real contest is to do our best for the sake of our guests.
- True competition increases the quality of both parties. With this type of competition, rivals can coexist and prosper together.
- If we don’t consciously seek true competition which develops the level of all involved, it is impossible for a restaurant to grow.
- Being an example is more effective than reprimanding.
- You can’t teach someone to have a hungry spirit.
- Appropriate advice, given at the right moment, can trigger dramatic development.
Here is the URL to my book summary https://jsilva.blog/2021/05/14/nobu-book-summary/
Humble Pie by Gordon Ramsay Summary
A Promised Land by Barack Obama Summary
This episode is an audio version of my blog post A Promised Land by Barack Obama Summary.
My Favorite Quotes from A Promised Land
- Enthusiasm makes up for a host of deficiencies.
- The power to inspire is rare.
- You don’t choose the time, the time chooses you.
- People are moved by emotion, not facts.
- It is important to take the long view. To stay focused on your goals rather than getting hung up on the daily ups and downs.
- There is a direct link between doing your work and having your wishes come true.
- No problem that lands on the president’s desk has a clean one-hundred percent solution.
- Most presidents labor without knowing the economic impact of their actions.
- The absence of catastrophe, and the preservation of normalcy, do not attract attention.
- Having at least one contrarian in the room makes us think harder about the issues.
- Sometimes your most important work involves the stuff nobody notices.
- Resolve without foresight is worse than useless.
- To be known, to be heard, and to have one’s unique identity recognized and seen as worthy is a universal human desire.
- Getting things done means subjecting yourself to criticism. The alternative, playing it safe and avoiding controversy, is a recipe for mediocrity.