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The Devil's Advocate

100 Business Rules You Must Break

Caspian Woods

Publisher: Pearson, 2013 , 231 pages

ISBN: 978-0-273-77949-0

Keywords: Leadership, Management


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If success in business was as simple as following the commandments laid down over the last few hundred years then why aren't all businesses created equal?

The simple truth is that the winners are bending the rules that the rest of us so diligently follow. Their willingness to go against the grain, take short cuts and challenge conventional wisdom is what makes them stand out, get noticed and grab the advantage.

And it's that unconventional, sometimes counterintuitive wisdom that this book offers. It doesn't have all the answers (who does?) and it will not make you an instant millionaire. It will sharpen your maverick mind and challenge you to think twice before you follow the received wisdom.

It will hone your instincts so that you can spot the opportunities the rest of the frenzied herd just galloped past, avoid the pitfalls others merrily plunge into and give you the courage to carve your own path to business success.

Table of Contents:

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  • Part One: Leadership
    1. The only thing you need to be a great leader
    2. Ask for favours
    3. Sleep in your car
    4. Leave stuff half-finished
    5. This software can kill you
    6. Forgive (but don't forget)
    7. Ignore urgent tasks
    8. Be ill-informed
    9. Use guilt to motivate
    10. Say less
    11. Wait for the tide to go out
    12. Ask the bride to dance
    13. Take fewer risks
  • Part Two: Strategy
    1. Don't diversify
    2. Stop obsessing about quality
    3. Embrace awkward suppliers
    4. Fight like Nelson
    5. Your next competitor makes toilet paper
    6. Burn your business plan
    7. Set unrealistic goals
    8. Don't dance where elephants play
    9. More IT is not the answer
    10. There's no price for predicting the Flood
    11. Embrace chaos
    12. Sell invisibles
    13. Use a lawyer like a condom
    14. Target the poor
    15. Don't make it in China
  • Part Three: Innovation
    1. Reward failure
    2. Sacrifice the sacred cow
    3. You are in the wrong business
    4. Sleep with your customers
    5. Judge the book by its covers
    6. Use research like a drunk uses a lamppost*
    7. Come last
    8. Creativity needs a sergeant major
    9. Get lost
    10. Fire, ready, aim
    11. Seek out your worst customers
    12. Don't start from where you are
    13. Rip up your confidentiality agreements
    14. Allow for the law of unintended consequences
    15. Remember you are French
    16. Anticipate complaints
    17. Get stotious
    18. Ban the brainstorm
    19. Steal with pride
  • Part Four: Sales and Marketing
    1. Stop making sense
    2. Don't give your customers choice
    3. Learn from the Wizard of Oz
    4. Don't 'do' social media
    5. Recommend your competitors
    6. If you're pitching to win — you've already lost
    7. Be brief, be brilliant, be gone
    8. Don't hire a hotshot agency
    9. Put the small print in BIG LETTERS
    10. Dull is the new sexy
    11. Make your literature illegible
    12. Nurture your nutters
    13. Create a crisis
    14. Shut up
    15. Get your face slapped
    16. It's only worth advertising on your forehead
    17. Fake sincerity
  • Part Five: Staff
    1. Pay your staff to quit
    2. Money doesn't motivate
    3. Hire some baboons
    4. Don't recruit by experience
    5. Forget the big idea
    6. Drive a clunker
    7. Take your name off the door
    8. Be a pacifist in the talent war
    9. Send your team home
    10. Don't delegate — abdicate
    11. Remove the safety net
    12. Sack early
    13. Seek out the disabled
    14. Encourage trade unions
    15. Fire the founder
    16. Cultivate some enemies
  • Part Six: Finance
    1. Pay yourself $1,000 an hour
    2. Max out your credit cards
    3. Don't lend $10,000 to your brother
    4. Be unaffordable
    5. Don't compensate for the size of your manhood
    6. Say 'no' to cheap money
    7. Double yourt costs, halve your reward
    8. Set fire to your price list
    9. Treat suppliers like fellow combatants
  • Part Seven: Personal
    1. Cry as a negotiating technique
    2. Pile on the stress
    3. Avoid the passion rap
    4. Don't give money to charity
    5. Stop thinking positive
    6. Disinherit your kids
    7. Nurture self-doubt
    8. Jump off a chair
    9. Be a psychopath
    10. Don't get harpooned
    11. Be lazy


The Devil's Advocate

by Roland Buresund last modified 2014-01-21 01:32

Rating: ********* (Outstanding)

Don't judge this book on its cover, the back or the list of contents. Read it and try to tell me that it isn't brilliant!

I expected yet-another follow-my-stupid-advice book, and found straight-forward recommendations with some explanations, that was simple to understand and grounded in reality. And was surprised on how my brain took on a life of its own and applied these simple, yet so elusive, truths to my workday reality.

Highly recommended, even if I think it not for students as much as for experienced managers that need something that explains the workday behaviors they see every day.

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