Some of my best experiences have been with books, and some of my worst. As a student, I endured textbooks which were unbelievably badly written. The authors were clever, knew a lot about their subject, but knew nothing about plain, clear writing.
It’s the same with business books. You start to read them and before long you realise that your hands still turn the page, your eyes still follow the text, but your brain is on leave.
That is why ‘The Unconventional CEO’ is such a good business book. It’s a good read. Now, that’s a rarity.
The author, Mario Pretorius, runs a telecommunications company, and has put his thoughts on management into a slim volume. If you only read one book on how to run a company, this should be it. The same applies even more to your boss.
I do have to declare an interest. Mario is a good mate (which my spell check cheekily changed to ‘good date’!) and asked me to help with the editing of the book. What a pleasure.
This book is devoid of charts and spreadsheets, devoid of refined theory and lofty prescriptions.
It is a book on how to be the CEO of a business by someone who is the CEO of a business. It deals with issues in a style which may seem a bit homely, but which contains the wisdom of how things are done, not some theorist’s vision of how thing should be done.
One of my favourite sections deals with what to do when you visit a client. Mario’s advice is to take along a melktert (Milk Tart), a sweet and delicious traditional South African treat. This advice may not appear in many business books, but it should be in all of them.
The layout is practical, too. No long chapters; most fit on a page, a few spill over. You can dip into it, or read it in one go. It won’t boggle your brain.
Why take my word for it? Click on to Amazon and buy the damm thing. Mario doesn’t need the cash, but chances are that you need the help.
Tweet of the Day
William R King (@phil_osborne): According to the directors commentary, Pirates of the Caribbean is historically accurate in the sense that they all wore a ton of mascara
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