The one-sentence summary

Sharpen your skills and have an immediate effect on your business by making a series of small changes to your approach in a range of situations.


  • You can be really good at business and sharpen your thinking by using a series of deceptively simple approaches.The author looks at three main areas:

1. Yourself: boost your focus, confidence, resilience and time management

2. Your business: drive, grow and hone your competitive advantage, innovation and collaboration

3. Your impact: develop your influence, creativity, negotiation and leadership skills

  • Perry’s Confidence Spectrum covers five states of mind: arrogance (“I always win”), supreme confidence (“I will win”), confidence (“I’ll probably win”), self-doubt (“I’ll probably lose”), and low self-esteem (“I always lose, so what’s the point?”).
  • Event + Response = Outcome. We can’t always change the events in our lives, but we can change our response to them.
  • For time management, try the 4Ds: do now, do later, drop, delegate.
  • If you want someone to agree with you, work out what type of person they are and make your case accordingly:

Results (orientated): don’t bore them with details. Make snappy points.

Emotions: show genuine interest in feelings. Give help & support.

Abracadabra: give it some magic. Make it interesting and sparky.

Data: make research, facts, and figures perfectly precise.

  • If you want to sell a service, move away from features by using the phrase “…which means that…” and then add the benefit.
  • Excessive amounts of all these are undesirable: efficiency, enrichment, ego, enthusiasm, encroachment, elasticity, envy.


  • To focus properly, try the NEMO technique: Nothing Else Matters except the O, where you picture the archery target you are going for.
  • When a plane is in trouble, pilots are encouraged to ‘fly the plane’. That means concentrating calmly on the matter in hand, not flapping around shouting Mayday. Calm businesspeople need to fly the plane.
  • The biggest contributor to stress is spillage – when you take your work home in your head and can’t switch off.
  • If you want to be assertive, talk in paragraphs. Aggressive people are terse, and vague people ramble. Try somewhere in the middle.
  • ISA stands for: Identify what you are not happy about; State the effect it has had: Ask for the change you would like. This is a calm, dispassionate way to sort things out without having a flaming row.
  • Innovations are specific cases of invention, whereas innovativeness is a permanent state of mind or company culture.


  • Not much, but as always you have to want to make all of this work.