Great reads for great minds

The following books are representing a selection of my personal favourites. They shaped my mind, helped me find my very own truth, and provided me a better understanding about humanity and the challenges we are facing on a day to day basis – and globally.

Die Agilitäts-Falle, Thomas Würzburger

Je instabiler die Welt um uns wird, desto stabiler müssen wir Menschen werden. Je unsicherer die Zeiten sind, desto mehr Vertrauen müssen wir in uns selbst, in unsere Fähigkeiten und unsere Integrität entwickeln. Je schneller die Welt um uns herum wird, desto wichtiger wird es, dass wir uns Zeit für uns selbst und für unsere Persönlichkeitsentwicklung nehmen.

Released: March 19, 2019

Spirit Hacking, Shaman Durek

“This guy does next level stuff. I have worked with him and I have no idea how or why he is able to do some of the things I have witnessed. Science is just catching up with biohacking. It’s time to start studying spirit hacking and how Shaman Durek can achieve the tangible results he achieves.”—Dave Asprey, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Bulletproof Diet, Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur 

In Spirit Hacking: Shamanic Keys to Reclaim Your Personal Power, Transform Yourself, and Light Up the World, Shaman Durek, a sixth-generation shaman, shares life altering shamanic keys allowing you to tap into your personal power. Through new information you will banish fear and darkness from your life in favor of light, positivity, and strength.

Mit den Händen sehen – Mein Leben und meine Medizin, Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt und Friedrich-Karl Sandmann

Dem Tastsinn seiner Hände sagt man magische Kräfte nach und Patienten aus der ganzen Welt kommen, um sich von ihm behandeln zu lassen, darunter Spitzensportler, Weltmeister und Olympiasieger.

Erstmals erzählt der »Doc« von seiner behüteten Kindheit in Ostfriesland, und er berichtet nicht nur von seinem Verein FC Bayern München und von Machtkämpfen, in die er selbst hineingeraten ist, sondern auch von seiner Medizin, seinen Heilmethoden und den Werten, denen er immer treu geblieben ist.

The World As It Is, Ben Rhodes

‘One of the most compelling stories I’ve seen about what it’s actually like to serve the American people’–BARACK OBAMA

A revelatory, behind-the-scenes account of the Obama presidency and a political memoir about the power of words to change our world: This is a book about two people making the most important decisions in the world. One is Barack Obama. The other is Ben Rhodes.

A young writer and Washington outsider, Rhodes was plucked from obscurity aged 29. For nearly ten years, he was at the centre of the Obama Administration – first as a speech-writer, then a policy maker, and finally a close collaborator.

Homo Deus – A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

Free Speech – Ten Principles for a Connected World, Timothy Garton Ash

Never in human history was there such a chance for freedom of expression. If we have Internet access, any one of us can publish almost anything we like and potentially reach an audience of millions. Never was there a time when the evils of unlimited speech flowed so easily across frontiers: violent intimidation, gross violations of privacy, tidal waves of abuse. A pastor burns a Koran in Florida and UN officials die in Afghanistan.

Drawing on a lifetime of writing about dictatorships and dissidents, Timothy Garton Ash argues that in this connected world that he calls cosmopolis, the way to combine freedom and diversity is to have more but also better free speech. Across all cultural divides we must strive to agree on how we disagree. He draws on a thirteen-language global online project – freespeechdebate.com  conducted out of Oxford University and devoted to doing just that.

With vivid examples, from his personal experience of China’s Orwellian censorship apparatus to the controversy around Charlie Hebdo to a very English court case involving food writer Nigella Lawson, he proposes a framework for civilized conflict in a world where we are all becoming neighbours.

Start With Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek

Why are some people and organisations more inventive, pioneering and successful than others? And why are they able to repeat their success again and again?

In business, it doesn’t matter what you do, it matters WHY you do it.

Start with Why analyses leaders like Martin Luther King Jr and Steve Jobs and discovers that they all think in the same way – they all started with why.

Simon Sinek explains the framework needed for businesses to move past knowing what they do to how they do it, and then to ask the more important question-WHY?

Why do we do what we do? Why do we exist? Learning to ask these questions can unlock the secret to inspirational business. Sinek explains what it truly takes to lead and inspire and how anyone can learn how to do it.

Transformational Products – The code behind digital products that are shaping our lives and revolutionizing our economies, Matthias Schrader

In his new book Matthias Schrader, co-founder and CEO of SinnerSchrader, puts the digital transformation on its feet. Whoever starts the digital transformation at the company has already lost. In the meantime, digital products from companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are conquering the everyday life of users. They successfully penetrate sectors such as banking, insurance, telecommunications, retail and automotive. Many companies are in danger of losing their relationship with their customers. They become interchangeable. Matthias Schrader deciphers the code behind the Transformational Products, with which Google & Co. successfully reshape entire markets.

The book also provides a playbook for the successful development of Transformational Products in the corporate context. In the end, it bridges the gap between product development and the digital transformation of companies. Transformational Products turn classic marketing into a legacy and thus from a solution to a problem. The weapons of advertising (promotion), distribution (place) and pricing policy (price) have become blunt. Digitisation is a huge challenge for the product, the fourth P in the marketing mix. The focus on the product as a success factor forces companies to focus on the concrete value-added contribution for their customers.

Value Proposition Design, Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda & Alan Smith

Value Proposition Design helps you tackle the core challenge of every business — creating compelling products and services customers want to buy. This highly practical book, paired with its online companion, will teach you the processes and tools you need to create products that sell.

Using the same stunning visual format as the authors’ global bestseller, Business Model Generation, this sequel explains how to use the “Value Proposition Canvas” to design, test, create, and manage products and services customers actually want.

Value Proposition Design is for anyone who has been frustrated by new product meetings based on hunches and intuitions; it’s for anyone who has watched an expensive new product launch fail in the market. The book will help you understand the patterns of great value propositions, get closer to customers, and avoid wasting time with ideas that won’t work. You’ll learn the simple process of designing and testing value propositions, that perfectly match customers’ needs and desires.

In addition the book gives you exclusive access to an online companion on Strategyzer.com. You will be able to assess your work, learn from peers, and download pdfs, checklists, and more.

Value Proposition Design is an essential companion to the ”Business Model Canvas” from Business Model Generation, a tool embraced globally by startups and large corporations such as MasterCard, 3M, Coca Cola, GE, Fujitsu, LEGO, Colgate-Palmolive, and many more.

Value Proposition Design gives you a proven methodology for success, with value propositions that sell, embedded in profitable business models.”

The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes, Margaret Mark & Carol S. Pearson

A brand’s meaning—how it resonates in the public heart and mind—is a company’s most valuable competitive advantage. Yet, few companies really know how brand meaning works, how to manage it, and how to use brand meaning strategically.

Written by best-selling author Carol S. Pearson (The Hero Within) and branding guru Margaret Mark, this groundbreaking book provides the illusive and compelling answer. Using studies drawn from the experiences of Nike, Marlboro, Ivory and other powerhouse brands, the authors show that the most successful brands are those that most effectively correspond to fundamental patterns in the unconscious mind known as archetypes. The book provides tools and strategies to:

• Implement a proven system for identifying the most appropriate and leverageable archetypes for any company and/or brand
• Harness the power of the archetype to align corporate strategy to sustain competitive advantage

A Call to Conscience, Clayborne Carson & Kris Shepard

This companion volume to “A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr”. includes the text of his most well-known oration, “I Have a Dream”, his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, and “Beyond Vietnam”, a powerful plea to end the ongoing conflict. Includes contributions from Rosa Parks, Aretha Franklin, the Dalai Lama, and many others.

Mandela – The Authorised Biography, Anthony Sampson

Widely considered to be the most important biography of Nelson Mandela, Antony Sampson’s remarkable book has been updated with an afterword by acclaimed South African journalist, John Battersby.

Long after his presidency of South Africa, Nelson Mandela remained an inspirational figure to millions – both in his homeland and far beyond. He has been, without doubt, one of the most important figures in global history. His death, on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95, resonated around the world.

Mandela’s opposition to apartheid and his 27 year incarceration at the hands of South Africa’s all-white regime are familiar to most. In this utterly compelling book, eminent biographer Anthony Sampson draws on a fifty year-long relationship to reveal the man who rocked a continent – and changed its future.

With unprecedented access to the former South African president – the letters he wrote in prison, his unpublished jail autobiography, extensive conversations, and interviews with hundreds of colleagues, friends, and family – Sampson depicts the realities of Mandela’s private and public life, and the tragic tension between them. Updated after Sampson’s death with a new afterword by distinguished South African journalist John Battersby, this is the ultimate biography of one of the twentieth century’s greatest statesmen.

Business Model Generation – A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow’s enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don’t yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation.

Co-created by 470 “Business Model Canvas” practitioners from 45 countries, the book features a beautiful, highly visual, 4-color design that takes powerful strategic ideas and tools, and makes them easy to implement in your organization. It explains the most common Business Model patterns, based on concepts from leading business thinkers, and helps you reinterpret them for your own context. You will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model–or analyze and renovate an old one. Along the way, you’ll understand at a much deeper level your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition.

Business Model Generation features practical innovation techniques used today by leading consultants and companies worldwide, including 3M, Ericsson, Capgemini, Deloitte, and others. Designed for doers, it is for those ready to abandon outmoded thinking and embrace new models of value creation: for executives, consultants, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all organizations. If you’re ready to change the rules, you belong to “the business model generation!”

Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

Losing My Virginity, Richard Branson

The unusual, frequently outrageous autobiography of one of the great business geniuses of our time, Richard Branson.

In little more than twenty-five years, Richard Branson spawned nearly a hundred successful ventures. From the airline business (Virgin Atlantic Airways), to music (Virgin Records and V2), to cola (Virgin Cola), and others ranging from financial services to bridal wear, Branson has a track record second to none. Many of his companies were started in the face of entrenched competition. The experts said, “Don’t do it.” But Branson found golden opportunities in markets in which customers have been ripped off or underserved, where confusion reigns, and the competition is complacent. 

In this stressed-out, overworked age, Richard Branson gives us a new model: a dynamic, hardworking, successful entrepreneur who lives life to the fullest. Branson has written his own “rules” for success, creating a group of companies with a global presence, but no central headquarters, no management hierarchy, and minimal bureaucracy. Family, friends, fun, and adventure are equally important as business in his life. Losing My Virginity is a portrait of a productive, sane, balanced life, filled with rich and colorful stories, including:

  • Crash-landing his hot-air balloon in the Algerian desert, yet remaining determined to have another go at being the first to circle the globe
  • Signing the Sex Pistols, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Boy George, and Phil Collins
  • Fighting back when British Airways took on Virgin Atlantic and successfully suing this pillar of the British business establishment
  • Swimming two miles to safety during a violent storm off the coast of Mexico
  • Staging a rescue flight into Baghdad before the start of the Gulf War 

And much more. Losing My Virginity is the ultimate tale of personal and business survival from a man who combines the business prowess of Bill Gates and the promotional instincts of P. T. Barnum.

Go top