I Have A Strategy (No You Don’t)

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Post written by Peter G. James Sinclair & Howell J. Malham Jr.

As a blogger with a blog that reached people from 207 nations this past year, publishers, authors, and agents often approach me to review the latest books on the market.

The majority of books are, well how can I put it kindly, plain boring.

Some simply blow the trumpet of the author – shouting ‘look at me, look at me.’

Others are full of words, words, words, and more words – in fact to sum up these books – you could probably write what has been written in hundreds of pages  – compress them – and define the lesson being taught by these books and put it into one short paragraph. Often I find myself yelling – ‘Get to the point!’

For as a blogger I have learnt to be very concise in my writing – mixing my pieces up with stunning headlines and bold sub titles in order to keep my readers attention in this ‘content-gluttoned’ world.

Few books I have received have been outstanding – while even fewer are unique.

I love unique!

Hallelujah – Unique At Last

This one by Howell J. Malham Jr. is just that in his book I Have A Strategy (No You Don’t).

The first thing that caught my attention, when approached, was the cheeky title.

So when it arrived in the mail, and I turned the first few pages – I knew that I was going to have a closer look at it,  and that it would be something that would be of huge benefit to my readership.

Plus – it had pictures. Well funny line drawings in fact.

I’m not an artist – but I do appreciate pictures – ahhhh more correctly – funny line drawings.

So What Is This Book About?

Million dollar question.

STRATEGY of course.

Did you know that it is a military term derived from the Greek word strategia meaning ‘generalship’ or ‘the art of the general’? That was page 4.

Sun Tzu wrote about it two thousand years ago in The Art Of War.  That was page 5. I nearly bought a picture edition of that book the other day.

Then there’s a guy called Carl von Clausewitz. Never heard of him? Well he fought a guy called Napoleon. I bet you’ve heard of him. Well in his book On War he defined strategy as ‘the use of engagements for the object of war.’ That was pages 7 and 8.

Then Howell presents us with a series of nearly empty pages – just a few words – I love empty space on a page…













Gives you time to think!

But then on Page 40 he recaps.

A Strategy Is…

A strategy is a strategy if it has:

  1. A purpose
  2. A plan
  3. A sequence of actions or tactics
  4. A distinct, measurable goal

The book could end there….

But as all writers – he continues…which is okay….

But the good news is that I got it at page 40 and actually didn’t necessarily need to arrive at Page 211 to get the point.

And that’s what makes this book so good….

Immediate Application – The Sign Of A Great Book

Immediately I could apply the teachings of this book….

By looking at my current set of personal and business priorities and projects I could immediately…

  1. Review my purpose
  2. Analyze my plan
  3. Check that I had a sequence of actions and tactics in place
  4. Make certain that I had a distinct, measurable goal.

Now that my friend is the sign of a very, very GOOD book.

Next ?

Howell J. Malham Jr. is cofounder and director of Insight Labs, a humanitarian foundation that convenes the smartest, most influential people to tackle the world’s toughest problems. A recovering brand strategist, Howell has worked with a number of prominent companies including Walgreens, Allstate, Universal Studios, LEGO, and Harper Collins. Apart from writing I Have A Strategy ( No You Don’t), he  has also written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

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