Great is the fortune of he who possesses a good bottle, a good book (…). Molière
I'm sitting in the armchair reading a good book while holding a glass of good wine in my hand, so - if I take the above aphorism seriously - I'm a lucky man.
But to be a lucky person, you have to make good choices in advance. Standing in front of the shelves in a bookshop or a wine shop, we know it is not that easy. Choosing the right business book is like choosing the right wine. In front of us there are hundreds of beautiful covers and labels, titles and names, tasty descriptions of grafts, bouquets and regions, intriguing biographies of authors... But which bottle/book to reach out for? What will happen to us after taking the cork out or reading the initial sentences? A sip of inspiration, or rather a bad taste of disappointment? Oft-times, when I brought home a supposedly promising wine, after the first organoleptic contact I had the feeling of being taken in. It was the same with many "business" books. Encouraged by the title, I have repeatedly experienced the same disappointment as a surfer who was promised good wind by the forecasts, but got nothing instead. The long-awaited spiritual feast was stranded on the shoals of banality...
Ispirato Spot is a place where I invite you on an intellectual journey without disappointment.
I surf here through shelves of covers hiding interiors filled with a sea of valuable content. Each page of the book I recommend is like a huge wave of business inspiration. And to make this journey not only an intellectual feast, I link it with a truly good wine.
I will start with a book. Or rather: THE book.
I wouldn't be myself if I didn't suggest my beloved book: "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni – to begin with. It's absolutely the biggest wave I've caught so far in my business journey. "The Five Dysfunctions..." was written in 2002. A great vintage. It is like a fine wine: the longer I taste it, the more content I can see in it. What graft would I compare this book to? This is no ordinary Cabernet Sauvignon or Riesling, but rather a unique regional variety. Unico, as the Italians say, an undeniably unique appellation. You taste it, and it will stay with you for a long time in your memory.
Why do I prefer to surf the paper pages of "The Five Dysfunctions..." in the evening rather than Netflix?
Because of the unique, brilliant and universal representation of the business environment. The author of "The Five Dysfunctions..." introduces us to the world of a certain company. Kind of familiar to us. While reading, I had a sense of a déjà vu. Under the fictitious names of the characters I found my colleagues and workmates whom I met every day in the lift, had lunch in the canteen, sat at my desk or had the morning coffee at the machine. I think that most of us reading this book will say, “This guy has just described my company!”
“The Five Dysfunctions…” is like the kite: it captivates you right from the shore.
At first, we are introduced to DecisionTech and the team Kathryn Petersen works for. With curiosity, we move away from the shore to discover using some specific examples about how the model to which the author wants to inspire us works. This model is the creation of effective teams focused on achieving common goals. Let's keep going through the chapters of the book. We have already met Kathryn's team, and we have given each of its characters a name from our corporate backyard. Now, the author introduces us to five foundations thanks to which, working as a team, we can achieve any goal and have a competitive advantage. This is something no amount of competence can buy! And most importantly to me, we have a team we want to work with every day as well as the people whose presence makes us genuinely happy! The "good morning" at the entrance of the workplace will no longer be just an empty social convention, but a statement of our true state of mind. Thank you, Patrick Lencioni!
And now for somewhat completely different inspiration.
If we were to compare "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" to some wonderful regional wine, one name comes to my mind. This wine is an absolute winner. I'm already reaching for the corkscrew to inspire you with it!
Perricone. This product of earth, sun and human work, I absolutely respect.
The compass of my wine quest invariably points to Italy. There is Perricone among the beloved Italian wines. I call it the godfather of wines. Why? Because it was born in western Sicily, where at the end of the 19th century it was the most widely grown variety around Palermo, the capital of the Sicilian mafia. Who knows, perhaps Vito Corleone himself drank it? Today, being a father myself, my son and I often visit the area to pursue our shared passion – kitesurfing. I will not elaborate on the wine's long finish, its ruby colour, flavours, bouquets and aromas. All this can be found on the label and on the Internet. I will only say that I like the smell of fruit in Perricone (can it be that cherries, plums and blackberries grow next to the grapes?) and its velvety character. Sealed in a bottle, the taste stays for years and is a great companion for conversations about good books – and more.
This wine seems to be singing, “Don’t You Forget About Me”. In the same way, the characters in “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” are memorable and leave an indelible tattoo of emotions in us.
Perhaps Perricone will keep you company at the moments when you read Kathryn's story of building her team? Or maybe a good compagno when discussing the book with someone you want to get inspired with it? Who knows, perhaps you will celebrate the success of your team with it? I believe that this outstanding graft – just like the book – will stay with you for years to come.
Inspired? The corkscrew is here for you…