To commemorate the Armistice, I’m giving away ‘Be Victorious!’

Let’s all remember the Armistice which ended World War I

Representatives of all the countries involved in the First World War signed the Armistice to end it on 11 November 1918 at 11 am.  There will soon be lots of events on its centenary to help us remember.

What am I doing in response to the centenary of the Armistice?

I recently announced that I have revised my book Be Victorious, Lessons  from World War I for Business and Everyday Life . 

I have now decided to make the e-book version free on Kindle for the 5 days from the 6th to the 10th November. After that it will revert to its current price of £2.99 .

The paper version will cost £3.99.

I hope you will learn something you can apply in your life, either in business or anything else.

Here’s where you can get either version.


The risks of a no-deal Brexit: the hidden agenda

What hidden agenda?

I have written before about the risks of Brexit, especially a hard Brexit. I have not mentioned so far the risks arising from a hidden agenda. To be fair, some hard-Brexiters have been pretty open all along about their plans for a post-Brexit Britain, although others have not. However, the arguments around Brexit itself have largely drowned out almost everything else.  Even the more honest hard-Brexiters (!) have kept their longer-term plans in the background, to say the least.

Who has a hidden agenda and why?

Many people don’t seem to have noticed that the hard-Brexiters are almost all on the right wing of the Conservative Party. Then there are the UKIP-ers who are mostly further right still. I know there are left-wing politicians who are in favour of Brexit, even a hard Brexit, but they are the exceptions. It is likely that many people who want Britain to leave the EU would be unhappy if they realised where we would be going after that, if the right-wingers had their way.  Brexit could be an opportunity for the right wing to take over the Conservative Party and then the country.

What’s on the hidden agenda?

The right wingers believe in reducing regulations of all kinds.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Planning
  • Data protection
  • Employees rights
  • Human rights
  • Health and Safety

Many of these came about because British governments took the initiative before Europe took action.  Naturally, there are others where the EU imposed the will of the rest of Europe on Britain. That’s what it is to be part of a group. However, once we are out of the EU, it will be easier for British governments to start axing regulations.

What else is on this agenda?

Right-wingers everywhere believe in cutting taxes, especially on incomes and profits, and cutting public expenditure. Yes! There are people who think we need more austerity. Seriously.

Shouldn’t businessmen like that?  We could undercut foreign competition. Yes and no! Some do want to see cuts in taxes, in regulations and in public spending, but others are concerned about infrastructure and the need for a well-educated workforce. They also think business prospers in line with general prosperity. Sales require customers with money to spend.

Who has a hidden agenda close to you?

Who do you negotiate with, or have dealings with? Your clients? Suppliers? The unions? Are you letting them direct your attention to one issue, while planning to ambush you with something else? Try to find out what they really want and why.

Remember, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.


Masks. Who has a hidden agenda near you?
Masks. Who has a hidden agenda near you?



What centenary am I preparing for?

2018 is the centenary of the end of World War I

As we are approaching the centenary of the end of the First World War, I am relaunching my book Be Victorious: Lessons for Business and Everyday Life from World War I. I have made some changes to the cover and the interior.

How does this book respond to the centenary?

If you haven’t read it yet, now is a good time to do so. Find out where we went wrong then and ask if you are going wrong now in the same way in the conflicts affecting you and your business.

We’ve heard a lot about the War, the suffering, its impact on the lives of lots of people at home as well as at the Front. But what have we learnt from it rather than about it?

Available as an e-book or paperback from:

Kindle Direct Publishing at the Amazon bookstore.

Be Victorious!: Lessons from World War I for Business and Everyday Life by [Murray, John Harvey]
The cover of the centenary edition of the e-book Be Victorious!

Does the Chequers no-deal show how not to negotiate?

What has Chequers shown me?

I have written before about negotiation, but the fate of the Chequers plan for Brexit has shown an aspect I failed to mention.

Is the Chequers deal dead or just dormant?

Most commentators say the rebuff by the EU was the end for the Prime Minister’s Chequers plan.  However, it’s not over until it’s over, and perhaps there’s a chance the EU will accept it, at the last minute. Is there a cunning strategy?

Why was the Chequers plan turned down by the EU?

I was surprised at the way the EU so totally rejected the Chequers plan.  Whether you think it was a good plan or not, it looked like a basis for discussion. However, if we are to believe the EU’s spokespersons, we only ever had a choice of two deals:

  1. The Norway Option
  2. The Canada Option (a ‘Free Trade Agreement’).

I cannot see why there couldn’t be another option, if they developed a deal specifically for Britain. We’re not Norway, or Canada, yet the EU say the Prime Minister was wrong to try to cherry-pick a deal. Don’t negotiators always have to give and take?

What if Chequers was always a non-starter?

If it is true that we have only ever had a choice between two more-or-less fixed packages, what have they all been talking about for two years? Did our diplomats not know the difference between the EU’s real red lines and their bargaining positions? Why did the EU keep complaining that they didn’t know what the British really wanted, if it didn’t matter anyway?

Long before Chequers, how out-of-touch were the Brexiters and Remainers in 2016?

If anyone had made the EU’s position 100% clear before the Referendum, we could have voted for one option of four:

  1. The Norway Option
  2. The Canada Option
  3. A No-deal Brexit
  4. Remain.

We wouldn’t have needed a second vote and it would have been almost impossible for anyone to ‘betray democracy.’

Happy and sad masks. Did misreading each other wreck the Chequers plan?
Happy and sad masks. Did misreading each other wreck the Chequers plan?
What’s Chequers got to do with your business?

When you negotiate with clients, suppliers or anyone else, are you in danger of wasting time and ending up with something you didn’t want? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you really communicate with the other party?
  • Do you understand the other party’s needs as well as wants?
  • Are you clear about your own?
  • Can you meet them and can they meet yours?
  • Are they asking for the impossible or are you?

Don’t end up in checkmate!