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Avast Ye! Read These Books To Unlock Your Inner Pirate

If you want to make a change at work or in your personal life, then it might be worth taking a leaf out of a pirate’s book. If you can’t find any bottled messages, these are a good place to start.
by Carrie M. King | May 10 2018

The relative comfort of modern life has made us all so well-behaved. We abide by nonsensical rules unquestioningly, we put up with systems that are no longer fit their purpose, we go to jobs that we’re not that excited by, and we sleepwalk through society’s motions, ticking off pre-approved milestones as we go.

How to Be More Pirate with Sam Conniff Allende

But what happens when we decide that the status quo isn’t up to snuff? What if we each decided to break just one stupid rule and create a better one? That’s the main premise of new release, Be More Pirate, which encourages us to take a critical look at the world around us and to nurture, and act upon, a healthy discontent.

To help you embody a more pirate spirit and to take a critical look at the world around you, the author Sam Conniff Allende has suggested the following books as worthy contenders for your to-read list. And I’ve added a few extra Blinkist recommendations at the end for a little bonus inspiration. Have at it!

Sam Conniff Allende’s Pirate Picks

1. The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates by Peter T. Leeson

Sam says:
“For a more academic argument on the economic model of golden age pirates, this is the gold standard. Robust, well-considered, and not without humor, but ultimately entirely practical. So much so it ends up breaking down pirate lessons into almost a syllabus of learning.”

2. The Pirate Organization: Lessons from the Fringes of Capitalism by Rodolphe Durand and Jean-Philippe Vergne

Sam says:
“Part history, part economics, all electric. The French duo makes an impassioned and compelling case for the constant contribution of the pirate approach to causing disruption, actually providing a necessary role driving innovation throughout capitalism.”

3. Under The Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates by David Cordingly

Sam says:
“A comprehensive overview of the reality of the golden age pirates, dispelling many of the more romantic myths and revealing much of their more social revolutionary tendencies. One of the most accessible and readable books on the topic by a well-respected historian.”

4. The Republic of Pirates: The True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down by Colin Woodward

Sam says:
“This book focuses on the remarkable true story of the establishment, and the subsequent fight for, the pirate republic on Nassau in the Bahamas. It’s a story with huge cast of infamous characters and daring deeds that reads like fiction but in truth is a fascinating microcosm of the much larger pirate influence.”

5. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap… And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Sam says:
“The best business book of all time, hands down, bar none, no contenders, the great, the king, the one and the only. As part of my transition out of the CEO position at one of my businesses, I bought this for the entire leadership team and made it part of the deal that they read it. Never in the history of business books has so much research and evidence resulted in so much common sense.”

6. Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts by Ryan Holiday

Sam says:
“Reading a book by Ryan is like getting a really thoughtful email from a friend/mentor/colleague/that-guy-you-want-to-work-with-that-you-can’t-delete-and-almost-make-a-new-folder-for-called-Best-Advice-Ever. This pretends to be a book about making books successful, but really it’s a guide to creating stone-cold classics in format.”

7. On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century by Timothy Snyder

Sam says:
“When our day-to-day is disruption, I think we all need a reminder of the recent history that made us who we are that we tend to forget, and the macro trends that are so reliable they’re almost a certainty. This book gives you a neck-snapping sense check as to whether you’re focused on fighting for the right things, and what really is worth fighting for.”

8. King, A Critical Biography by David Lewis

Sam says:
“In addition to its obvious success at creating more social equality, I think the civil rights movement is an enlightening organizational case-study for anyone interested in creating change within what feel like immovable conditions. The infrastructure, the discipline, the strategy, the storytelling are all meticulous and ultimately made the greatest difference. There are many books on the movement. This one wins for me as it takes a much needed critical perspective.”

9. The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson

Sam says:
“Winston Churchill was the embodiment of 20th Century leadership, which although now thankfully outdated, still has many lessons to teach. The bravery, the boldness, the extraordinary bravado of a man who took on the world and won. There are better books that have more of the much-needed criticisms of Churchill than this fanboy exercise by British political embarrassment Boris Johnson, but his style is so entertaining it makes this a thumping good read.”

10. Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux

Sam says:
“If you’ve ever wondered “what next?” in business, if you’ve ever looked out to the ever-changing landscape and genuinely thought,“WTF does it all mean and where does it go from here?” then Laloux’s thorough and thoughtful model operates as an effective blueprint for a wholescale upgrade to the operating system of international business. As well-researched as it is optimistic and uplifting, of all the books here, if I could choose one that was to become mandatory at MBA level it would be this.”

And here are a few bonus titles on us

11. Great By Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins & Morten T. Hansen

Jim Collins strikes again with this in-depth exploration of business practices, and itemizes exactly what makes some companies great, despite the apparent chaos that they have to survive in. It’s quite a surprising read culminating in quite an unexpected recipe for success.

12. Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions by Gerd Gigerenzer

Taking risks is an important part of life, but success often depends on how you conceive of risk. Risk Savvy helps us to better understand risk so that we can make better decisions, and make sure that they don’t have a negative impact on other aspects of our lives.

13. The Greatest Salesman In The World: Unconventional secrets to becoming the best salesperson you can be by Og Mandino

Salespeople often get a bad rap, whether your perception of them is Glengarry Glen Ross or The Simpsons’ Old Gil. But it turns out, being a great salesperson has nothing to do with cutthroat tactics, and more to do with being a better person all around.

14. The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism by Matt Mason

Tech-savvy youth culture and the ready availability of content has meant many industries had to rethink to survive. But by adopting open-source, pirate principles, businesses (and individuals) can create something entirely different and exciting.

Changing things in your life doesn’t have to mean staging a mutiny. It just means taking an informed, open, critical look at the structures that dictate your life and how you can re-adjust them for the benefit of yourself and others.

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