Recharge - Lessons to revitalise yourself, your team or your business in 60 minutes or less
by Alan Hargreaves

ISBN:978-07303 7520 3 Publisher: Wright Books (a Wiley imprint), 2011
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

Some people are just uncrushable. Some businesses have that same resilience. Some people just appear to effortlessly get things done or to rapidly decide what to do and then refuse to do anything else. They have great clarity and also the freedom to take action. This book explains where it comes from and how to get it.

The ideas are simple and their implementation, although also simple, will prove demanding. But; they do work.

The author is no slouch and has an impressive business track record with a level of success that many other authors can only dream of. The book is correct in identifying the basic elements of business and includes useful text on the roles and duties of management, founders, directors, shareholders, financiers, management and employees. It is written by someone with direct personal experience of large and small businesses. It covers all the basics; including one of the most straightforward discussions of business cash flow that I have ever read (I shall use it a lot).

Unlike many business books (and I would class this as a business book) it approaches the problems from the proviso that the reader has all the necessary decision-making authority. The first section is all about working out your own priorities and focusing on the things that really matter to you. It is also about applying your strengths and delegating effectively. It does not duck the hard issues but provides simple advice for addressing tough situations, taking action and getting on.

From this point on the book lurches from personal to business issues in a manner that makes sense but is slightly unsettling to a reader who is accustomed to dealing with personal and business issues in separate realms. For a reader with no business, most of the issues will be translatable to personal finances and aspirations or to social situations. For a reader working in a large business the sudden change of scenario from personal to corporate will be more difficult as the book assumes a level of autonomy that, whilst aspired to, is not possessed by most employees. For a business owner, entrepreneur, company chairman or sole trader this mixture probably feels quite realistic as the pressures of small businesses tend to escape into daily life.

The book covers finances, team management, stakeholder management/strategy, and marketing. It ends with some useful ideas on how to stay 'recharged'.

Some of the chapters are available as free downloads from the author's website. This enhances the practical application of the concepts. There are 52 chapters with the aim that the reader should address one chapter per week and fully recharge their business within one year. I found some of the chapters less relevant than others but did pick out a few to implement and discovered that the concepts translated to action. You can take your pick as to whether you start at the beginning and go to the end and then stop or just pick and choose to suit the priorities that you establish for yourself at the beginning of the exercise. Either way, if you put them into action, the tools in this book will definitely recharge and revitalise.

Highly recommended and available in both kindle and hard copy editions.

* Julie Garland McLellan is a professional non-executive director, board and governance consultant and mentor. She is the author of "Presenting to Boards", Dilemmas, Dilemmas: Practical Case Studies for Company Directors, "The Director's Dilemma", "All Above Board: Great Governance for the Government Sector" and numerous articles on corporate strategy and governance.

Julie Garland McLellan to judge 2011 Global eBook Awards