Chris Welsh

Some Brain Food

We Are Mako
June 14, 2021

I was asked by a couple of colleagues recently for some suggestions around Mako related reading materials and other relevant content, so thought I’d get it down on ‘paper’ and share more widely via the blog.

Ordinarily, I get through a fair amount of books, articles and podcasts on commutes and other travel, however Covid related restrictions have really messed with that in the last year. The first lockdown went reasonably well and I read some really interesting stuff. In the middle one I lost my way with reading (along with diet, exercise and many other well intentioned things). As we begin to look forward to the end of this set of restrictions, I’m thrilled to be back in a better groove with some good habits again and hope you are all faring well.  

I also hope that you find something interesting in the attached. All of them have been referrals to me from friends at some point and so I'm delighted to share and pass the recommendations on.

Leadership & Culture

Let My People Go Surfing - Yvon Chouinard (Founder of Patagonia)

An element of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is almost a given for most organisations now. Chouinard was an early visionary in the way he developed Patagonia. Much of the story is known, as its tied up in the Patagonia brand and their messaging, but fascinating to hear the personal story from the beginning of the business and the evolution from there.

Total Competition - Ross Brawn

You don’t need to be a motorsport fan to take a lot from this one, but it possibly helps a bit! Essentially their business is a highly competitive one with a scoreboard, complex precision engineering, technology, a tight regulatory environment and financial resources to consider. Not totally dissimilar to global derivatives trading? As a consequence, the insights Brawn shares around managing complexity, codependency and multi-disciplinary expert teams can hold extra interest for us.  

Trading & Markets

Unknown Market Wizards - Jack Schwager

A fascinating insight into the thoughts of successful traders. The original series of books are well-thumbed classics featuring some famous industry figures (all are well worth reading). This time Jack Schwager goes off the beaten track to find some some really interesting low profile characters, unearthing some fantastic insights as to how they think about markets.

Thinking In Bets - Anne Duke

As a former World Series of Poker winner and a cognitive psychology graduate, Anne Duke sets up some interesting frameworks for decision making, measuring success and learning. Combination of mindset and strategy which is directly relevant to trading. A bit like Cialdini’s Influence, its not one to read cover-to-cover in a sitting, but its got some great stimulus and insight for traders.

What It Takes - Stephen A Schwartzman (Founder of Blackstone)

An autobiographical journey from early life to building one of the reference investment firms of our times. Its a much easier and engaging read than Ray Dalios Principles, but is still open and generous in sharing insights, tips and anecdotes.  

General Reading

If I Could Tell You Just One Thing - Richard Reed

Encounters with remarkable people and their most valuable advice. A wide-ranging series of inspiring short pieces with contributors as varied as Joanna Lumley and Andy Murray. It's a good one to dip in and out of.

Shoe Dog - Phil Knight (Founder of Nike)

Who hasn’t watched and enjoyed The Last Dance on Netflix in recent months? Rereading the Nike story after watching the Michael Jordan - Chicago Bulls one is an interesting new context. Its an engaging and entertaining read - very candid. He gets a lot right, but there’s a few questions over the definition of success and its costs.


Heavy caveat here that the relevancy can vary significantly across episodes, so you need to be selective, but there’s some gold in all of these

The Knowledge Project - Shane Parrish, Farnham Street

On the Edge - Andrew Gold, Liminal

Stuff You Should Know - Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant

Inside the Mind of Champions - Jeremy Snape


We Are Luminate - Mel Crate

The work with Mel came at a great time for Mako in Q4 2019 and was incredibly prescient given what lay around the corner in 2020. Its great that Anna and the team are continuing with Wellbeing at Mako. There’s some great stuff on the We Are Luminate website to keep that learning developing and fresh

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