Books / Inspiration

A style for success – A De Bono book tip

The NUS book bazaars.

One of the very few things I love about my campus in Singapore. The weekly bazaars organised by student organisations often showcase a range of cheap clothing, electronics and my favourite item, second-hand books.

This week’s bazaar featured a very interesting selection of encyclopedias of ancient civilisations, art appreciation, and east Asian philosophy. As much as I was drawn to a collection describing the masterpieces of Rembrandt and Michelangelo, I chose a more inexpensive but equally enlightening book by thinking guru, Edward de Bono – ‘Tactics‘.

De Bono analysed the road towards success by interviewing 50 people, deemed as successful in their respective fields. He did not define ‘success’, though. The word ‘success’ is an abstract term that is open to various interpretations depending on the individual’s experience and perspectives of life.

I have only finished the first chapter. Is there a ‘success’ style that once adopted will guarantee success? Do we have to be talented? Hardworking? Egoistic? Humble? Is there a specific formula?

Towards the end, after interviews with entrepreneur Robert Holmes à Court “The Predator”, Sir Clive Sinclair “The Inventive Entrepreneur”, Sir Terence Conran “The Manager” and many more, the answer is:


There is no style in particular that brings success. It depends on luck, talent, and whether you are smart enough to invest your time and energy in where your talents lie. Through life experiences, you should already have known what type of style works effectively for you.

If being lazy makes you more creative in finding faster and easier methods to complete a task, hey, that works too!

So, lesson learned from Chapter 1 of Edward de Bono’s ‘Tactics’ :

1. Though there’s no ‘success’ style, determination & persistence are important ‘success’ habits.

2. Take whatever opportunities that chance your way

3. Determine your working style and focus your energy in suitable working areas.

4. And my favourite lesson of all – Build up strong points of your style instead of altering it altogether. However, be aware of your weaknesses.


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