A Spy's Guide to Thinking by John Braddock

A Spy's Guide to Thinking

"Head wounds bleed. All those vessels going to the brain. Carrying nutrients so you can think. Which I hadn’t . . . I was stunned. But I hadn’t lost yet. I still had the phone. And two options." There are a select few people who get things done. Spies are first among them. In a 45 minute read, a former spy introduces two simple tools for thinking. The first describes how we think. The second helps us think ahead. They are the essential tools ...

Details A Spy's Guide to Thinking

TitleA Spy's Guide to Thinking
Release DateMay 31st, 2015
GenreNonfiction, Psychology, Self Help, Business

Reviews A Spy's Guide to Thinking

  • Wil Wheaton
    There's a moderately interesting story in here, about how the author handles a potentially violent encounter on a subway. He wants to show us how he uses a particular type of thinking to make his decisions during the encounter.And then he spends a whole chapter of an already short book relitigating the goddamn bogus WMD claims that were used to justify the Iraq war. (Spoiler alert: It wasn't the CIA's fault! No! Really! USA! USA!)This ... whateve...
  • ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
    Either it's me or it's too simplistic. Whatever... Lot's of obvious things, little depth. Q:Intelligence agencies start with the decision. Like scientists start with the hypothesis. (c) It's called cherry-picking.Q:Thinking is cheap. Action is expensive. (c)Q:The Data-Analysis-Decision-Action chain helps us focus on where we might have holes in our thinking. (c)Q:The best way to win a zero-sum game is to be good at positive-sum games. (c)
  • Amir Tesla
    The subjectSpy's Guide to thinking offers a framework for effective thinking which is based on experiences of a field spy "John Braddock". I guess this is the guy who convinced white house of Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, hence igniting the war.The bookThe book is organized in four concise chapters:I. How to thinkII. What to think aboutIII. How others thinkIV. How to think about othersHow to thinkAuthor teaches the structure o...
  • SheLove2Read
    Interesting reading. Free if you have Amazon Prime. Not a lot of actual spy information but it's obvious the author is knowledgeable on the subject either by study or by actual employment as a spy. What if found the most interesting is the critical thinking steps the author details. Easily something the average person could employ in everyday life.
  • Karol Gajda
    This was well-written (using an interesting back-and-forth literary device) and fun. A book about thinking, zero-sum, negative-sum, and positive-sum games, told through the eyes of a former CIA agent."How you play all the other games depends on what kind of game is the final game."
  • philip farah
    Lacks depth, volumeLessons and insights are shallow. Light content. Written as a stream of consciousness. Topic is intriguing however content is poor. Book is more of a chapter than it is a book
  • Dimple
    No wonder it is trending on Goodreads. Short and Sharp. A must read.I guess what he has written is pretty obvious but it is the way he has chosen to write the book that keeps you hooked. The DADA and the three games. Awesome.Reading this book only confirmed my hypothesis that my thinking sucks and needs work :p
  • Lukas Lovas
    Interesting point of view. The thing I most took from this book is, that some people overthink things. Not a bad thing, but if you're not trained to think fast, you'll end up being a passive observer in most situations, if you try to adapt this approach.
  • Mscout
    The 45 minute read could have been condensed to 45 words. Or less. A lot less. Most of the text was devoted to a self-congratulatory experience with a tweaker on a train trying to snag the author's phone. I think it was supposed to illustrate how well his DADA system of thinking works, except that it didn't. He was surprised several times when the druggie didn't conform to his expectations (go figure). This is the only work I've read by Braddock,...
  • Sarah Booth
    RepetitiveCould have been boiled down to 5 pages. The repetition of the data analysis decision action and the three types of games zero sum, positive and negative hardly needed to be broken down into such a way that made it understandable to a three year old. Had perhaps more of these ideas been strong together on a longer book with a good editor who knows how to tell a writer he's talking down to his audience would help. N
  • Jake Losh
    I liked it. Extra star for not being longer than it has to be. Best explanation of DADA/OODA loops I've seen so far that isn't packed with bloat.Edit: I'd offer that reviewers hating on the "politics" tangentially offered by the author's personal/professional opinions on, e.g., the Iraq war, seem to be suffering from mood affiliation. They're not actually important to understanding the real messages of the book anyway. Feel free to ignore them, i...
  • Kaj Sotala
    Much more examples would have been nice, but it was a nice read for its length and price. I had previously heard about the concept of the OODA loop, and the idea that the person who goes through the loop faster wins, but been unsure of how to apply it. This helped clarify that.
  • Soheil
    A short book that offers you a simple framework for thinking with a story.You could find both, better explained, on the internet.No need to read this one.
  • Ryan Alsaihaty
    Guide to thinking: collect DATA >> perform ANALYSIS >> make DECISION >> take ACTIONOnly if this is not obvious to you, go ahead and read this book.
  • Kim
    Nice 45 minute (longer if you ponderize processes) Kindle Single nonfiction topic read on methods of thinking, decision making, and finding answers/information. Turns a very academic explanation of DADA, the OODA loop, scientific method, game sum theory, and etcetera, which other wise could possibly be intellectually dry and long and instead wraps the lessons around an exciting suspenseful dangerous real life CIA field work day anecdote in a Kind...
  • R. F. Errant
    I got at least three useful points from reading this, which considering the cost and time to read it, is a good value.My problem with the book is that his main example does not validate his teaching. In fact, they appear to invalidate them. If the example is the best of his personal experience, which is suggested, you have to wonder if he successfully applied his ideas in real life.But before I am too hard on the author, I could make the same cri...
  • Nikita
    Poorly written and nearly useless.
  • Jamie Yu
    To me, this just felt like it was lacking in content??? Would have been an interesting short article in a magazine to read while waiting at the optometrist's, but I felt like I gained nothing from reading this. It was interesting in jumping back and forth between the scene on the train and the processes of thinking but it really did not engage me or give me insight to a spy's mind, as the blurb promised. Can't pinpoint anything particularly bad a...
  • Phyllis Stewart
    Yep, these are the guys I rememberI was just a 19-year-old girl when the blue shuttle pulled up to the CIA's main entrance. By the time I left, I met and worked with many fine people, even some real spies. This book is the real deal. This is the book I'm giving my grandkids to reach them the fine art of decision making. Highly recommended. You can't find a better use for an idle your
  • Brittany
    InterestingI like books that give me the inside look in how things work. I might be interested in reading the next one.
  • Tania C-L
    Very short read, has an interesting story in-between the explanation of how one should think. I was already accustomed to Boyd’s OODA Loop, so it was refreshing to learn a different, albeit similar, process. The author explains the DADA process which means data, analysis, decision-making and action. Good thinking leads to good decision making and may or may not lead to actions. Sometimes the best decision is to do nothing. I gave it 3 stars mos...
  • Nick Skelton
    Very well executedThis book is simple, clear, useful and interesting. The structure is awesome, textbook writing style, I loved it. Looking forward to the next one
  • Bob
    Interesting little story and reflection on the conversion of information to action. Not particularly original. In the motorcycle course I took, they teach a process of riding: Scan-Identify-Predict-Decide-Execute, which is no different that DADA or OODA or whatever. The notion of BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) taught at Harvard's seminars on negotiation is related as well. If you have paid any attention to anything at all in y...
  • Emily Olsen
    I was expecting this to be overbearing and was happy to find that it wasn't. I really enjoyed the audiobook on my commute to work. Not only was the writing clear, but it also drew comparisons to scientific and historical examples that made for an engaging and approachable read. It was incredibly interesting to hear how the "spy" mode of thinking developed and its necessity in the history of American espionage post-WW2.
  • James
    Not much to it but it was a fun read. Braddock discusses the thought process and how a spy analyses situations using a confrontation with a druggy on a train as a frame of reference (which happened to him on the to a covert meeting). This is a Kindle single so it can be read easily in one sitting and in less than an hour.
  • Lisa Beers
    I think I must have been born a spy.It seems to be a common sense approach to being aware of your surroundings. If you're generally not then this book may help you stay out of trouble.
  • Darren Loreni
    Holds your interest and does a great job breaking down thinkingI don't know why I picked up this book but it was a great way to kill time while learning how the DADA thought process works.
  • Wyatt Sosey
    Interesting read - puts you inside the mind of a spy during a crucial decision. Gives you a framework of how to collect data, analyze, make a decision, and act. Fun read that puts an exciting twist on a normal topic.
  • Kit Lange
    Quick and dirty but effectiveFor those already familiar with the OODA loop this may serve as a refresher as it was for me. But from an Intel standpoint its excellent for beginners who aren't quite familiar with the process. Can't beat the price either.
  • Joe Compton
    Good quick readWoven into a book on approaches of how to think is an engaging story about an encounter on the subway. Great way to illustrate the author's points.