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The Illiterate Executive cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-4602-8995-2
    • epub, mobi, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-4602-8994-5
    • 8.5 x 11 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 240 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-4602-8993-8
    • 8.5 x 11 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 240 pages
  • Keywords
    • Accounting basics,
    • Financial reporting,
    • Balance sheet ,
    • Budget,
    • Business acumen,
    • Empowering,
    • executives.

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The Illiterate Executive
An Executive’s Handbook for Mastering Financial Acumen
by Blair Cook

It is essential that every business executive be conversant in the principles of finance. This is a handbook for developing your financial acumen to give you a stronger voice inside the executive boardroom. From accounting to finance, from risk management to capital allocation — no stone is left unturned. This is a one-stop reference source to guide any executive through the most important decisions and conversations that go on in the executive boardrooms of every organization. Stories of failed executives illustrate the importance of financial acumen and provide a launching point for discussing finance principles in practical scenarios. Whether you are running your own company or an executive in a larger organization, you will become an impressive financial practitioner without getting mired in the details and theoretical complexities contained in most financial textbooks. Learn what matters and how to use it to your advantage to: • Analyze financial information with ease; • Make smarter business decisions; • Develop strategy and allocate capital with a financial return in mind; • Hire and manage financial people better, and; • Avoid financial disasters that can ruin your company.

“This is a powerful book for anyone looking to become a well rounded, fully capable executive. Financial acumen is a must-have skill for every business leader, regardless of title. Blair brings together enough of the key pieces of finance knowledge to make a compelling whole, even for those with absolutely no finance background. He has a knack for leaving a reader with a surprising level of understanding of otherwise complex financial topics. Regardless of your company size or your title, this is one business book you should definitely read.” — John Kogan, President & CEO, Proformative, Inc. “The Illiterate Executive is a fantastic financial resource that makes a pragmatic trade-off between dwelling on the deep theoretical aspects of finance and the practical reality of how finance is applied in the business world. The result is a reference guide that makes finance more accessible to anyone and is a must read for anyone serious about advancing their career either inside or outside of the finance function. I use this book as a textbook for my senior level finance course for non-accounting majors — it’s written at a level they can understand, yet complete in its coverage!” — Tammy Crowell, Dalhousie University

Blair Cook photo

Blair is an award winning professional accountant and presenter with a passion for developing financial acumen in aspiring leaders. Blair is a many-time chief financial officer and corporate director with real world experience. He has decades of experience teaching others and designing innovative professional programs for the Big 4 accounting firms and national accounting bodies. This combination of real world experience with academic discipline has made his advice invaluable to the millions of people who have taken his courses and watched his videos. Blair lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has an undergraduate degree in business administration for Acadia University and a Masters of Business Administration from St. Mary’s University. He won the Governor General’s Gold Medal in Chartered Accountancy in 1995 as the top Canadian graduate. He worked for seven years in public accounting practice before going on to fulfill a number of increasingly senior financial roles in various companies. He retired as chief financial officer in 2009 to become a corporate director and found his own consultancy practice. He now works with public and private companies in a myriad of industries from utilities to hospitality to food processing to manufacturing. He also consults regularly with various universities and professional associations in program development, professional development, and creation of thought leadership in matters pertaining to finance.


Blair Cook

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