I made a concerted decision a few years back to read books only by people I could learn something from.
Realising that the best type of book for this is autobiographies - people writing about their own mistakes and decisions, and looking back with hindsight about whether they were right - I've managed to chomp my way through quite a few lives.
It's this voyeuristic interest in other people's mistakes that led me to read Hillary Clinton's Living History while on holiday last week.
Although Hillary admits to a few mistakes herself (just a few, mind) the biggest, and if I'm being honest the most interesting, mistake she wrote about was her husband's famous indiscretion.
Bill Clinton struggled through the remainder of his second term as president knowing what a cataclysmic mistake he had made.
But was his mistake actually doing what he did and failing to admit to it at first, or simply not properly clearing up the mess he had made - if you'll excuse the choice of words - and trying to sweep it under the carpet?
Last week Hewlett-Packard (HP) notified partners and customers that some of its laptops could be faulty. Now, HP isn't the first IT company this has happened to, and in our fast-paced sector I can guarantee it won't be the last.
The important fact is that HP held up its hands and admitted its mistake. It knew that having faulty laptops could harm its carefully preened image, but it also knew that admitting nothing, and allowing VARs to continue to sell the faulty goods, could result in even more damaging consequences.
However, most vendors do not admit so readily to mistakes they have made with their channel programmes. While new products are released almost every day, channel schemes are in place for years.
But telling the channel that it has been following an inadequate programme for that length of time would be a bitter pill for everyone involved to swallow.
However, by skirting the issues, not admitting to faults and mistakes and failing to clean up channel programmes, vendors run the risk of being left with an even greater stain on their reputation.
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