CEOs’ Summer Reading Favorites

CEOs take one of three approaches to their summer reading, depending on whether what they seek on holiday is business inspiration, complete escape from work—or some of each.

History is a favorite refuge for escapists such as Michael Morrison, CEO of Datawatch, who plans to read The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, an account by James D. Hornfischer of a World War II sea battle. Selections by M’lou Walker, CEO of Zicam, include A Pearl in the Storm, a story about rowing across the Atlantic by Tori Murden McClure.

And Norman Radow, CEO of Radco Cos., has been eyeing Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and The Making of Winston Churchill, by Candace Millard.

A second stratagem involves straddling business and pleasure. Tom Mahoney, CEO of ITA Group, an employee-engagement consultancy, will be reading Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Emotions, by Dan Ariely. America’s Generations in the Workplace, Marketplace, and Living Room Living, by Chuck Underwood, is the targeted read of Neil Kleinberg, CEO of DiliVer, an M&A-due-diligence software company.

Similarly, Meditations, the true classic tome by Marcus Aurelius, will be a page-turner for Darin Brannan, CEO of ClearData, who wants to “get back to what I fundamentally believe in and how I can apply it to my life and work today.” And Gopi Koteeswaran, CEO of LatentView Analytics, will be poring through Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind, by Yuval Noah Harari.

Unapologetically, even summer reading is all about business for some CEOs. That’s why Ross Sapir, CEO of Roadway Moving, plans to read Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, by Simon Sinek.

Alfred Sanchez, chief of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, will be reading Rise of the Robots, by Martin Ford, because of his interest in “the issue of the quickly evaporating pool of good jobs” in the U.S. and globally.

And it’s clear that some CEOs can’t get too much of the best business advice: Alon Ozery, founder of Ozery Bakery, said he’ll be “re-reading an old favorite: Raising the Bar by Gary Erickson,” which he called “a wise and inspiring book for entrepreneurs and dreamers who wish to build a value-driven company and make a real difference in this world.”

And who wouldn’t want to do that—even on summer vacation?

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Dale Buss
Dale Buss is a long-time contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other top-flight business publications. He lives in Michigan.

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