What We’re Reading

What We’re Reading

“I just sit in my office and read all day,” Warren Buffett said once. This is a bit of Buffett’s trademark modesty to be sure, but nevertheless, most of the best leaders of our time have also been avid readers. Business and leadership guides, business memoirs, popular history books — and even novels — often contain gems of insight that can transform the way a reader leads and lives. Here are some recently published titles to check out, covering everything from cryptocurrency to company culture.

No Rules Rules

Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

Reed Hastings & Erin Meyer

Penguin Press | 320 pages

You’ve probably seen Netflix’s legendary “culture deck” (if not, Google it). The bold, unorthodox approach to culture outlined in the deck is given a full exploration in No Rules Rules, coauthored by Netflix cofounder and CEO Reed Hastings and INSEAD’s Erin Meyer, who previously authored The Culture Map. Learn how principles like radical employee freedom and valuing innovation over efficiency have led to the runaway success of the streaming service none of us can do without.

How to Lead

Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers

David M. Rubenstein

Simon & Schuster | 448 pages

David M. Rubenstein, cofounder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group and a respected philanthropist, has had extensive conversations with some of the most notable leaders of our time — from Phil Knight and Jeff Bezos to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Oprah Winfrey. How to Lead mines those conversations for gold, presenting a compendium of fascinating leadership lessons. The book is “like sitting in an armchair and listening to the masters reveal their secrets,” says Steve Jobs author Walter Isaacson.

Digital Goddess

Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers

Victoria R. Montgomery Brown

HarperCollins Leadership | 448 pages

Female founders currently receive a paltry 2.2 percent of all US venture capital. Plenty of other statistics — not to mention the day-to-day experiences of women at work — point to a persistent gender equity gap in the professional world. Victoria Montgomery Brown, founder of Big Think, knows those obstacles well. Her funny, frank new book shares the hard-won lessons of her career so far. Brown, who’s been called the “anti-Elizabeth Holmes” for her fearless transparency with investors, is a reliable source of wisdom for entrepreneurial women at any stage of their career.

Well Aware

Master the Nine Cybersecurity Habits to Protect Your Future

George Finney – Texas Author!

Greenleaf Book Group Press | 224 pages

Not a week goes by without fresh headlines about major cybersecurity breaches — phishing attacks, SQL injection attacks, malware and more. And with so many employees still working remotely, cybersecurity is more critical than ever. In Well Aware, 20-year cybersecurity pro George Finney explains that, at its root, hacking isn’t a technology problem; it’s a people problem. His nine habits, if implemented, will keep your organization guarded from cyberattacks. Grab a copy for yourself and your CIO.

Mission Metamorphosis

Leadership for a Humane World

Robin R. Ganzert, PhD

Greenleaf Book Group Press | 176 pages

Robin R. Ganzert, PhD, is president and CEO of American Humane, a renowned nonprofit focused on animal safety and welfare. When Ganzert took over the historic organization, founded in 1877, it was struggling; but her leadership transformed it into a top-rated charity. Temple Grandin, hero of the animal rights movement, calls the book a “no-nonsense, practical guide on managing a non-profit so that it achieves its mission, gets things done, and avoids wasting money on excessive administrative costs.”

Good Guys

How Men Can Be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace

David G. Smith, W. Brad Johnson

Harvard Business Review Press | 272 pages

Gender equity in the workplace isn’t just women’s problem. In Good Guys, David G. Smith (associate professor of sociology at the United States Naval War College) and W. Brad Johnson (professor of psychology at the United States Naval Academy) — both experts on gender in the workplace — explain how men can be strong allies to the women they work with. Their approach combines research and compelling personal accounts, opening men’s eyes to how they can empower and support their women colleagues.

The 5 Disciplines of Inclusive Leaders

Unleashing the Power of All of Us

Andrés T. Tapia and Alina Polonskaia

Berrett-Koehler Publishers | 216 pages

Leveraging Korn Ferry’s repository of 3 million leadership assessments, internationally recognized diversity experts Andrés T. Tapia and Alina Polonskaia explore the core qualities of inclusive leaders — and show how today’s leaders can master the five disciplines of inclusion. If you’re wondering whether your organization is doing an effective job of building a strong, diverse workforce for the future, this guidebook is an excellent place to start.

The Company I Keep

My Life in Beauty

Leonard A. Lauder

Harper Business | 216 pages

As former CEO of the iconic beauty empire known as Estée Lauder Companies — and eldest son of its original founders — Leonard Lauder was known unofficially as the Chief Teaching Officer. He was also famous for his “blue notes,” missives of praise or inquiry written on distinctive blue stationery. These facts speak to the personal touch of his Lauder’s leadership style, which is on full display in The Company I Keep. Lauder tells the engrossing stories of his 60-year tenure — of battles with Revlon, of the employees who became integral to the enterprise, and of growing a mom-and-pop brand into a global powerhouse.

Kings of Crypto

One Startup’s Quest to Take Cryptocurrency Out of Silicon Valley and Onto Wall Street

Jeff John Roberts

Harvard Business Review Press | 256 pages

There’s nothing like a fast-paced, journalistic account of the rise — and ensuing travails — of an ambitious startup, and that’s exactly what Fortune staff writer Jeff John Roberts delivers in Kings of Crypto. Roberts digs deep into the story of Coinbase, the Silicon Valley cryptocurrency exchange that’s still working to bring cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin into the mainstream. Peopled with visionaries, hackers, and the hyper-wealthy, Kings of Crypto combines a dramatic narrative with an education in the past, present, and future of the cryptocurrency market.

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