Capitalism, Power and Biographies or Mystery, Romance and Comedy?

Business Books to Read This SummerWhen I was growing up I spent my summers either at the cottage or at camp. It was a time before internet and wireless technologies. It was the time that I discovered my love of reading. I was a voracious reader.  I often perused the latest novel with a flashlight under the blankets. I naively thought this would prevent my parents, or camp counselors, from knowing I was up way past curfew.

And still today, I always look forward to summer with a renewed commitment to reading. Reading allows me to honour one of my key personal values – continuous learning. Spending time doing something that I’m passionate about always re-energizes me. If you’re looking for something to read this summer, here’s a list of books I’ve compiled for this summer’s travels.

Re-Imagining CapitalismRe-Imagining Capitalism: Building a Responsible Long Term Model.  I came across this book at a recent “girls weekend” with fellow past chairs of the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario. Our weekend kicked off with an evening in the company of a recent MBA grad. She brought this publication to my attention and I’m curious to see how it relates to John McKay’s (Whole Foods) Conscious Capitalism work.

The WorkThe Work: Searching for a Life That Matters. Listening to podcasts is one way I pass the time when I’m driving. Recently I heard Wes Moore being interviewed by Oprah. He was thought provoking with an interesting history:  a military veteran, White House State Department fellow, and Wall Street financier. He would rather “flirt with failure than never dance with joy”. And he talked about the trap of becoming extraordinarily ordinary. I’m looking forward to learning more about how to find the things that bring out our passions and move us away from being passive passengers on planet earth.

PowerfulPowerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord. I always find biographies and real life stories fascinating.  It’s why Delivering Happiness, the book about Zappo’s, and Steve Jobs are two of my favorite books. Patty served as the chief talent officer at Netflix where she helped create their high performing and unique culture. By the way, this book was named by the Washington Post as one of the top 11 Leadership Books to read in 2018.

 MissionMission: How the Best in Business Break Through. This book got on my list as result of my ongoing quest to link purpose with culture. I’ve always known that creating a great culture was key to my corporate success. But recently, I’ve also reflected on how purpose guided that culture design.  In researching leaders who have evolved to be purposeful with their businesses, I’ve realized that it’s the combination of purpose and culture that brings about exceptional results. This book discusses various businesses like Airbnb, Google and Ella’s Kitchen to demonstrate the authors’ premise that “the best in business are those that can cut through this noise, stand out as campaigners and activists, and be a force for good”.

Of course I’ll be interspersing these reads with the stack of magazines that have collected over the past three months. And, no weekend by the pond would be complete without a glass of wine and a few juicy pieces of light fiction. Tangerine, Surprise Me and the appropriately titled novel Sunburn are just a few packed away in my get away bag.

Whether you’re looking to expand your leadership capabilities or just chill out and reenergize, these next two summer months are opportunities to devote time to the things that matter most to us. I encourage you to take a few moments of quiet time this week to remind yourself of those occasions when you’ve been happiest. How can you bring more of this into your life? If you need a kick start, our personal values assessment is a quick exercise, with instant results, that can help you reconnect to your core passions.

I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading lately. Pop me a quick email at because I’ve still got room in my beach bag (and Kindle) for a few more good reads!

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