Reading: Recommended by Dallas Leaders

As I interview our region’s business leaders for the blog, I always ask what they’re reading. It’s fascinating to see where people are getting their inspiration, and I’m an avid reader myself. Okay, maybe not as much as I used to be … I remember the days of winning summer reading contests in grade school, and I’m definitely not winning any points for volume any more. As an adult, reading is a luxury. So when you read, read the best. Here are some recommended selections from Dallas leaders to throw in your suitcase.

 #1 – The Power of Pull:  How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion

By John Hagel III, John Seely Brown & Lang Davidson

Recommended by David Boyett, CEO of Boyett Management Services

This book is essential reading to learn about how to adapt to the shifting forces of our networked world. Information, the authors say, flows like water, and we must learn how to tap into its stream. Learn how the power of pull brings the best out in people and institutions.

#2 – Most anything on Abraham Lincoln …

Recommended by Veletta Lill, Executive Director of the Dallas Arts District, and Robin Robinson, President of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation

Team Rivals:  The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

By Doris Kearns Goodwin

Goodwin examines how a one-term congressman and prairie lawyer defeated three gifted and energetic candidates to become president. Read about Lincoln’s ability to put himself in the place of other men and to understand how their motives shaped our nation’s most significant presidency.

#3 – The Shift Age

By David Houle

Recommended by Troy Powell, City Manager for The Colony

This book by futurist David Houle asserts we are in a new global stage of humanity’s cultural, social and economic evolutionary journey: The Shift Age. It is a time of transformation with great risk and incredible opportunity. Houle identifies and explains the dynamics and forces that will continue to reshape our world.

#4 – The New Health Age:  The Future of Health Care in America

By David Houle and Jonathan Fleece

Recommended by Robin Robinson, President of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation.

We live in a transformational time in the history of medicine and health care. This book sets forth what health care and medicine will look like in the years ahead. It is already being called THE book to intelligently shape and guide the discussion and reorganization of health care reform in America.

#5 – The Powell Principles: 24 Lessons from Colin Powell, a Battle-Proven Leader

By Oren Harari

Recommended by Troy Powell, City Manager for The Colony

The Powell Principles outlines former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s decision-making, success and leadership philosophies, weaving in examples of how he used them to overcome obstacles in his work. The insights are honest and concise, making them highly usable for improving your own leadership skills and performance.

#6 – Good to Great:  Why Some Companies Make the Leap…..and Others Don’t

By Jim Collins

Recommended by Scott Landry, President and CEO, Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas

If you haven’t yet read this defining book about what separates great companies from good ones, you should immediately. The book lays out principles to follow, based on five years of research, interviews and analysis by Jim Collins and his team, and they’re ones you can’t afford to ignore. Highly useful and a good read.

#7 – Mastering the Rockefeller Habits:  What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm

By Verne Harnish

Recommended by David Boyett, CEO of Boyett Management Services

Harnish compiles the underlying fundamentals that haven’t changed at the best-run organizations for more than a hundred years – from the one-page strategic plan to effective executive meetings. Case studies demonstrate the validity of this book’s practical approaches.

#8 – My own selection – The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life & Times of America’s Banana King

By Rich Cohen

This story about the rise of Samuel Zemurray, from his arrival in America as a penniless immigrant to his death as one of the world’s most richest and powerful men as head of United Fruit Company, is a classic and fascinating story of the American Dream. A good read, this book offers lessons on the good and the bad of capitalism.

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Becky Powell-Schwartz, Founder & CEO