Business Rx: Summer reads for business leaders

Stash one of these in your beach bag or carry-on—here’s the 2013 list of annual summer reading recommendations from faculty and experts at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

“The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,” by Michael Lewis (2011).

More from Capital Business

Video cameras in hand, CoStar enters apartment market

Video cameras in hand, CoStar enters apartment market

Fresh of acquiring Apartments.com, CoStar Group plunges into booming rental market.

Local vodka company expands overseas

Local vodka company expands overseas

Fou-Dré, based in Upper Marlboro, is sold in about 30 area stores, as well as in Australia and Japan.

Animation studio Pigmental sets up shop in the District

Animation studio Pigmental sets up shop in the District

D.C. economic development officials courted the company with grant, other incentives as part of Digital D.C.

“It’s entertaining and informative about the products and participants in the financial crisis. Financial markets and shadow banking have become rather convoluted but Lewis is able to provide an explanation of the industry while maintaining interest, even for those not in finance.”

— Mike Faulkender,
associate professor of finance

“Influence,” by Robert Cialdini (2009).

“The classic reference on how to sell. Based on rigorous academic research, the book helps one understand why people say ‘yes’ and how to apply this information.”

— Brent Goldfarb, associate
professor of management and
entrepreneurship

“Lean In,” by Sheryl Sandberg (2013).

“Every business leader should read Sandberg’s ‘Lean In.’ Women are changing the workplace and this is a must-read for professional women to feel confident and inspired to take their place at the table, but also for men to understand the positive impact. This is not ‘The Feminine Mystique’ — this is a ‘how-to guide’ on improving workplace dynamics and capitalizing on the talented, educated women in the workforce. Women are a rising tide that will absolutely lift all ships.”

— Elana Fine, managing director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

“The Power of Consistency: Prosperity Mindset Training for Sales and Business Professionals,” by Weldon Long (2013).

“Long teaches his readers how to follow a four-step process to success by, among other things, learning how your life reflects your thoughts and the words you use during self-talk. Long says the thoughts and beliefs we consistently have determine our level of success. This is a good book especially for new graduates and younger executives. You’ll appreciate the author’s incredible story of going from homelessness, alcoholism and prison to success in life and business.”

— Ken White, associate dean of MBA and M.S. Programs

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” by Susan Cain (2012).

“This book is not only addressed to introverts like me, but explains introverts to the two-thirds of the population that is extroverted. Cain explores the ‘extrovert ideal’ and gives examples of how society undervalues introverts. Introverts prefer listening to speaking. Introverts are also creative and innovative, but generally not good at self-promotion, and prefer working individually to working on a team. Cain explores the scientific research and provides stories about introversion and famous introverts — Dr. Seuss, Einstein, Proust and Chopin. Introverts and extroverts are compatible work partners — the extroverts just need to remember that introverts need ‘think’ time and time alone to recharge. The introverts need to remember that extroverts are recharged by interacting with others.”

— Susan White, Distinguished Tyser Teaching Fellow of Finance

“Taking People With You: The Only Way To Make Big Things Happen,” by David Novak (2012).

“This is a well-written and very practical account that describes the program Novak has taught to thousands of managers around the world as chairman and chief executive of Yum Brands. Novak offers a step-by-step guide to setting big goals, getting people to work together, achieving your goals, and celebrating your success. What I really like about this book is that anyone can read it and follow the exercises to improve their leadership impact. There are many great suggestions for actions to take to enhance your leadership skills and influence.”

— Joyce E.A. Russell, vice dean and Distinguished Tyser Teaching Fellow of Management and Organization

“The New Digital Age,” by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen (2013).

“Google Executive Chairman Schmidt and Director of Ideas Cohen provide a comprehensive analysis on where they believe the world is going and what the implications are for individuals, governments and companies. With relevant cases and critical review, the authors discuss how the Internet will transform governments and corporations. The book is a must-read for any student who wants to understand the digital revolution.”

— Mark Wellman, Distinguished Tyser Teaching Fellow

“Who Owns the Future?” by Jaron Lanier (2013).

“Lanier provides a contrarian’s view of the benefits of technology, digitization, and ‘big data,’ which is both provocative and controversial. His main argument is that the riches derived from network connectivity, digitization and crowd-sourcing has benefited just a few major corporations, concentrating wealth in the hands of a few, and decimating the middle-class over time. All of this may sound very socialistic, but the interesting ideas emerge when Lanier speculates how network technology can be leveraged to benefit all the network participants for their input. This could mean customers getting payment for their online reviews, for their ‘likes,’ their crowd-sourced ideas — all with the help of micro-payments. What implications this has for customer and citizen privacy and the market for information is a fascinating discourse. A must-read for all ‘big data’ fans!”

— P.K. Kannan, Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Marketing Science

“Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves (2009).

“As bestselling author and thought leader Patrick Lencioni noted in the opening pages, this book ‘can drastically change the way you think about success.’ I concur and strongly encourage those seeking leadership positions to read this book. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) continues to receive increasing attention in the workplace, especially given evidence that executives who possess strong EQ skills seem to emerge as the best performers relative to their counterparts who rely heavily on their strong IQ. There are plenty of brilliant people who have never made it because they lack the social savvy needed to develop strong relationships, build trust and inspire others. This book also includes access to a free online assessment tool, the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal, which will help you create a baseline against gauging self-improvements.”

— Jeff Kudisch, assistant dean of corporate relations and managing director of the Office of Career Services

“How Much is Enough: Money and the Good Life,” by Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky (2012).

“This is a thought-provoking book by a British economist and philosopher. They start with the prediction of Keynes in 1930 that in 100 years, productivity gains would allow us to meet our material needs by only working 15 hours per week. Keynes thought we would then use our expanded leisure time to enjoy the ‘Good Life.’ Indeed, productivity gains have increased as Keynes predicted, but our appetite for material wants has kept pace. The authors question whether we are too materialistic, and, going back to the ancient Greek philosophers, discuss alternative views of what constitutes the ‘Good Life.’ ”

— Curt Grimm, professor and Charles A. Taff Chair of Economics and Strategy

 
Read what others are saying