10 Best Summer Reads for Directors & Board Administrators
Best summer reads for boards
June 19, 2020
Aimee Happ

10 best summer reads for directors & board administrators

Summer has finally arrived, which usually means that most board members enjoy a little less activity and a little more reading time. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic still upon us, summer may look a little different, but there’s no reason it should be enjoyed any less – even if your planned vacation has been replaced with a “staycation”.

To help kick things off, here are 10 interesting and inspiring books worth a read for board chairs, CEOs, directors, and board administrators. With topics ranging from leadership, running effective meetings, climate change, and the 1918 flu pandemic, there’s something here for everyone. So take a break, grab a glass of your favourite iced drink, and dive in. 

Best summer reads for boards

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger

In his memoir, Robert Iger gives us an inside look at his experience as CEO of The Walt Disney Company from 2005 to 2020 while he was reinventing one of the world’s most beloved companies. His vision came down to recommitting to quality, embracing technology, and thinking global, which ultimately turned Disney into the largest media company in the world. This #1 New York Times bestseller was described by Bill Gates as “one of the best business books I’ve read in several years.”

Find it on Amazon here.

Best summer reads for boards

The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance by Steven G. Rogelberg

Steven G. Rogelberg, researcher and consultant to some of the world’s most successful companies, draws from extensive research and analytics to share the proven practices and techniques that can help managers and employees enhance the quality of their meetings. Rogelberg also provides immediate direction and guidance for those who lead and participate in meetings, offering unique insights about meeting agendas and group sizes. This type of book could be immediately applied to the boardroom setting.

Find it on Amazon here.  

Best summer reads for boards

Loonshoots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall

This book reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behaviour, challenging the traditional way most people have thought about nurturing radical breakthroughs. Author Safi Bahcall, a physicist and entrepreneur, shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing new ideas to rejecting them, and identifies how structure (instead of culture) controls this transition. In this instant Wall Street Journal bestseller, Bahcall uses a set of stories to show how a new kind of science can help us become the initiators, rather than the victims, of innovative surprise.

Find it on Amazon here.

Best summer reads for boards

Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems by Esther Duflo & Abhijit Banerjee 

In this book, renowned MIT economists and Nobel Prize in Economics winners Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee tackle the challenge of how to deal with the world’s critical economic problems. They examine issues such as whether international trade benefits everybody, why inequality is exploding everywhere, the rise of artificial intelligence, and whether immigrants from poorer countries take jobs away from low-income native workers, offering insightful solutions to these questions.

Find it on Amazon here.

Best summer reads for boards

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry

At the height of World War I, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. For those interested in a historical comparison with the current COVID-19 pandemic, the 1918 influenza outbreak is as close as you’ll get, and this #1 New York Times bestseller is a worthwhile read.

Find it on Amazon here

Best summer reads for boards

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-A** Boss Without Losing Your Humanity (2nd edition) by Kim Scott

Author Kim Scott was a highly successful leader at Google before moving to Apple, where she developed and taught a management class. Since the original publication of her book, she’s earned international fame with her approach to effective leadership. The concept of Radical Candor is caring personally for your employees while challenging them directly, which helps to build cohesive teams and achieve great results. This New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller has been recommended by Shona Brown, Rachel Hollis, Jeff Kinney, Daniel Pink, Sheryl Sandberg, and Gretchen Rubin, and is often required reading at the most successful organizations. This new edition also includes a chapter on performance reviews.

Find it on Amazon here.

Best summer reads for boards

The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers by Baruch Lev & Feng Gu

While entire industries have come to rely on financial reports for vital information, authors Baruch Lev and Feng Gu argue that these documents are flawed and insufficient when it comes to the way investors and lenders work in the current economic climate. This book demonstrates an alternative, giving you a new framework for more informed decision making. Published in 2016, these thoughts remain relevant given that massive unicorn firms can be made and broken almost overnight, even while financial performance data remains encouraging.

Find it on Amazon here.

Best summer reads for boards

The Non-Obvious Guide to Emotional Intelligence by Kerry Goyette

In this book, Aperio founder and CEO Kerry Goyette challenges the conventional wisdom of EQ by breaking down the neuroscience of emotional intelligence and offering a bold and applicable new approach. You’ll explore ways to leverage EQ to connect with people, add value, and grow your business. 

Find it on Amazon here.

Best summer reads for boards

The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon by Steve Anderson & Karen Anderson

Amazon is the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in sales and they didn’t reach that landmark without taking risks. However, Amazon’s risks were all intentional, calculated, and strategic. Authors Steve Andersen and Karen Anderson break down Bezos’ 14 principles of growth to show you how you can take lessons from one of history’s most successful entrepreneurs and apply them to your own company.

Find it on Amazon here.

Best summer reads for boards

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell

Author Jeff Goodell employs fact, science, and first-person, on-the-ground journalism to show vivid scenes from global warming around the world. Compelled to write the book after seeing the effect Hurricane Sandy had on New York City in 2012, the author shows why and how water is rising above sea level and what it means for all us – including how climate change will affect how and where we do business.

Find it on Amazon here.

On behalf of your whole board support crew here at Aprio, we wish to thank each of you for your business and hope you have a great summer. Happy reading!

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