6 holiday reads for board admins & directors | Aprio
holiday reads for board admins and boards of directors

6 best holiday reads for board admins and boards of directors

The holidays are almost here! We’re looking forward to taking a break and curling up with a good book. 

Here’s our list of 6 best holiday reads for board chairs, CEOs, directors and board administrators. With topics ranging from leadership to communication to trust, there’s something here for everyone. So head to your most comfortable reading spot and dive in. 

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

holiday reads for board admins and directors - Thinking, fast and slow

In Thinking, Fast and Slow, world-famous psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics Daniel Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind, explaining the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.  

Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives ―and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. This MAJOR New York Times Bestseller has sold more than 2.6 million copies and was selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. 

Find it on Amazon


Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life) by Thomas Erikson 

holiday reads for board admins and directors - Surrounded by idiots

Communication expert and bestselling author, Thomas Erikson offers a simple, yet ground-breaking method for assessing the personalities of people we communicate with – in and out of the office – based on four personality types (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow), and provides insights into how we can adjust the way we speak and share information. Erikson will help you understand yourself better, hone communication and social skills, handle conflict with confidence, improve dynamics with your boss and team, and get the best out of the people you deal with and manage. Surrounded by Idiots is an international phenomenon, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Find it on Amazon


Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

holiday reads for board admins and directors - Leaders eat last

Acclaimed author of Start with Why and Together is Better, Simon Sinek noticed in his travels around the world that great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.  Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort—even their own survival—for the good of those in their care. This principle has been true since the earliest tribes of hunters and gatherers. It’s not a management theory; it’s biology. 

Our biology hasn’t changed in fifty thousand years, but our environment certainly has. Today’s workplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

Find it on Amazon


Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less by Jim Vany Jim VandeHei,  Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz

holiday reads for board admins and directors - Smart Brevity

Brevity is confidence. Length is fear. This is the guiding principle of Smart Brevity, a communication formula built by Axios journalists to prioritize essential news and information, explain its impact and deliver it in a concise and visual format.  In Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less, Axios co-founders Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz teach readers how to say more with less in virtually any format. They also share lessons learned from their decades of experience in media, business, and communications.

Find it on Amazon


Railroader: The Unfiltered Genius and Controversy of Four-Time CEO Hunter Harrison by Howard Green

holiday reads for board admins and directors - Railroader

Hunter Harrison, the revolutionary railroader from Memphis, dramatically turned four publicly traded companies into cash machines. Starting as a laborer when he was a wayward teenager, Harrison spent a half-century in the rail business and nearly two decades running Illinois Central, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and CSX. Never accepting the status quo, 

Harrison not only renovated established railroads, he forced an industry to shape up. As the pre-eminent proponent of Precision Scheduled Railroading, Harrison created approximately $50 billion in shareholder value. Railroader offers insights into running all businesses and tells the story of this uncompromising leader who both inspired and infuriated.

Find it on Amazon


Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do about It by Max H. Bazerman

holiday reads for board admins and directors - Blind Spots 

In Blind Spots, leading business ethicists Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel examine the ways we overestimate our ability to do what is right and how we act unethically without meaning to. Explaining why traditional approaches to ethics don’t work, the book considers how blind spots like ethical fading–the removal of ethics from the decision–making process–have led to tragedies and scandals such as the Challenger space shuttle disaster, steroid use in Major League Baseball, the crash in the financial markets, and the energy crisis. 

The authors demonstrate how ethical standards shift, how we neglect to notice and act on the unethical behavior of others, and how compliance initiatives can actually promote unethical behavior. They argue that scandals will continue to emerge unless such approaches take into account the psychology of individuals faced with ethical dilemmas. Distinguishing our “should self” (the person who knows what is correct) from our “want self” (the person who ends up making decisions), the authors point out ethical sinkholes that create questionable actions.

Find it on Amazon

On behalf of the team here at Aprio, we wish you a safe and wonderful holiday season. Happy reading!

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