Top 10 summer reads for boards of directors - Aprio
Open book at the beach
June 26, 2019
Ian Warner

Top 10 summer reads for boards of directors

Summer has arrived – hopefully with the luxury of some more reading time. To keep you inspired, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top recommended articles and books from the past year, plus some “oldies but goodies” to consider for your reading list. From topics covering leadership and collaboration to good governance, there’s something here for everyone.

Here’s our 2019 list of 10 recommended summer reads for board chairs, board members, corporate secretaries, and board administrators:

How to Be a Good Board Chair

Guidance from the Harvard Business Review on supporting your board members with a combination of restraint, patience, and availability. This article makes an interesting distinction between “teaming” and “team building” and emphasizes the role of committee work in a board’s success.

Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More

Based on research from a five-year study of thousands of managers and employees, author and management professor Morten T. Hansen identifies “seven work smarter practices” for maximizing time and performance. The Washington Post listed this as one of the top 11 leadership books of 2018.

The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance 

A Business Insider recommendation, this book delves into improving the quality of meetings by discussing meeting derailers and presenting solutions based on scientific evidence. Author Steven G. Rogelberg writes that meetings are essential for teams and organizations but we need to rid ourselves of “bad meetings, wasted time in meetings, and unnecessary meetings.” He proposes solutions based on 15 years of research. 

Power Up: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy

Entrepreneur and investor Magdalena Yeşil immigrated to the United States from Turkey in 1976 and made a name for herself as a pioneer in the tech world by founding companies and serving on a number of boards. In this book, she shares wisdom and insight based on her experiences in Silicon Valley. Some key takeaways are on topics such as owning career choices while managing risk, getting credit for your work, managing sexual dynamics, and recruiting allies in the movement toward a supportive workplace for everyone.

HBR’s 10 Must Reads for CEOs 

As CEO, you set the vision, the strategy, and the tone of your organization.” From Harvard Business Review’s popular Must Reads series, this volume is one of Amazon’s bestsellers on corporate governance. It’s a collection of HBR’s 10 best articles on managing risk and innovation, relationship building with staff and board members, as well as attracting and retaining top talent.

The Imperfect Board Member: Discovering the Seven Disciplines of Governance Excellence 

“Finally! A book about boards that isn’t boring!” That’s one review from Patrick Lencioni – author, consultant, and expert on leadership and organizational health. In this book by the co-founder of Strive! leadership development firm, Jim Brown describes how boards and directors can improve their performance. He touches on both corporate and not-for-profit governance. 

Corporate Boards: New Strategies for Adding Value at the Top

Here’s a book on building effective boards that is just as influential as when it was first published in 2001. Experts on management, leadership, and organizational behaviour explore the role of boards in the 21st century and reveal practices and behaviours that lead to effective governance. 

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

Another classic from 2001 that keeps popping up on lists of recommended reading. How does a good company become a great company? Jim Collins, backed by the work of a 20-member research team, provides answers based on a five-year study of top performing companies. He also discusses the concept of Level 5 Leadership.

Developing the Leader Within You 2.0

Recommended by BookAuthority as one of the 5 best leadership books to read in 2019, this is a revised and updated edition of John Maxwell’s book from 25 years ago. He covers principles for inspiring, motivating, and influencing others. This edition includes two new chapters and additional insight based on learnings in the years since the original book was published.

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World 

For a read to really challenge your thinking, former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas examines the role of the rich and powerful in the context of philanthropy and inequality in society. The Guardian calls it “a spirited examination of the hubris and hypocrisy of the super-rich who claim they are helping the world.”

Speed reader? Check out more on our 2018 Top Summer Reads List.

The team at Aprio would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers – we truly appreciate your business. We look forward to helping future customers with innovative board portal software to make running board meetings and communicating with directors as easy as it gets. Best wishes for a wonderful summer! 

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