Reading list 2017

I was lazy the previous years. In 2017 I re-started to read a bit more regularly. It’s not a lot, but hey – here’s what I got to.

I started the year with The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by
William Thorndike. It is a great read to understand Capital Allocation, how some companies work within that framework, and get insight into how challenging it is, as well as understanding benefits for those who believe in it long-term.

The I moved into something more practical. Turn The Ship Around!: A True Story of Building Leaders by Breaking the Rules by L. David Marquet. It was practical and at the right time for me since the idea presented in this book was a hype at the organization I was part of. But independently of it, the book contains a lot of hands-on ideas for leaders at any level. Especially the early sections where Marquet elaborates on his failures in leadership.

Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World by Adam Grant gives insight into some success stories that are never told. He frames them in how those people had to bypass conventional methods and surprise their surroundings with their approach. He calls this group of people Originals.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey is my favorite read from 2017. It influenced me a lot. It made me talk a lot about it in my family. Like the habit of Begin with the End in Mind, which asks the challenging question of what your friends will talk at your funeral. It’s a must read for those who want to think deeply of what they want to achieve in their life, and also have a framework at hand to make the first step.

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott is a reminder how important it is to give honest and useful feedback. Actually not just a reminder, but clearly giving you a lot of reasons for feedback. The verdict is, the more you like a person, the more honest and frequent should be your feedback. This helps your friends to advance.

The title says it all, I just had to get it – Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography by Richard Branson. I already read Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life a few years back, and Finding My Virginity continues where it left off. Typical Branson style, it’s an amusing read, but also very inspiring what a single person can achieve – from holding various world records to starting over 400 companies to becoming a good friend of Nelson Mandela.

I concluded the year with Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone by
Satya Nadella. I already admired Satya Nadella on his achievements to turn around the image of such a large company in his first months as CEO at Microsoft. The story gives insight how he achieved it. And the insights from his personal life explain a lot why he acts the way he acts.