Most successful CEOs and executives are readers. Feeding your curiosity is as important for your growth as reading about business.

What have you read lately that you found interesting – inquiring minds want to know – or at least I do if you are willing to share.

I read about “The Geography of Genius” by Eric Weiner and it sounded interesting. Who thinks of geography as an aspect of genius? And in the first chapters, I wondered. Then the ideas began to coalesce.

On management and HR:
“Michelangelo was a sculptor when chosen to paint the Sistine Chapel ceilings.” The concept then was to choose someone clearly talented and assign a huge, impossible task. Now we minimize risk-taking — we want the perfect candidates who have already done our job before we hire.

On creativity:
“Foreign born immigrants in USA are 13% of the population, one-third of all patents, and 25% of US Nobel Laureates.” Why? ‘Unusual and unexpected events, actively experienced, lead to cognitive flexibility in those open to new experiences and thinking.’ Our reactions to constraints fuel creativity.

“Corporations spend huge sums of money on workshops designed to help employees thing more creatively…. (which is) futile if the environment in which they work is not receptive to new ideas.”

Read this book for some ideas of your own on how to break constraints and grow yourself and others. It reminded me that I need to remain curious and open to new things to feed my growth.


No Ordinary Disruption by Richard Dobs, James Manyika, & Jonathan Woetzel is a more classic ‘business book. Much of it is based on the work of the McKinsey Global Institute.
“The rise of emerging markets, the accelerating impact of technology on the natural forces of market competition, the aging world population, and the flows of trade, capital, ane people are simultaneously exercising a radical and transformative impact on businesses and economies around the world.”

This book offers some good reminders and a few surprising insights into the wave of change we are living in and how many of us are resistant to the changes. While we know that people want to keep the status quo rather than change; in my experience, most of us think it applies to other people. Reading this will make you more aware of your own biases. Helpful in looking around and seeing what changes in your business could help you grow and prosper during this time that loves ‘disruption’ – in other people’s businesses.

These two books do actually make several of the same points related to people, creativity, and constraints. The first is more stories and the second more statistics/data but the picture both paint is future-oriented.