One of the things all great leaders have in common is a love of reading. Reading books is one of life’s simple pleasures that allows you to access the ideas, experiences and thoughts of others in a very deep way. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, books are the mind’s fuel.

Reading is also a great conversation starter and a way for you to connect with important customers, friends and family. Ask others what they are reading. Talk about great reads you have found that they might enjoy or even find useful for their business. Summer is a great excuse to grab a book and read on the beach or during vacation.

I have a habit of reading several books at a time, and my current reading list is the following:

Why these books?

As I was checking my titles and creating the list for this post, it occurred to me that I had some common themes emerge from my selections that I think you will find useful.

First, growth and customer focus: Michael Treacy opens his book with this quote: “Growth is the oxygen of business. Growing companies thrive; shrinking companies die.” This happens to be one of the most critical roles of a CEO / CFO / managing partner today. His book talks about the five disciplines required for growing companies. Outside Innovation deals with creating customer-centric businesses.

Second, the common denominator among the rest of the titles is all about people (managing four generations in the workforce) and technology. Better yet, it’s about harnessing people and technology to build customer-centric businesses (which should be equal growth). Even Snow Crash is full of cool technology and relates to our probe into using Second Life.

The other thing I realized is that I have met three of these authors at conferences I have attended — Patty Seybold, Don Tapscott, and Cam Marston.

I will post more thoughts as I read these and let you know if they really are related.

What is on your reading list? Why did you pick them? Any recommendations?

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