It’s often said that people who continue to read throughout adulthood find success in various aspects of their lives.
Case in point, the Wisconsin 275 have shared a diverse list of books they think every person should take the time to read. From books offering tips for business leaders to those sharing advice for musky fishermen, there’s something on the list to pique the interest of almost anyone.
Here’s a breakdown of what some of Wisconsin’s most influential business leaders have enjoyed reading.
Imran A. Andrabi, president and CEO of Thedacare
“'Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't' by Jim Collins. It changed my life. The concepts are unshakable and eternal.”
Kevin Anderson, market president of Old National Bank
“'David & Goliath' by Malcolm Gladwell. This is a wonderful book that provides examples and reminds us that perceived disadvantages are not what they appear to be. A great reminder for all of us in life.”
Rick Barrett, chief executive officer of Barrett Lo Visionary Development
“'Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike' by Phil Knight. It is a tale of true grit and perseverance. I really think it is a great read and if you have the opportunity, you should definitely read this book.”
Todd Battle, past president of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, current director of industrial development at Zilber Property Group
“'Good to Great' by Jim Collins. Very thorough and thought-provoking research on the defining character traits and habits of exceptional leaders.”
Brad Binkowski, founder and operating manager of Urban Land Interests Inc.
“'The Boys in the Boat' which is the true story of building a team that believed in and rowed for each other. After overcoming daunting personal challenges and difficulties, the boys defeated the favored German team to win a Gold Medal in the 1939 Olympics.”
Ken Bockhorst, chairman, president and CEO of Badger Meter
“'The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All.' The title effectively describes why it should be read.”
Tom Boldt, chief executive officer of The Boldt Company
“'Sand County Almanac' by Aldo Leopold. It talks about taking care of the land and taking care of human relationships.”
Fabio Bordignon, general manager of Fincantieri Marinette Marine
"'Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.' Lasting success does not come from fighting direct competition in a small pool but rather from creating 'blue ocean,' or untapped market spaces.”
Ellen Censky, president and CEO of Milwaukee Public Museum
“I have three that together have influenced my thought – 'Collapse: How Societies Choose to Succeed or Fail' by Jared Diamond; 'Last Child in the Woods' by Richard Louv; and 'Braiding Sweetgrass' by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Tina Chang, chief executive officer of SysLogic Inc.
“'The 5 Love Languages' and 'The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.' It is an easy read and has been immensely helpful in understanding how to meet people where they are -- both personally and at work.”
Hector Colon, chief executive officer of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
“'The Ideal Team Player.' The virtues of hungry, humble and smart (emotional intelligence) and the approach with teams resonates with me."
Craig Dickman, managing director of Titletown Tech
“'The Innovators' by Walter Isaacson. As someone who grew up as the digital age emerged – and whose first computer was a Tandy TRS-80 – the exploration of the people behind the creation of the computer, internet and digital revolution was fascinating.”
Jason Fields, president and CEO of Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP)
“'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu.”
Louie Gentine, CEO of Sargento Foods
“'Goodnight Moon.' (It’s the) best book to read to your children before bedtime!”
Dustin Hinton, president and CEO Wisconsin and Michigan, United Healthcare
“'Time on the Water' by Bill Gardner. No, it's not a business book. It is a classic fishing book describing the exhilaration and frustration of musky fishing. The author also takes you on a journey of the Northwoods of Wisconsin which hits home for so many.”
Eric Hovde, chief executive officer of Hovde Properties
“Everyone should read the Bible as it’s the most impactful book in human history. On the business side, 'Dying of Money' shows how governments can destroy economies through excessive spending and money printing, which is very relevant to where we are today.”
Alan Kaplan, chief executive officer of UW Health
“'Leading Change' by John Kotter. I refer to it whenever I am leading large-scale change. It always offers useful steps for success. I also like ‘Mushrooming with Confidence’ by Alexander Schwab. I like to forage, but you can’t forage (or lead) if you’re dead.”
Lyle Landowski, president and CEO of Colliers
“Every person/young professional (should read) ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.’ It is arguably the most complete and important personal development book ever written. It is packed with timeless wisdom and real application that will make you happier and more successful.”
Jim Paetsch, senior vice president and executive director of the Milwaukee 7
“'All the Light We Cannot See' by Anthony Doerr, which is one of the few books I've read twice. A portrait of humanity and resilience - the best of us under the worst of circumstances.”
Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children's Wisconsin
“'Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High' is a book that has helped me at home and at work. It’s a number of years old now, but I think its lessons are even more important today. We can all use help in listening for understanding.”
Carrie Thome, managing director of NVNG Investment Advisors, LLC
“'Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling' by Edgar Shein, possibly because it was just given to me and is top of mind but the title really says it all in a world where everyone wants to tell you something.”
David Reeves, executive in residence at Marquette University
“I am currently finishing ‘American Creation’ by Joseph Ellis. It qualifies because it covers the birth of America in manner that removes the mythical and shows the founders as they really were. Surprisingly the politics of the day are still with us today.”
Robert Pierce, executive director of Neighborhood Food Solutions
“'Farming While Being Black.' It would give everybody a good understanding of the hardships of the Black community doing what they have done for centuries.”
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