Looking for a Good Read While Practicing Social Distancing? Baylor Business Professors Share Their Favorites.

April 16, 2020
News Feed - What We're Reading

Why not de-stress AND enrich your business acumen while sheltering in place? Our Baylor Business professors are always diving into great books, so we asked them to share their hand-picked recommendations.

Recommendation by Dr. Dawn Carlson

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

By Bob Iger
Book Cover Of The Ride of a Lifetime

Dawn Carlson, H.R. Gibson Chair of Organizational Development at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, has always benefitted from the experience of others. The best way to learn is from lessons of people who have gone through the experiences in the organizations they worked with, she says. Dr. Carlson likes this book because it chronicles the 46-year career of Bob Iger, who recently stepped down after 15 years as CEO of Walt Disney Company. Starting as a studio manager making $150/week, Iger is recognized with revitalizing Disney/ABC and securing its place as an entertainment leader in the 21st century. The book is a textbook in bold and moral leadership, where Iger discusses everything from his negotiations of major acquisitions to managing the egos and the politics of executives in a major company.

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company
Bob Iger | Random House | Read the review | ISBN 9780399592096


Recommendations by Dr. Mitchell Neubert

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery

By Eric Metaxas
Book Cover of Amazing Grace

Churchill on Leadership: Executive Success in the Face of Adversity

By Stephen F. Hayward
Book Cover of Churchill on Leadership

More Than a Hobby: How a $600 Start-Up Became America's Home and Craft Superstore

By David Green with Dean Merrill

Book Cover of More Than A Hobby

Start Something That Matters

By Blake Mycoskie
Book Cover of Start Something That Matters

Leading from the Second Chair: Serving Your Church, Fulfilling Your Role, and Realizing Your Dreams

By Mike Bonem
Book Cover of Leading from the Second Chair

Mitchell Neubert, Chavanne Chair of Christian Ethics in Business at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, has always been a fan of biographies and the real stories of the accomplishments of leaders. Two of his favorites include Metaxas' book on William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament in the late 1700s and early 1800s. "I loved this inspiring story of a man who challenged the status quo," said Dr. Neubert. "This book is a great way to see the positive impact a person can have, especially during these trying times." Dr. Neubert also recommends Hayward's book about Winston Churchill, who is universally recognized as one of the 20th century's great political leaders. Hayward's book highlights ways Churchill's wise, witty and inspirational leadership style works in the world of commerce, with references to Churchill running Great Britain like a giant corporation. "This book is a great way to comprehend the complexity of strategy and succeeding under pressure," said Dr. Neubert.

For entrepreneurs, Dr. Neubert recommends books about building successful companies. First, Neubert likes David Green's story of turning a $600 loan to make picture frames into Hobby Lobby, a 900+ store enterprise that ignited a billion-dollar arts and crafts industry. Another book Dr. Neubert recommends follows the path of Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes. In what the Wall Street Journal calls, "a creative and open-hearted business model for our times," Mycoskie, chronicles his story and revolutionary business model of combining commerce with social good.

Also, on Dr. Neubert's reading list is Leading from the Second Chair: Serving Your Church, Fulfilling Your Role, and Realizing Your Dreams. This book offers an analysis of the role of leadership in secondary positions, like volunteer organizations.

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery
Eric Metaxas | HarperOne | ISBN13: 9780061173004

Churchill on Leadership: Executive Success in the Face of Adversity
Steven F. Hayward | Crown Forum | ISBN 0761514406

More Than a Hobby: How a $600 Start-Up Became America's Home and Craft Superstore
By David Green with Dean Merrill | Thomas Nelson | ISBN13: 1595559833

Start Something That Matters
Blake Mycoskie | Crown Forum | ISBN 0812985028

Leading from the Second Chair
Mike Bonem | Jossey-Bass | ISBN 078797739X


Recommendation by Dr. Ann Mirabito

Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience

By Stephen S. Hall
Book Cover of Wisdom

Dr. Ann Mirabito, associate professor marketing at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, believes that MBA students should graduate with both the technical skills and corresponding framework to be inspiring, capable, and ethical leaders. Hall's book helps readers to build these competencies. "We recognize wisdom, we admire it, and we may strive to be wise. But what is wisdom?" asks Dr. Mirabito, who appreciates Hall's approach. "He draws on psychology, philosophy, religion and biology to identify eight pillars of wisdom, then wraps up ways we can foster the seeds of wisdom within ourselves and our children."

Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience
Stephen S. Hall | Jossey-Bass | ISBN 078797739X


Recommendation by Dr. Patsy Norman

The Tyranny of Metrics

By Jerry Muller
Book Cover of The Tyranny of Metrics

Dr. Patsy Norman, associate professor of entrepreneurship at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, recommends this practical book which illustrates the over-reliance organizations make in using data metrics. Dr. Norman likes how Muller challenges companies to uncover the damage created by data-driven metrics, recognizing that metrics are best used as a complement to judgment based on personal experience. She says the book offers a look into a rarely questioned trend of data analytics, and that Muller offers good advice for how to couple analysis with human judgment. This book aims to uncover the damage metrics are causing and shows how we can begin to fix the problem.

The Tyranny of Metrics
Jerry Z. Muller | Princeton University Press | ISBN 0691174954


Recommendation by Professor April Rowsey

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

By Cal Newport
Book Cover of Deep Work

April Rowsey, lecturer at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, has recommended Newport's book to several students, all of whom have responded with glowing reviews. Invaluable for those entering the work force, Newport's guide explains how to stay focused in today's highly connected, virtual world—the challenges of which have been brought more keenly into focus in recent weeks. Professor Rowsey believes that today's hyper-distracted work environment—coupled with our own habits—can affect our productivity and capacity for innovation. She found not only support for her own thinking but also found new ideas in Newport's book. Filled with practical advice that moves beyond the predictable "just-stop-checking-Facebook" platitudes, this book provided Professor Rowsey with ideas for managing her career while being a full-time doctoral student with a busy family.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Cal Newport | Grand Central Publishing | ISBN 978-1455586691


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