The CFO Summer 2022 Reading List

Summer is here! The word conjures up thoughts of beaches, barbecues, blockbuster movies and of course reading by the pool or beach! Like all executives, CFOs are avid readers, and many take advantage of the summer to “catch up” on their reading list.

Welcome to my third CFO summer reading list. I learned that CFOs have eclectic tastes in their reading habits. Although they read their share of business books, they also enjoy history, biography, fiction, etc. I asked the members of the CFO Leadership Council on their summer reading recommendations, and their picks are below. Neither I nor Forbes endorse any of the books on the list, but simply share what financial leaders read during lazy, crazy, foggy days of summer.

For the first time, I asked our members to share what intrigues them about the particular books they read. Their selections are below, listed alphabetically by title.

1. 1984 by George Orwell. It was required reading in high school, but I really didn’t make the connection like I do now.

2. The 80/20 CFO by Suzy Taherian. I read this book every year and recommend it to any CFO.

3. Aiming Higher: A Journey Through Military Aviation Leadership by Chris Stricklin. I’m obsessed with leadership books written by fighter pilots right now – my dad was a fighter pilot.

4. All We Can Save – Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson.

5. American Faust by Richard Brown.

6. The Tory Henwood Hoen Arc.

seven. Arriving today by Christopher Mims. How the entire supply chain has changed from start to finish and what that means.

8. Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear. I start by training new recruits with this book, using specific examples.

9. Baby Steps Millionaires by Dave Ramsey. My wife and I are ready to retire in a few years without debt.

10. Battle for the American Spirit: Uprooting a Century of Bad Education by Pete Hegseth and David Goodwin.

11. Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Doing by Tony Fadell. This is the most comprehensive business book I’ve read, especially for those interested in startups and new products. Fadell talks about building products, teams, fundraising, leadership and more.

12. Build Boldly: Chart Your Unique Career Path and Lead With Courage by Bolanle

Williams-Oley. Bolanle has a compelling career history that gives him a unique and valuable perspective on career management.

13. Burn Rate: Starting a Startup and Losing Your Mind by Andy Dunn. Personal and colorful account of a well-known mental health industry founder.

14. CEO Excellence, The Six Mindsets That Set The Best Leaders Apart By Carolyn Dewar.

15. JD Salinger’s Heart Catcher. I read this every summer.

16. The Courage to Move Forward by Bonnie Hagemann & Lisa Pent. Stories of resilience from the world’s most successful businesswomen.

17. Deep Change by Robert Quinn. A classic to assess where you are, who you are and where you are going.

18.Deep Finance: Corporate Finance in the Information Age by Glenn Hopper. A great guide for any leader interested in developing a digital strategy.

19. Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales.

20. Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A confessional by Isaac Fitzgerald. It’s an almost chaotic and very funny collection of essays, which seems like the perfect combination for evasive summer reading!

21. The Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe. A chronicle of the greed and ambition in Oxycodone handouts that plagued America during the Opioid Crisis. A horror story showing why ethics and morals are very important in business.

22. Extreme Ownership – How Us Navy Seals Lead and Win – Jocko Willink. This book is intense and I love it. This is a recommendation from our General Counsel and we will be reading it this summer as a book club with my legal team.

23. Fame and Fortune by Horatio Alger. This is a re-read…just for fun.

24. The Financial Mindset Fix: A Mental Health Program for Abundant Living by Joyce Marter. I’m not one to like self-help books, but I heard Joyce speak and her message resonated with me.

25. The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution is Transforming Currencies and Finance by Eswar S. Prasad I look forward to the author’s thoughts on the impacts of digital currencies on central banks.

26. God and Mammon by Lance Marrow. It’s a helpful reflection on history, money, and race in America.

27. Cake Growth: How Great Companies Offer Both Purpose and Profit, by Alex Edmans I listened to the author and it made me curious about his idea of ​​”providing both purpose and profit”.

28. Here to Lead: Mastering the Art of Leadership to Execute Strategy, Advance Change and Achieve Results, by Kelly Bargabos. Leadership books written by successful CFOs are rare and therefore invaluable.

29. The history of the world in 6 glasses by Tom Standage. It’s fun to read about the drinks we love while taking a history lesson.

30. How Civil Wars Start: And How To Stop Them by Barbara F. Walter. I consider it a “must read” book for anyone in a leadership position and anyone who considers political risk as part of their business risk assessments.

31. Implementation Beyond Budgeting: Unleashing Performance Potential by Bjarte Bogsnes. It should be interesting to compare beyond budgeting with traditional budgeting.

32. Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad.

33. Island of Lost Trees by Elif Shafak. The best book I’ve read in a long time – a story about Cyprus, immigration, relationships, resilience and hope.

34. The Lion Stalkers Guide to Life by Boyd Varty

35. Lost and found in Paris by Lian Dolan

36. The Nantucket Hotel by Elin Hilderbrand

37. Story and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business by Aswath Damodaran. One of my favorite authors, I often use his tools.

38. Throw to Win: Strategies for Success by Mindy Barker. A great guide for anyone looking to raise capital for a small business.

39. The Psycho CEO, A Survival Guide for Executives by Jack McCullough. Unfortunately, I find myself working for a CEO who seems to possess most of the traits of psychopaths.

40. POWERFUL: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord. A fantastic read on creating a culture of accountability at Netflix.

41. Reality-Based Leadership – Ditch the Drama, Restore Workplace Sanity, and Turn Excuses into Results by Cy Wakeman. I’m a long time Wakeman follower and love his No Drama leadership philosophy. She has a powerful perspective on taking responsibility and driving your team to greatness.

42. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover.

43. Training Partners by John Grisham. Summer Fiction? Nobody does it better.

44. The Speed ​​of Trust by Stephen MR Covey –I direct a direct report through this book.

45. The Surge: A Glimpse into the Rapid Evolution of Corporate Governance in China and the Coming ESG Revolution by Lyndsey Zhang. This is one of those books that you will come back to often. If you’re an American executive learning to do business in China, start here.

46. ​​Traction by Gino Wickman.

47. Tribes by Sebastian Junger. Great read for all leaders to understand how to ultimately create a collaborative/loyal culture.

48. Trust and Inspire by Stephen MR Covey. What’s more important to a CFO than trust?

49. Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone.

50. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. In search of old wisdom for the present day.

51. Why Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.

52. You’re a Badass – How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living a Great Life by Jen Sincero. As someone who struggles with impostor syndrome daily, this book is always on my bedside table as a reminder to get out of my own way.

Interestingly, only one author (Stephen MR Covey) has two books listed, only one book (Build Boldly) has been listed by more than one CFO. Whether it’s thought leadership, self-improvement, fiction, world history, or just reading basic articles from our high school and college years, financial leaders have a wide range of skills. literary interests.

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