Stanton Chase
“Booking Up” Summer 2023: Essential Executive Reads Curated by Stanton Chase Nashville

“Booking Up” Summer 2023: Essential Executive Reads Curated by Stanton Chase Nashville

May 2023


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Leaders are readers; keep your edge by soaking up some sun and knowledge this summer.

The end of the school year and graduations are upon us, and the unofficial start of summer has begun.

Each year, Stanton Chase Nashville compiles an Annual Summer Reading List, where the Stanton Chase Nashville team selects various genres and titles ranging from self-improvement, both personally and professionally, to fictitious stories that will get your imagination roaring.

This year’s selection is packed full of must-reads that won’t disappoint. Whether you are lounging by the pool, kicking back on your porch, or anywhere else where you’re in need of a good book, we are certain these selections will keep you stocked with high-quality reading material throughout the warmest months of the year.

Daniel Casteel, Managing Partner at Stanton Chase Nashville

The Road Less Stupid by Keith J Cunningham

Cunningham pulls back the curtain on “dumb mistakes,” pushing you to confront your biggest flub ups in business and investing. (Don’t worry. He keeps it positive!)

The author brilliantly sheds light on how to make great decisions and minimize risks. From excellent examples to his “Thinking Time” questions, this book is a great way to get inspired and fired up to make the best business decisions possible — starting with reading the book itself.

Ken Nimitz, Managing Partner at Stanton Chase Nashville and Global Vice Chair, Finance

Shackleton’s Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer by Stephanie Capparell and Margot Morrell

History is full of doomed expeditions — especially when it comes to explorers searching for the unknown.

Ernest Shackleton’s trailblazing trip to Antarctica a century ago is the poster child of a trip gone south, with one exception: everyone survives the ordeal.

This book traces the events of Shackleton’s harrowing adventure, emphasizing his leadership and how those key soft skills helped him guide his doomed team back to safety without sacrificing their lives, health, or spirits along the way.

Heidi Tieslau, Director at Stanton Chase Nashville and Regional Practice Leader ESG, North America

The ONE Thing by Gary Keller

The ONE Thing is an inspiring book for those looking to achieve success. Written by the co-founder of Keller Williams Realty, this book offers practical advice on how to eliminate distractions and focus on what truly matters in your life.

It emphasizes the importance of simplicity and provides a helpful framework for putting this concept into practice, allowing you to prioritize your goals and increase your productivity.

With this book, you will learn how to achieve the results you desire by focusing on The ONE Thing that matters most.

Olivier Van Dierdonck, Director at Stanton Chase Nashville

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder

Red Notice is a timely non-fiction book described as a “financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade” that takes place in Russia just after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The author, Bill Browder, is the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management and was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005.

In 2009, his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was murdered in prison after uncovering a $230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials. Since then, Browder has led a campaign to expose Russia’s endemic corruption and human rights abuses.

Kevin McGonigle, Director at Stanton Chase Nashville

What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

What the Dog Saw bundles together Malcolm Gladwell’s favorite articles from the New Yorker since he joined as a staff writer in 1996.

The book has three sections. The first deals with what he calls obsessives and minor geniuses. The second covers flawed ways of thinking. The third focuses on how we make predictions about people. (Will they make a good employee? Are they capable of great works of art? Are they the local serial killer?)

Gladwell chronicles diverse individuals such as the inventor of hair dye, Cesar Millan (the American “Dog Whisperer” behind the title piece), and Nassim Taleb, the US banker who turned his nose up at the investment strategies of George Soros and Warren Buffet, making himself a pile of money in the process.

Gladwell’s dissections of the collapse of Enron and the causes of the Challenger space shuttle disaster are fascinating, as well. Throughout all of these stories, the common theme is seeing the world through the eyes of others — even if the other happens to be a dog.

Al Smith, Director at Stanton Chase Nashville

Lead Like It Matters by Craig Groeschel

Lead Like It Matters is a valuable guide on how to maintain focus on your vision, irrespective of successes or failures that you may encounter along the way.

It presents seven essential leadership principles that are integral to the growth of any collaborative and partnership-driven operation. These principles have the potential to either transform or reinforce your leadership style, depending on what is required, to lead people towards a shared objective, regardless of the challenges.

Tim Fetzer, Director at Stanton Chase Nashville

Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers by Benjamin Alamar

Sports Analytics provides an in-depth look at how data analytics is changing the world of sports.

The author, Benjamin Alamar, founded the “Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports” — the first journal that prioritized and dedicated itself to sports statistics.

Alamar uses this rich history in sports data analysis to offer insights into how coaches and managers can use data to make better decisions.

Richard Ballard, Director at Stanton Chase Nashville

The Greatest Communicator: What Ronald Reagan Taught Me About Politics, Leadership, and Life by Dick Wirthlin

The Greatest Communicator is written from the perspective of Dick Wirthlin, pollster and chief political strategist for Ronald Reagan.

Wirthlin was employed by Reagan from his early days as California governor to the end of his political career. During that time, he became a good friend and admirer of the Governor and two-time President and was often privy to Reagan’s most personal moments.

Wirthlin digs into how the American leader’s gift with words and his care for people gave him power in his value-driven approach to leadership.

Susie Smart, Director of Research at Stanton Chase Nashville

Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven

William H. McRaven, a retired US Naval Officer, authored Make Your Bed.

It highlights an essential lesson that the small accomplishments in life serve as stepping stones towards achieving bigger goals. It emphasizes the importance of starting every day with a sense of achievement, no matter how insignificant the task is, and using it as a foundation to build upon. This approach leads to personal and professional growth.

Susie found Make Your Bed to be a helpful guide in raising her daughters.

Lacy Prairie, Researcher at Stanton Chase Nashville

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, known as the “Marsh Girl”, who grows up as a wild and unkempt youth in a North Carolinian coastal town. Her mother and siblings leave their abusive father, and eventually, Kya is left alone to fend for herself.

The book follows her ups and downs as she struggles to survive, learn to read, and catch the eye of two men in town, despite being an outcast. However, her fragile life is shaken when a body is discovered in the marshes, and Kya becomes the prime suspect.

To fight for justice and the life she wants, she relies on her intelligence and dream of advancement. Despite the challenges, her story is ultimately hopeful.

Allison Jackson, Researcher at Stanton Chase Nashville

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

In Braiding Sweetgrass, Professor Robin Wall Kimmerer speaks from the unique viewpoint of an Indigenous woman, a botanist, and a poet.

The author blends together a unique retelling of the mysteries of nature through unmatched prose. She connects the spiritual and the scientific from the perspective of a mother, daughter, granddaughter, and friend.

“It is a compelling read, a call to action, and one of the most important works I’ve ever read in my entire life,” said Allison.

Rebecca Buchanan, Managing Partner, Operations, at Stanton Chase Nashville

The Lifegiving Table by Sally Clarkson

On the surface, this book seems siloed for a professional homemaker. However, it emphasizes the importance of community connection through practical and actionable takeaways.

“As a working mom of two young children, I found myself doubting how relatable the message would be in my stage of life. Despite my doubts, I was blown away by Sally Clarkson’s ability to dissect and articulate relationship-building tactics that are transferrable across dinner tables, community forums, and even the workplace — where I find myself quoting nuggets of Clarkson-infused wisdom from this book on a regular basis,” said Rebecca.

Leslie McCann, Office Manager at Stanton Chase Nashville

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged is a modern classic and a transformative novel. It urges you to reflect on your life, beliefs, politics, social standing, and the direction of the world and its people.

“I would encourage everyone to read it at least once. If you haven’t yet, this summer is the time to do so,” said Leslie.

Stacie Ludford, Senior Associate at Stanton Chase Nashville

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir recounts how a thirty-year-old woman made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, a house in the country, a career) to find what she truly wanted out of life.

Gilbert embarked alone on a year-long journey to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures. She explored the art of pleasure in Italy, experienced the art of devotion in India, and finally found a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Silenia Nunez, Associate at Stanton Chase Nashville

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White

You may be familiar with the bestselling book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book takes that same approach but applies it to the workplace, specifically focusing on the area of appreciation. It looks at why appreciation is necessary and how various forms lead to employee satisfaction and overall success for a company.

Gary Chapman teams up with Paul White to empower organizations through wonderful techniques backed by data and testimonies. There’s more to appreciation than just saying “thank you”, and the benefits are encouraging to all parties involved.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace shows how personal communication and recognition outside of performance, can lead to workers feeling valued.

Jonathan Blackburn, Associate at Stanton Chase Nashville

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

Sometimes it’s nice to detach from the grand stories, places, and things and read something simple and beautiful. This is a collection of letters written from an older, seasoned poet, to a young person just starting out.

It includes beautiful takes on life, creativity, passion, and ambition, all passed down from wisdom to youth.

“It’s a really short read, but I took my time and really enjoyed it. I encourage you to do the same this summer,” said Jonathan.

Jon Hunter, Team Leader at Stanton Chase Nashville

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

“This book was introduced to me by one of my mentors, who has also become a great friend,” said Jon.

The simple goal of Getting Things Done is to refine the process of selecting, clearing, and managing tasks. The book outlines unique workflows that you can easily implement in aspects of your life.

Getting Things Done’s strategy centers itself around a five-stage process designed to help you categorize a new item coming into your system. This process consists of Capture, Clarify, Organize, Reflect, and Engage. The stages are the bread and butter of the book.

The author explores many other themes, such as the Getting Things Done workflow, implementation, perspective, and other tips to support your workflow.

Quinton Poole, Recruiter at Stanton Chase Nashville

Discipline is Destiny by Ryan Holiday

Holiday contends that our ability to manage our desires and remain focused on our goals is ultimately what decides the course of our lives. We may attain success, not only in our careers but in all aspects of our life, if we cultivate the skills and mindset of self-discipline.

“I strongly recommend Discipline Is Destiny to everyone who wants to develop their self-control and reach their goals. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or simply someone trying to live a more satisfying life, this book will provide you with useful insights and practical tips to help you along the way,” said Quinton.

CJ Forget, Recruiter at Stanton Chase Nashville

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit is one of my favorite books because it accurately depicts how we are all creatures of habit,” said CJ. “Duhigg’s insights have benefited me both professionally and personally. For a long period of my life, I struggled to break negative habits. After reading this book, I realized that even though harmful habits are widespread, it is still vital to fight them. I realized the value of productivity, a balanced diet, exercise, positive repetition, and reaching maximum achievement, all of which has shaped me into a successful professional.”

Will Fuller, Recruiter at Stanton Chase Nashville

Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom

As the name implies, “Superintelligence” is a book on artificial intelligence (AI).

It is straightforward in that it looks at AI not only as a wonderful tool for mankind but also as a potentially destructive force.

Bostrom isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions, including the big one: what if machines become smarter than people?

Leadership Insights from World-Class Leadership Experts

When summer comes to an end, it will be time to head back to the office, and some of us might realize the need for leadership advice. That is where Stanton Chase comes in.

Stanton Chase offers a wide range of services to help you with your leadership needs. Our services include executive search, executive assessment, board assessment, succession planning, and leadership consulting to take you to the next level.

Click here to get in touch with one of our consultants.

To learn more about Stanton Chase Nashville and the consultants who contributed to this article, click here.

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