SBJ/20090713/Summer Reading

‘Outliers’ on the beach: Executives take Gladwell on vacation

“What books are you taking with you (to the beach or on vacation) this summer, and why are you looking forward to reading them?”

Dr. Harvey Schiller
President
IBAF and GlobalOptions Group

South of Broad, by Pat Conroy

Spent, by Geoffrey Miller

Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, by Pat Buchanan

John Skipper
Executive Vice President, Content
ESPN

“I just finished the manuscript for Bill Simmons’ ‘The Book of Basketball,’ which is immediately one of the two best books ever written on the NBA.”

“I loved ‘Brooklyn’ by Colm Toibin … and am looking forward to ‘The Blackwater Lightship,’also by Toibin.”

“Because it is his 200th birthday, I am slowly making my way through the ‘Voyage of the Beagle’ by Charles Darwin.”

Zak Brown
Founder and CEO
Just Marketing International

Bernie’s Game: Inside the Formula One World of Bernie Ecclestone, by Terry Lovell. “I’m fascinated by his story and deal-making and how he’s built Formula One into an empire.”

Losing My Virginity, by Richard Branson. “He’s built a very successful global company with a very entrepreneurial spirit.”

Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans, by A.J. Baime. “It’s about the battle between Ford and Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I love reading about competition, especially when marketing competition hits the racetrack!”

Carolyn Bivens
Commissioner
LPGA

Walking With Friends: An Inspirational Year on the PGA Tour, by D.J. Gregory, “who walked every hole of every Tour event last year.”

A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean, by Tori Murden McClure. “She is the first woman to row alone across an ocean. I love reading about modern-day pioneers; they sometimes show up in the most unlikely places!”

Joe Favorito
Sports Media and Marketing Consultant

Pull Up A Chair: The Vin Scully Story, by Curt Smith

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, by T.J. Stiles

Paul Beirne
Senior Director, Business Operations
Toronto FC

Igniting the Third Factor, by Peter Jensen. “Our strength and conditioning coach Paul Winsper is over the moon about this book and will not give me a choice: ‘You must read this book!’”

Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. “Gladwell has an uncanny knack of pointing out the things that once pointed out are as clear as the nose on your face, but are hidden until he does. When reading Gladwell you can’t help but say ‘Oh, yeah!’ after every chapter.”

The Percy Jackson Series, by Rick Riordan. “Thanks to these books, my 9-year-old son, Alec, is the most knowledgeable scholar of Greek mythology. He can talk circles around me. Reading these books will get me on a level playing field!”

Tiki Barber
President, Tiki Ventures / former NFL running back

Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

Awearness: Inspiring Stories about How to Make a Difference, by Kenneth Cole

Scott Atherton
President and CEO
American Le Mans Series

Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. “My wife encouraged me to read it. I was reluctant at first, but what a story. It has redefined the word ‘commitment’ for me.”

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. “I feel like I am the last person to finally read this classic. Don Panoz, the founder of the American Le Mans Series, has been referencing the ‘teachings’ of this book since I met him 10 years ago. With the current unprecedented government involvement in historically private businesses, it appears Ayn’s depiction of fiction in 1957 has a great potential to become factual half a century later. And at 1,368 pages, this will occupy my summer.”

Chris Russo
President
Fantasy Sports Ventures

Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, by Larry Tye

Randy Bernard
Chief Executive Officer

Professional Bull Riders Inc.

Serious Barbecue, by Adam Perry Lang. “Summer reading for me is typically done on planes, but one will be done in the backyard on my barbecue pit. This is a must if you are going to barbecue this summer. I have only read a couple chapters and think I’m an expert already.”

Launching a Leadership Revolution, by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. “I heard this was really good.”

Last is actually a podcast. I am going to download all of Adam Carolla’s podcasts on my iPod and be entertained a little. His shows are great.”

Ilana Kloss
CEO and Commissioner
World TeamTennis

The Scarecrow, by Michael Connelly. “He’s one of my favorite fiction authors.”

Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. “I have heard a lot about this book. It’s fascinating how certain circumstances — such as timing, connections and where you grow up — can play a big role in your path to success.”

Sarah Hirshland
Senior Vice President
Wasserman Media Group

The Gold Standard, by Mike Krzyzewski and Jamie K. Spatola. “Because I’m a Duke grad and Coach K seems to have figured out a few things about leadership and motivation.”

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely. “I’m always curious about factors that drive behavior. And in this economic environment, it seems a particularly relevant time to look at behavioral economics.”

Best Seat in the House: A Father, a Daughter, a Journey Through Sports, by Christine Brennan. “There is so much to learn from reading people’s stories. As a daughter, this one will likely hit close to home.”

John Sergi
Hospitality and Culinary Strategist

The Designful Company, by Marty Neumeier. “My buddy Sam Cooper put me onto this book, a very quick read, what he calls a ‘whiteboard overview.’ I enjoy reading about innovation in any form. In this book, he quotes Sir Francis Bacon as suggesting, ‘He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils for time is the greatest innovator.’ That’s a good one.”

Closing Time: A Memoir, by Joe Queenan. “This is also on my Kindle, and it’s a book my wife recommended. It’s a Philadelphia-based memoir. I’ll start that on the next flight.”

Kelly Perdew
CEO
RotoHog

The Unforgiving Minute, by Craig Mullaney

Hit the Ground Running, by Jason Jennings

Jonathan Venison
Founding Partner
InsideOut Sports & Entertainment

A Legacy of Liberation, by Mark Gevisser. “I lived in South Africa for 10 years as a kid, so I’m always interested in the progress down there.”

The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins. “I was told to read this after enjoying ‘God is Not Great.’”

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins. “An eye-opening read on the U.S. role on the world stage.”

The Yankee Years, by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci. “Irrespective of team allegiance, it would be difficult not to respect what Joe Torre did with those teams.”

Ben Sturner
CEO
The Leverage Agency

Staying Street Smart In the Internet Age, by Mark H. McCormack

Young Guns: The Fearless Entrepreneur’s Guide to Chasing Your Dreams and Breaking Out on Your Own, by Robert Tuchman

Chuck Fletcher
General Manager
Minnesota Wild

Good to Great, by Jim Collins.“It’s one of the best books about leadership and how to take that next step.”

Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire, by Brendan Simms.

Ray Bednar
Senior Vice President and Sports Sponsorship Executive
Bank of America

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, by Alice Schroeder.“The ‘Oracle of Omaha’ is really a study about deliberate, methodic success.”

Treason’s Harbour, by Patrick O’Brian.“Book nine in the Master and Commander series — adventure replete.”

This is the first installment in a series on what top sports executives are reading this summer. The responses were compiled by Assistant Managing Editor Tom Stinson.
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