SBJ/July 18-22, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Executives and sports figures talk about what they’ll be reading on vacation this summer

BILL ROBERTSON
Robertson
VP of communications and broadcasting,
Minnesota Sports & Entertainment

“Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years,” by David Talbot
I am so fascinated with the story of Jack Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy working together in the White House in the early ’60s in the Camelot years. Interesting how they worked so well together when so many wanted to see them fail. Jack and Bobby both changed the face of history with many historic moves as the premier leaders of the United States.
“1961*: The Inside Story of the Maris-Mantle Home Run Chase,” by Phil Pepe
I am a huge Roger Maris fan and wanted to find out more about the incredible 1961 New York Yankees season and the roommates’ back-and-forth assault on Babe Ruth’s historic single-season home run record.
“The Power of Who: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know,” by Bob Beaudine
Bob Beaudine is one of the premier sports and business recruiters in the United States, who always has high energy. The book is a must to help readers effectively build, grow and sustain business and personal relationships.
“Networking Is a Contact Sport: How Staying Connected and Serving Others Will Help You Grow Your Business, Expand Your Influence — or Even Land Your Next Job,” by Joe Sweeney
Joe gives real-life stories on networking in today’s competitive business climate while helping build key contacts and greater opportunities for business and personal success.
“Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story,” by John Feinstein
John Feinstein is one of the top sportswriters of all time. I read all his sports books as he captures any sports setting so colorfully. “Caddy for Life” is more about the personal relationship between hall of fame PGA golfer Tom Watson and his caddie, Bruce Edwards, who later in life suffered from ALS. Tom and Bruce became best of friends, and the book shows all the incredible moments they shared together.

KATHERINE CORNELIUS-JONES
Senior director of consulting and research, rEvolution
Cornelius-Jones
“Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10,”
by Marcus Luttrell
After hearing about the heroic efforts of SEAL Team 6
taking down Osama Bin Laden in May, I became even more
intrigued to read the story of SEAL Team 10 and Marcus Luttrell’s personal account of the mission that went horribly wrong in Afghanistan. It’s an amazing story of survival. This book deepened my appreciation for our special forces and our military men and women sacrificing for our country.
“The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett
This novel will be my summer beach or poolside choice of the summer. Several good reviews from my friends indicate this is a story not to miss. I definitely need to read it before the movie version gets released in August.

CHRIS LENCHESKI
CEO, Phoenicia Sport & Entertainment
Lencheski
“The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,” by Michael Lewis
“Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story,” by Peter Guber
“Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped,” by Dean Budnick and Josh Baron
“No Angel: The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone,” by Tom Bower

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:
LARRY BONFANTE

Chief Information Officer,
U.S. Tennis Association

When Larry Bonfante wrote a book about information technology, he chose to focus on the human side. By doing so, “Lessons in IT Transformation” focuses on some things that don’t always come naturally to IT executives, such as relationship management and communicating the value of IT. The book was published in May.
Bonfante, whose team handles all IT-related services supporting the U.S. Open, says he wrote the book after “seeing talented IT executives who have great technical and business skills struggle because they did not have the expertise in human dynamics to drive transformational change.”

What he’s reading:

Bonfante
“Life,”
by Keith Richards and James Fox
I am passionate about rock music, and besides the guy is like a dog — he’s crammed enough experiences for seven lives into one lifetime!
“Unleashing the Power of IT: Bringing People, Business, and Technology Together,” by Dan Roberts
Excellent book on leveraging technology to drive business value.
“Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It,” by Marshall Goldsmith
One of my favorite authors. He always brings a fresh and relevant perspective on leadership development.


JOHN SKIPPER
EVP of content, ESPN
Skipper
The summer is a time for big books so I intend to finish “The Pale King,” by David Foster Wallace, “The Autobiography of Mark Twain,” and read everything on Grantland.com. That should be about a million words, give or take a hundred thousand.

MATT FARRELL
CMO, USA Swimming
Farrell
“Deane Beman: Golf’s Driving Force,”
by Adam Schupak
Our executive director, Chuck Wielgus, bought a copy for every employee at USA Swimming. Looks like a great insight into the PGA Tour with lessons for other sports properties.
“The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime,” by Jason Turbow and Michael Duca
Looks like an interesting angle on the game that doesn’t show up on “SportsCenter” or the box score.
“The Hypnotist,” by Lars Kepler
A total escape from sports.
“Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN,” by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales
Insight into the company and personalities we have all watched for years, and feel like we know.
“Bossypants,” by Tina Fey
What is summer without a little bit of candy?

SARAH HIRSHLAND

SVP, Wasserman Media Group
Hirshland
“Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul,” by Howard Schultz and Joanne Gordon
I’m a Starbucks fan (OK, addict maybe) and look forward to gaining some perspective on staying true to one’s brand while evolving and growing.
“Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation,” by Tim Brown
The sports industry can learn a lot from those who think about consumer experiences the way Tim and his team do.
“One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer,” by Nathaniel Fick
We recently saw him speak, and his perspective is fascinating and thought-provoking.

LENNY DANIELS
EVP/COO, Turner Sports
Daniels
“Decision Points,”
by George W. Bush
Former President Bush’s memoir. I find it fascinating what happens behind closed doors in business and politics, and this book gives many insights into the thought processes around many decisions.
“Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN,” by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales
I worked at ESPN from 1992 to ’95, and it’s fun to relive many of the stories. The “bulging discs” “SportsCenter” I directed was probably the most I’ve ever laughed. Don’t know how we continued the show!
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