SBJ/July 22-28, 2013/People and Pop Culture

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





MICHAEL VERLATTI

CMO and executive vice president, JHE Production Group

“The Eagle’s Secret,” by David McNally
I picked this book because the JHE business coach, Terry Ainsworth, suggested it. I’m excited to read it because it encourages success in both your business and personal life.
“Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson
I picked this book because I love technology. I am amazed by Jobs’ entrepreneurial spirit, his ability to see the future and how far ahead of his time he was.
“Halftime,” by Bob Buford
This book is about “moving from success to significance.” It talks about how the first half of your life is about working for the position, title and money while the second half of your life is about working for a purpose.
“No Easy Day,” by Mark Owen
This book is about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Working with the military as frequently as we do at JHE has created a love of all things military. We’ve worked with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, special operations, 82nd Airborne Division and more. I imagine some of the assets that were used during the search came from similar units.

ROBYN MILLER
Senior vice president of marketing, Tennis Channel

“Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” by Sheryl Sandberg
So much has been written about this book by Facebook’s chief operating officer. As a working mother I’m looking forward to gleaning her insights and using them to ensure that the women on our marketing team fearlessly take advantage of life’s opportunities.
“The Outsider: A Memoir,” by Jimmy Connors
Even if Jimmy hadn’t worked with Tennis Channel I would still want to read this revealing look at the life of an American sports icon. I think it will be fascinating to learn what makes him tick.
“And the Mountains Echoed,” by Khaled Hosseini
I love Hosseini’s writing, and this is his first book in six years. I’m a big fan of his “The Kite Runner” and the way he explores cross-generational family sagas and the ways critical life decisions propel our destinies.
“Maya’s Notebook,” by Isabel Allende
I’m captivated by stories about other cultures and enjoy learning how different people survive and persist in the face of enormous challenges.

JIM O’CONNELL
Chief sales officer, NASCAR

“Bruce,” by Peter Carlin
Recent biography of Bruce Springsteen, one of the all-time great songwriters/performers and a true Jersey guy.
“The Lords of Discipline,” by Pat Conroy
I’ve read this book a few times, and always enjoy rereading. Pat Conroy is the best storyteller around, and the themes of loyalty, trust, honor and friendship always resonate.
“American Sniper,” by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
The story of an American hero, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. It is humbling to read his life story.

FRED MANGIONE
Chief marketing officer, Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets

“Loudmouth,” by Craig Carton
I start my morning drive with him every day. He just makes me laugh, and I don’t know why. He is a guilty pleasure.
“Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” by Phil Jackson
He coached the best of the best and knew how to manage different personalities.



BRIAN NICCOL
President, Taco Bell

“The Match,” by Mark Frost
I’m a 6-handicap golfer and I love the game, golf architecture and golf history. This match transformed the way people see golf; so, connecting the dots, if you can do this to grow the game of golf for generations, it brings to light possible solutions in business — find ways you can change perceptions, transform the way people see your brand.
“The Power of Habit,” by Charles Duhigg
I have always been interested in why people do what they do, because, ultimately, we’re in the business of creating new habits or changing habits. This book will be especially helpful in helping to build the brand’s Cantina Bell and breakfast menus. We’re trying to define what the cue is that sets that routine and what the reward should be to get them to come back. “The Power of Habit” will help the team formulate this strategy.
“Talent Is Overrated,” by Geoff Colvin
I’m always looking for how you can get the best performance out of your organization. Success is about discipline: If you want to be the best, you don’t just have talents — you have to practice a lot. An example: Tiger wasn’t just a talented golfer; he’d been practicing since age 2. And it can be said of most athletes, which is why the brand is such a big fan, and partnered with sports entities and leagues.

LEE REED
Athletic director, Georgetown University

“College (Un)Bound,” by Jeffrey Selingo
Just as we are at an inflection point in college athletics, so too is American higher education. The challenges facing higher education will have direct impact on college athletics.
“Drive,” by Daniel Pink
Extremely relevant to college athletics as we try to better understand what motivates student athletes, coaches and staff.
“The Hit,” by David Baldacci
I just really like all of his novels. Great thrillers that keep you engaged and turning the pages.

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