Iron sharpens iron and rarely will you find a leader who has not sharpened their leadership — or life — skills simply by reading what others have done or experienced along the way.
Here are a few recommendations from some of the Upstate’s entrepreneurs, influencers and change agents and how the book made an impact.
Tally Parham Casey, chair and CEO, Wyche, P.A.
“The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” — Don Miguel Ruiz
“With ancient and simple wisdom, it transformed my approach to professional and personal challenges,” Casey said. “Be impeccable with your word; don’t take anything personally; don’t make assumptions; always do your best. The exegesis of these instructions, requiring application of courage, personal power, positivity, communication, patience and understanding, unfolds beautifully in a short read that calls me to pull it off the shelf again and again.”
Jeff Tennyson, president and CEO, Lima One Capital
“The Ride of a Lifetime” — Robert Iger
“Iger does an excellent job of weaving in business principles with interesting stories that were very meaningful for me and my team. An enjoyable read,” Tennyson said. “Unlike other memoirs, he balanced the self-promotion with candid challenges a CEO faces and provided key insights and lessons learned to drive practical decision making.”
Mark Johnston, president and CEO, Community Journals
“Good to Great” – Jim Collins
- What are you (and most importantly your team) deeply passionate about?
- What can you be the best in the world at?
- What drives your economic engine, or in other words…’will we make money on this endeavor?’
- When evaluating a project now, if we can’t check each of these boxes right off the bat, we move on. It really speeds up the decision-making process.”
Velda Hughes, CEO, Hughes Agency
“Win the Day” – Mark Batterson
“We can’t control what happens around us, but we can control how we respond to it,” Hughes said. “‘Win the Day‘ outlines seven practical habits to help you change any narrative in your head that might be stopping you from fully living, to see obstacles as opportunities and to achieve your goals by intentionally creating peace of mind. However, it also balances the difference between what you can control and what you should give up to your higher power. In light of the events from last 15 months, this book was even more impactful to me.”
Lee Gill, chief inclusion officer and special assistant to the President for inclusive excellence, Clemson University
“The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates”— Wes Moore
“‘The Other Wes Moore’ exemplifies the power of a decision by paralleling the lives of two young men with the same name who grew up in similar circumstances in the same community,” Gill said. “One made a decision that put him in jail for the rest of his life and the other became a Rhodes scholar. It reinforced to me why the work I’ve dedicated my life to, supporting young men of color through boyhood to adulthood, is so important. When you help a young man find his path to success early on, it means everything — and reminds me that when I run into roadblocks, to keep doing what I am doing.”
Joe Erwin, president, Erwin Creates; chairman, Greenville Triumph Soccer Club; president, Endeavor
“The Obstacle is the Way – The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph” — Ryan Holiday
“We were launching our professional soccer team, the Greenville Triumph Soccer Club, in a town where professional soccer had never taken hold,” Erwin said. “There was no ideal stadium, no permanent home field. A friend asked if I was going to put a cap on the amount of money I was willing to lose. What a question! Never one to back down from a challenge, his words just made me mad. This book helped me change my perspective — to see that the obstacle is the blessing. What presents itself as a challenge can make you better and stronger. You just have to believe, and push to recognize all the creative and perhaps unconventional ways you can advance beyond the obstacle.”
Carl Sobocinski, founder and president, Table 301 Restaurant Group
“It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy” – Captain D. Michael Abrashoff
“I am inspired by and using this book as a leadership reference with our teams at Table 301,” Sobocinski told The Journal. “It is reinforcement and reminder that a collaborative and empowering leadership style is critical to achieve success as a team and take your business or personal life to the highest levels possible.”