Business leaders reveal inspirational book choices

Striking books that shaped the minds of some of the UK’s most well known business leaders revealed.

By News Desk
15th September 2008 at 18:27

The books that inspire people are often revealing as much for what the choice of book says about the individual’s presentation of themselves as for the literature.  The list released today by leadership mentoring organisation Common Purpose therefore makes for some interesting reading and includes some well known business figures.

Perhaps most striking is the choice of Tim Smit, social entrepreneur and chief executive of The Eden Project who names Primo Levi’s searing account of life in the concentration camps of Auschwitz “If This Is Man” as his most inspiring book. The descriptions of Levi’s hell on earth, inspiring perhaps Smit’s heaven on earth equivalent.

Other revealing choices include: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, chosen by James Ramsbottom, chief executive of the North East Chambers of Commerce; The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto chosen by management guru Professor Charles Handy, and; Catch 22 by Joseph Heller chosen by the executive director of Bloomsbury Publishing, Richard Charkin who says:

I first read it aged fifteen when I still thought the world might be rational. It helped me recognise the absurdity of organisations, structures, rules and strategies!

Good to see someone in business embracing the chaos.

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