Meg Whitman didn't have much good news to report during her first-quarter earnings call earlier this year, but she did field one question that had nothing to do with flat numbers: Would she reflect on the impact of her "Playing to Win" strategy, drawn from the book by that name? one analyst asked.
That's right: Part of Whitman's business strategy comes from the book "Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works" by A.G. Lafley, the chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble — Whitman's former employer. (She helped the company end its practice of not allowing women to travel alone.) Every manager at HP is required to read the book.
The conversation got us thinking. So we asked a handful of senior leaders from around the country: What books do they ask their staff or managers to read?
Take a look at what they had to say — before you get sucked into the traditional summer reading list.
Ellen Rubin, co-founder and CEO of ClearSky Data
“I strongly recommend Geoffrey Moore’s ‘Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers.' It’s required reading for being in a startup.”
—A startup maven, Rubin was on the founding team of Netezza, a data warehousing startup acquired by IBM for $1.8 billion in 2010. Then she founded CloudSwitch — an enterprise that made connecting to a data center and public cloud simple — which was acquired by Verizon in 2011 for an undisclosed (but sizable) sum. And now she's at the helm of Boston-based ClearSky Data. Read about how she learned that hearing "no" can sometimes be a good thing.