With the end of year approaching and festive holidays around the world, we asked ANZ directors and senior executives for the stories which resonated with them during the year – or which they plan to read, watch or listen to over the break.
Along with a fascinating and eclectic range of recommendations, we also gleaned some ideas our contributors found on leadership – from both fiction and non-fiction.
We hope you enjoy the suggestions – and let us know titles we’ve overlooked here.
On TV I’m escaping with
For listening I’ve a list of podcasts:
Leadership lessons can be found almost anywhere, it’s just a matter of approaching material from that perspective. This year I have learnt most from:
Meanwhile there is quite a bit of watching I am looking forward to …
My reading list, as always, is a challenge but I am committing to get through a few specific books over the break.
I might also mention that I absolutely feasted on the clothes and colour of Emily in Paris.
There’s quite a bit I’m looking forward to reading over the summer break…
I enjoy reading The Economist year-round but I’m looking forward to flipping through them again and catching up on any articles I’ve missed during the break.
During 2022, the book club reached a significant milestone by reading and discussing its 100th book. So here are some highlights from the first hundred books:
And I’m an unabashed fan of airport fiction ….
As well as being superbly researched and written, it is an engaging attempt to follow in the footsteps of a 6th century monk on a journey by land from Turkey to Egypt with observations on contemporary life along the way.
My younger brother gave it to me: we have both worked and lived in the Middle East (him as a United Nations peacekeeper) and are both fascinated by the history of the region.
I will also be spending some time at the beach over the holidays and will make sure to read:
I am very traditional in my tastes and prefer reading over other options. And given the time invested in a book, I still feel it is a treat and privilege to have time over a holiday to indulge in a good book, fiction or non-fiction.
I start collecting books for the summer in about September and grow a portfolio to finally choose from. Sadly my ambition is greater than my ability and I generally don’t get to all those I hope for …
But in addition to my regular selection of the season’s best Crime Fiction, my starting list for this break is as follows:
In terms of fiction, I am going outside my safety zone and trying Geraldine Brooks’ latest novel Horse. This is based on a true story of the greatest racehorses in American history and described as a “sweeping story of spirit, obsession and injustice across American history”.
We will be holidaying in the Northern winter and so plenty of time for family movies and I am hoping to introduce my 17-year old daughter to two great classics – Ghandi and Lawrence of Arabia. Having lived in the Middle East for six years and spent extensive travel time in both The Middle East and India, I love these immense, historic and epic stories – particularly with tremendous soundtracks that really bring to life these great characters and the eras in which they lived.
However, I will try to be podcast and social media free …!
Here’s my list starting with books:
Having thoroughly enjoyed the first season, I’m looking forward to the next one of Slow Horses, the story of misfit British intelligence operatives brilliantly led – I could barely describe it has led – by a fantastically slovenly Gary Oldman.
Good enough to re-watch over summer: The Bear. At times raw and confronting, with some lovable and unlovable characters whose backgrounds are exposed as Season 1 progresses. Looking forward to the release of Season 2.
My books on the summer read list include:
On the books front, I have the following lined up for this summer:
On the TV front, I have the latest series of Endeavour (the early Inspector Morse shows which I would thoroughly recommend) and Shetland (good plots and lots of great scenery) to watch. I am hoping that one of the various new Nordic shows streaming somewhere will also be worth the time.
I can offer two, hopefully thought provoking, takes on leadership: Jack Reacher and John Rawls.
I’ve really enjoyed them as entertainment but there is something archetypal in these stories of an outsider, travelling across a modern, challenging landscape and forced to solve – an admittedly occasionally over-the-top – series of challenges with logic, insight and daring-do.
Beneath the theatre, Reacher has an – unflinching - sense of what is right and an enduring loyalty to his team - and willingness to back them.
His notable contributions to our moral understanding are his theory of distributive justice and ‘the veil of ignorance’ – that is, you should make decisions (or act) as though you know nothing of yourself and your natural abilities or your position in society.
In essence, Rawls argues for true equality and, while acknowledging our inherent self interest, develops a theory where that self interest is restrained.
This is not the end…
Watch this space as we add more recommendations from the people of ANZ.
Do you have any recommendations of your own or would like to comment on one of ours? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.
The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.