5 Must-Read Business Books for the Holidays

Our consultants plan to hunker down with deep reads on business topics.

Here at This Week in Leadership, we periodically check in on the reading and watching habits of Korn Ferry’s consultants. In Decembers past, our consultants have binge-watched Succession or immersed themselves in literature, from Moby-Dick to Jane Eyre. This year, two themes jump out: First, books—the handheld kind—are in again.

Consultants log north of eight hours each day on screens, so they report that they look forward to spending their free time with books—and that they don’t mind heavier luggage if it means they get to plunge into the form of reading with the highest retention rate. Indeed, a review of 17 years of studies on digital and print reading found that people comprehend and learn best on paper.

Second, this season, our consultants are opting for books on the business topics they engage with daily, from AI to corporate embezzlement. Here’s what they’re reading as they head into the holidays:

“I am reading Going Infinite by Michael Lewis. I enjoy these types of reads, which incorporate my trade. On a daily basis, I think about good governance and advise clients on mitigating risks around bad actors and toxic talent. Sam Bankman-Fried’s type of human behavior, and a corporate miss on checks and balances, fascinate me. What worries me is that Bankman-Fried might just be the 2023 version of Elizabeth Holmes or Bernie Madoff. How do we prevent these types of systemic risks?”

Radhika Papandreou, sector lead for travel, hospitality and leisure at Korn Ferry

Walter Isaacson’s Elon Musk, a biography, reads like a Greek tragedy. It has it all: ambition, genius, greed, everything. Whether or not you’re a fan of Musk, the book is rich with takeaways around breaking the rules, innovation, and leadership.”  

David Vied, global sector leader for medical devices and diagnostics at Korn Ferry

“Digitization is transforming everything about the quick-service restaurant space. I’m reading Delivering the Digital Restaurant: The Path to Digital Maturity by Carl Orsbourn and Meredith Sandland, a nuts-and-bolts guide to understanding swiftly moving practices. And I’m reading Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, which goes into the substrata of many potential implications of AI.”

Andrés Tapia, global diversity and inclusion strategist at Korn Ferry

“We can all improve at improving. I’m reading Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things by Adam Grant, on how most people underestimate the range of skills that they can learn and how good they can become—and how, when opportunity doesn’t knock, there are ways to build a door.”

Deepali Vyas, global head of FinTech, Payments and Crypto practice at Korn Ferry


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