One of the most common habits of successful CEOs is reading regularly. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is a famously voracious reader, who claims to read around 50 books a year.
This is no surprise, as studies repeatedly show that reading has myriad benefits, both physical and cognitive. It improves brain connectivity and problem-solving abilities, boosts vocabulary and comprehension, increases empathy by allowing the reader to see other people’s perspectives, and even reduces stress – all highly useful skills for businesspeople.
In this series, we’re looking at the reading habits of CEOs in Malta – the books that have shaped their lives and the ones that have helped them to get ahead in business.
Today, we’re talking to Alliance CEO Michael Bonello…
What role does reading play in your day-to-day life?
I do a lot of reading of work-related reports and other content but unfortunately have very little time to commit myself to reading an entire book these days.
What are the books that have left the biggest impact on your work-life? Why?
There was a time in my life when I was reading various self-development books as part of my growth into the person I am today. I think these must have left the biggest impact on my worklife because they asserted much of what I had been assuming before I read them and also gave me insights into how influential people think. Much of that then sort of becomes second nature once you’ve read it and absorbed it into your mind.
What are your favourite books of all time? Why?
That’s a hard one. I would say Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is definitely high on my list, as it can help young people develop a winning personality and it’s an easy read for anyone. Another one is Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell. Despite having been written more than 70 years ago now, this novel is still very topical to this day and shows us that where we are now is basically on the same trajectory from where society was heading after we emerged from the World War II.
What is one book you think everyone should read? Why?
Apart from these two must-reads above, I think biographies of people you admire are a great way to enjoy reading, with autobiographies being even more effective. Some people enjoy reading as an escape, whilst others read to be informed and inspired, so it’s very subjective.
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