Leadership is a skill that is best mastered through life experience, meeting daily challenges head on and having the fortitude to carry out a goal or a plan from beginning to end.
Some may argue that leadership is a skill that people are born with, and, while the characteristics of an individual will invariably play a pivotal role in their abilities, it would be foolish to ignore the lessons learned by those who came before us and have faced the same challenges.
This is where leadership books come in, as these can serve as great avenues through which business leaders can learn, grow, and also rectify particular weaknesses in their approaches to leadership, all from the experiences of those individuals who made it to the very top.
Paul Grech, Head of Investments at GO Ventures and Senior Manager of Strategy and Insights at GO plc, is an avid reader of such books, and has more than 100 titles on his growing “to-read list”.
Speaking to MaltaCEOs.mt, he said that reading has “immense value” for managers and business leaders, before referring to a quote by American businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffett: “The more you learn, the more you earn.”
Despite this, Mr Grech acknowledged that finding the time to read can be a “challenge” in the fast-paced world of managers and business leaders.
In a bid to tackle this, he has embraced audiobooks even more, as these can act as “game-changers for those with busy schedules”. “I often listen to audiobooks during my commutes, turning otherwise idle time into valuable learning opportunities. I make the most of these moments by absorbing knowledge and insights through spoken words,” Mr Grech explained.
“Finding time to read isn’t just about setting aside hours; it’s about seizing every available moment to feed the mind and stay ahead in the world of leadership and business,” he continued.
Nowadays, readers are spoilt for choice when it comes to leadership books, with a vast array of works being available both physically and digitally. This can make it particularly difficult for business leaders to separate the wheat from the chaff, especially since they need to ensure that they are using their time wisely.
Asked what techniques he uses to decide which leadership books are worth reading, Mr Grech noted that it is helpful to pay close attention to the references and citations in books that one finds “really inspiring”.
“Authors often mention other books, studies, or thought leaders that have influenced their work. These references are a goldmine for discovering additional valuable resources on leadership,” he said.
Additionally, Mr Grech is also “always on the lookout” for ‘best of’ lists, as well as recommendations from trusted colleagues and well-respected leaders.
“Over the years I’ve built a database of titles worth reading and whenever an interesting title crops up, I add it on there so that I don’t forget it. If a title crops up more than once, then I take that as a sign that I need to bump it up on my ‘to be read’ pile,” he affirmed.
Mr Grech pointed out that recommending leadership books to business leaders can be a “nuanced task” as each choice depends on the “specific needs and interests of the individual”. Despite this, he did point towards Phil Knight’s “Shoe Dog”, Sebastian Mallaby’s “The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future”, and Yvon Chouinard’s “Let My People Go Surfing” as three books that he found “immensely valuable” over the past year.
“Shoe Dog” offers what Mr Grech described as a “compelling narrative” of sportswear brand Nike’s journey, including insights into entrepreneurship, innovation, and perseverance. “The Power Law” delves into the world of venture capital, an area which is of particular interest to Mr Grech due to his role at GO Ventures. “Let My People Go Surfing” goes into the aspects of leadership and sustainability in a more direct manner through the perspective of the Founder of clothing brand Patagonia.
“While these books cover a range of topics, they all offer valuable perspectives on leadership, entrepreneurship, and business ethics, making them worthy reads for anyone looking to broaden their horizons in the business world,” he concluded.
If you are interested in taking up reading or are seeking to widening the spectrum of your knowledge of leadership books, check out a list of works MaltaCEOs.mt compiled by clicking here.
An Accountant by profession, Mr Grech eventually tapped into areas which he felt allowed him to be more creative. Having joined GO plc in 2000, he then moved into pricing and tariffing in 2006, before making the switch to business planning and strategy in 2015. This has presented him with new opportunities, including being involved in the creation of GO Ventures, the telecommunications company’s tech start-up investment subsidiary. Since then, he has also sought to impart his knowledge on the start-up industry, even starting his own newsletter called Growth Expectations.
GO Ventures Head of Investments and GO plc Senior Manager of Strategy and Insights Paul Grech / LinkedIn
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