More Top Business School Deans Share Their Summer Reading List 2019

More Top Business School Deans Share Their Summer Reading List 2019 main image

Summer reading isn’t necessarily a top priority for aspiring MBAs. Either they want to kick back and relax before the hustle and bustle of school begins, or they’re working overtime to make a good impression at a summer internship.

However, a few good books can set you up for success when the school year resumes. Earlier this week, we published the first part of our recommended reading list, based on what deans at top business schools have recommended for students (you can read it here). Below, you’ll find even more recommendations to read on the beach/plane this summer.

What’s next for China and the world?

China’s Future
by David Shambaugh

There’s no question China is at a turning point. This book helps readers assess how different choices will bring with them different outcomes for the country.

“What will China’s future look like? This is perhaps the most important question for business leaders across the world to understand,” says Xiang Bing, founding dean and professor of China Business and Globalization at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) in Beijing.

“China’s transformation and its potential global implications is the most consequential topic of our times. This thought-provoking book argues each potential possibility.”

Confronting Capitalism: Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System
by Philip Kotler

In Confronting Capitalism, Kotler outlines the major issues facing capitalism, including poverty, wealth in the hands of a few, and job creation in the age of automation.

“At CKGSB, we believe future business leaders must be able to compete with compassion and empathy,” says Bing. “They need to understand why they do business, in addition to how they do business. Kotler’s Confronting Capitalism makes us rethink capitalism and the true meaning of prosperity.” 

China’s Futures: PRC Elites Debate Economics, Politics, and Foreign Policy
by Daniel C. Lynch

This book cuts to the chase and digs into how the Chinese people – not Western analysts and pundits – view the country’s economic future.

“As the founding dean of China’s only independent business school, CKGSB provides China insights based on original research and data,” says Bing.

“Many of our professors act as advisors to government bodies and their research has been used to guide governmental policies. This book reveals the kinds of debates taking place within China’s political system.”

Growing into a leader

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen

Getting Things Done (GTD) is a catchphrase describing a way of organizing your life and managing your time, which is key to the success of businesspeople.

“The MBA is intense, rapid, with too many competing priorities and opportunities,” says Prashant Malaviya, senior associate dean for MBA programs at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business in Washington, DC.

“Practicing how to manage your time and priorities is a life-long skill that will prove useful throughout life.”

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

In recent years, more and more MBA recruiters say they’re seeking good communicators in new hires. Yet, they also report not being satisfied with the soft skills newly minted MBAs bring to the table. This book can help aspiring leaders address that weakness.

“The second most important skill to master during the MBA is persuasive communication,” says Malaviya.

“There are many books that speak to this topic and many are very good for getting a start on mastering this skill. Made to Stick is a recent favorite of mine; easy to read and easy to remember the main lessons of effective communication."

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
by Daniel H. Pink

Malaviya was motivated to include Drive on his reading list by the need to constantly grow personally and professionally.

“The MBA is an invaluable opportunity to gain deep self-awareness and develop leadership skills, although no one ever ‘completes’ leadership training,” says Malaviya.

“Becoming a leader is about continuous practice and strengthening the leadership muscle. This book is a great place to start. It’s very insightful, easy to read and digest, and relatively easy to apply as you work in teams with your MBA classmates.”

Francesca Di Meglio

Francesca Di Meglio has written about higher education for two decades. She covered business schools and all aspects of management education for what became Bloomberg Businessweek from May 2004 to December 2013. Di Meglio was the consultant editor for the book Admitted: An Interactive Workbook for Getting into a Top MBA Program (85 Broads Publishing, 2011), which was written by admissions consultant Betsy Massar. In addition, she is a family travel and parenting blogger at the Italian Mamma website

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