NEW YORK—With the Fourth of July holiday upon us, one might think it’s too late to get together a summer reading list. Nonsense. There’s still plenty of summer left, and this weekend is as good as any to narrow down and finally identify a couple of books to read before Labor Day arrives in a flash 10 weekends from now. (You know you’ll thank yourself for the self-improvement effort come September.) So we asked a distinguished panel of industry readers to offer a few suggestions from their lists. What follows is a buffet of books to whet anyone’s appetite, including Robert Spirito’s suggestion of the memoir “Shoe Dog,” and Jim McGrann’s recommendation, “A Course Called Ireland,” for the golfing-travelers among us (count me in, Jim). We also are intrigued by Eileen Dolan’s pick, “From Strength to Strength,” by Arthur C. Brooks (which offers ideas on how to use professional strengths to improve everyday life) and Jill Johnson’s “Nudge,” which looks at how people make decisions—and a lot more. Spoiler alert—she also provides a link to a fun video example showing how to “nudge” behavioral change.

So, read on, and find a few additions for your reading list this summer. Have a great Fourth of July.

Read more below...

Jill Saxon, OD, FAAO
Executive Director, Professional Strategy
Bausch + Lomb

In the book “The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind,” the author covers the mindset of a typical individual and how one can find a “catalyst” to help change it. By exploring how to utilize catalysts, or a “change agent,” one can reduce barriers in order to adjust mindsets in many types of situations—including those that are most difficult. Another book I recently finished is about reigniting one’s curiosity. I have been using many of the tips I’ve learned in this book to help challenge myself, and my team, to think differently in 2022. It’s been such an excellent resource to help expand the way I think, not only at work, but at home and within my personal life. Both books are excellent reads.

Eduardo Martins
Hoya Vision Care
President, North America

I have always been intrigued by the psychology of how and why people do what they do. Throughout the pandemic, many of us, myself included, have been forced to make important decisions about our lives and reprioritize things. Having said that, I’m looking forward to reading, “Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives,” by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. I’ve heard from several friends and colleagues that the book is both compelling and surprising. It’s definitely on my summer reading list!

Jim McGrann
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

My summer reading goal is twofold. For pleasure, I plan to read “A Course Called Ireland,” by Tom Coyne in preparation for a fall golf trip I am going on with my friends to the Emerald Isle. For business, I will be reading Vik Malhotra's book "CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets that Distinguish the Best from the Rest.” I really enjoyed his presentation at this year's Vision Monday Leadership Summit in late March, and now more than ever leaders need to be well prepared to face the challenges ahead. Vic Malhotra's book will assist in developing the skills of decisiveness, enablement, adaptability, and results delivery.

Donna J. Mikulecky
Chief Operating & Financial Officer
Vision Source

Reading is one of my favorite ways to relax and learn. At times, I need an easy non-business book to just escape, but I also love to read for personal growth, so I try to balance both. I am currently reading, “Sold on a Monday” by Kristina McMorris. It’s based upon a photograph in a 1948 newspaper of four children sitting by a sign that reads, “4 Children for Sale.” I am also reading, "The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor, inspired by a great TED talk. In this world of increasing stress and negativity, I highly recommend reading or listening to this book to help us remember how to be happy and achieve more both professionally and personally.

Happy Reading!

Paul Hartge
Chief Executive Officer
RevCycle Partners

I caught an interview of author Emily St. John Mandel discussing her latest book, “Sea of Tranquility.” The discussion also covered an earlier book, “Station Eleven,” which was produced recently as an HBO series. I opted to start with “Station Eleven.” Written in 2014, it’s a post-apocalyptic novel. Rather than the end being caused by nuclear war, humanity is decimated by (wait for it) a worldwide pandemic. Maybe a bit close to home, but it’s a very good read and better than the streaming series. Next on my list is her new one, “Sea of Tranquility.”

Robert Spirito, MBA, ABOM, NCLEC
Head of Product Marketing

I enjoy reading about leadership and learning from other leaders’ experiences and I recently had the opportunity to read “Shoe Dog,” a memoir about Phil Knight, the creator of Nike. In his memoir, Knight provides an unfiltered and honest assessment of his path from the ideation of his company while he was in school through the creation of what we know today as Nike. While he could have chosen to only focus on the highlights, Knight instead reveals how his path was filled with mistakes, risks, espionage, financial hurdles, betrayal, innovation and, ultimately, great reward.

Knight does not hold back on sharing the details, which allows the reader to go along with him on his journey. I was amazed at all of the twists, turns, and the appetite for incredible financial risk Knight had, and I found myself wondering if I could have made those same decisions. As a student of leadership, I found a lot of value in also learning how Knight’s risk-taking extended beyond finances as he took risks on individuals. Knight selected individuals who were not necessarily the prototypical choice for a specific business role, but who embodied the spirit of the company and he bet on these individuals to help the company succeed. Knight cites examples and tells how this approach did wonders for his business and grew it in new directions by adding elements that he never would have considered had he not allowed those individuals to bring their creativity to their role. I highly recommend this book for its unique insights and for its incredible adventure.

Jennifer Stewart, OD
Chief Vision Officer
OD Perspective and Performance 20/20

I'm a very big reader (and a speed reader) so I usually read one to two books a week, and I tend to read both a fiction book and non-fiction book at the same time—depending on how tired I am. My favorite types of books are mystery, personal finance, personal development, leadership and anything business or Disney.

I’m currently reading “Wish You Were Here,” by Jodi Picoult And, as part of Optical Women’s Association’s Reads, “The Digital Sales Rep: Find and Close Your Target Clients Online with the 10 + 10 System,” a must read for anyone in sales, by the way. Next up for me is rereading “Service is a Superpower,” by Louie Gravance (one of my favorites for creating the patient experience) and Lisa Jewell's “The Third Wife.”

Jill Johnson
Vice President, People Strategy, Operations

My reading goals do tend to be lofty. I was recommended the book, “Nudge” after attending a workshop on Change Management. “Nudge,” which is drawn from research in psychology and behavioral economics, examines how the way choices are designed and structured can “nudge” us toward better decisions and leading to better outcomes. The central idea of a “nudge” is to indirectly influence individuals without taking away their freedom of choice—when presented with choice in how we make decisions, we are more likely to adapt to change.

For fun, I’m sharing this video, which provides a visual illustration of a “nudge.” Watch the video here on YouTube. Piano stairs - -

Eileen Dolan
Senior Brand Manager, U.S. Consumer
Bausch + Lomb

In "From Strength to Strength," Arthur Brooks, a social scientist and president of the American Enterprise Institute, explores the question, “How do you bring the strengths that you utilized to accelerate your career and your professional success into the next phase of your life?” By providing concrete examples and fascinating real-word examples, he discusses how one can successfully transfer the skills they acquired over time from their careers into the next phase of their life. The book also addresses people who are midway through their careers and may be experiencing unexpected challenges. This book provides a nice way for these people to think about how they can tap into their other strengths to tackle the areas they want to improve. I highly recommend it.