Looking for Inspiration? Here's What Influencers Are Reading

Jan 30, 2017 • Author: Ad Age Staff

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The new year brings a fresh start and new ideas, but a little inspiration doesn't hurt. So we asked some adland decision makers what they're reading in 2017.

Joe Marchese
Joe Marchese, president-advanced advertising products, Fox Networks Group

"Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motives" by Dan Ariely is a constant reminder for marketers that pure math doesn't drive outcomes when human beings are involved, because by nature we don't act out of perfect logic. All of Dan's books should be required reading for the ad industry. I'm also reading "The Attention Merchants" by Tim Wu. It's not the most flattering perspective of advertisers or the advertising industry, but it is important to admit where advertising has gone wrong in order to know what we can do to make the system work for people again, and for quality content producers.

Shante Bacon 

Shanté Bacon, founder-CEO, 135th Street Agency

I'm rereading "Grit to Great" by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval. It's inspiring from the first page. Reminds me that although I strive for excellence in a world that celebrates mediocrity every day, I possess the qualities it takes to succeed in entrepreneurship, not just business. And "The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power" by Brendon Burchard
offers great tips to remember that life is short; curate the life you want to live.

Rob Lynch 

Rob Lynch, brand president and chief marketing officer, Arby's Restaurant Group

I am reading an oldie but goodie, "It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For" by Roy M. Spence Jr. and Haley Rushing. At the beginning of the year, I always like to ground myself in my purpose and make sure that I am leading via a principle-based approach. It helps me start the year off on the right foot. This is a great, fun, easy read that helps me do that.

Greg Paull 

Greg Paull, co-founder and principal, R3

The beauty of Neil deGrasse Tyson ["Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour"] is he makes the incredibly complex seem approachable. In the world of marketing, big data and analytics, that's something we can all learn a lot more of. I spend my waking weekdays benchmarking for a living, so when it gets to the weekend, at least he is doing it for me. In the initial chapters, big numbers are explained in such a creative way. This is the best book to read before AI replaces all of us.

Donald Chestnut 

Donald Chesnut, global chief creative officer, SapientRazorfish

I'm not huge on business books; I get enough of that Monday to Friday. I'm also not big on self-help, unless it's coming from Oprah. However, I did pick up an interesting book recently that spoke to how I think about life and work. "Designing Your Life" by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans aims to take the principles of "design thinking"—something I use and live by at work with clients—and apply it toward your life's goals, including your day-to-day work.

Kim Perell 

Kim Perell, CEO, Amobee

In "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth, grit beats talent when it comes to getting results. Duckworth offers a simple proof for why grit trumps talent: Talent times effort equals skill. Skill times effort equals achievement. In other words, "Effort counts twice." When it comes to achieving success, the effort you put in is twice as important as any natural talent. As an entrepreneur, angel investor and CEO, I couldn't agree more.

Will Doherty 

Will Doherty, VP-business development, Index Exchange

In "But What if We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present as if It Were the Past," author Chuck Klosterman has fun pulling the threads on our current assumptions as if we had magically jumped ahead a few decades or centuries. What are the truly absurd notions we hold today that only seem reasonable because our knowledge of the moment is limited? Anything that questions the sanctity of our reality is a worthwhile read.

By Ad Age Staff • Advertising Age
Published: Jan 30, 2017