An Executive Reading List: The Top 7 Books Our CEO Read in 2022

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
Laura Vanderkam

The thesis of 168 Hours is that not only do we all have the same amount of time, we all have enough time to do the things we want. Vanderkam advises we re-examine how we actually spend our time and posits that, with some prioritization and rescheduling, we can in fact achieve more than we realize.

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
Peter F. Drucker

The Effective Executive is a really good classic read. As the name suggests, Drucker lays out habits and practices essential to business effectiveness. In this book, you’ll get insights on how to manage your time, attention, and priorities, build your strengths, and make more effective decisions.

Wild Problems: A Guide to the Decisions That Define Us
Russ Roberts

Difficult decisions, like whether to get married or divorced or have children, can’t be made by logic alone. They require something more akin to gut or intuition. Often, decisions that are more difficult and less pleasurable in the moment are ones that teach us something about ourselves. They provide a test that can be profoundly meaningful. In this work, Roberts provides a path for navigating these wild problems that are entangled with who we want to be.

Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Skin in the Game is about incentive alignment and how we think about risk and reward. It will make you think about how you work, how your team works, and how you partner with customers as well as the ways you operate in the world outside of your profession.

Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World
Vivek H Murthy, MD

Written by a former Surgeon General, Together is a treatise on why we need more human connection in our lives. He discusses how social isolation impacts people at school, at work, and across our lives. He explores the ways other cultures and happy people have historically connected as well as offers strategies for creating more connection in your life. I will say, once the ideas are introduced, it becomes pretty repetitive and feels like he was meeting book minimum requirements, so I suggest skimming the later parts of the book or speeding it up on Audible if you’re the type that has to finish any book you start.

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
Oliver Burkeman

Burkeman’s book has similarities with the two other books on this list (Together and 168 Hours), but it’s still worth a read. Life is short, he reminds us, and we need to make the most of it. To do so, we must remember that we have more control over our lives than we think and that we can still make choices different from the ones we’ve made in the past.

The Genius Zone: The Breakthrough Process to End Negative Thinking and Live in True Creativity
Gay Hendricks

This book will help you identify your gifts, strengths, and talents. Everyone has a genius zone, where they can find creativity, fulfillment and satisfaction. Hendricks teaches us how to do more in our genius zones so that we can drive impact and happiness in our lives.

About Our CEO

Tracey Zimmerman is the President and CEO of Robots & Pencils, a digital innovation firm that helps clients transform their businesses with mobile, web and frontier technologies. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, technology, and process innovation, Tracey has driven significant growth at Robots & Pencils, including through championing strategic partnerships with Slack and Salesforce and building the company’s reputation in education, financial services, and retail and consumer goods.