It’s important for me to keep up-to-date and informed regarding current affairs – not only global politics, but also looking at the world’s business leaders and what has fueled their success. I also get a lot from reading the history of specific issues and events. When I understand the back story, I have a better take on what is happening in the present.
My latest reads include a book about Henry Kissinger and the US’s diplomatic negotiations in Israel and the Arab nations over the years using his “step by step” approach. I found it very pertinent, especially while serving as U.S. Commissioner General at Expo 2020 Dubai, where Israel has a pavilion surrounded at the Expo by all of the Arab nations of the world. The Code Breaker – Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race is another essential read, especially in light of the Covid pandemic and the Clark family’s work to solve Rare Diseases. The book highlights the latest research behind gene editing and the ground-breaking work done by American biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her co-collaborators.
Play Nice But Win and Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future are two books that give very different insights into what makes these two global business leaders successful: Michael Dell and Elon Musk both have remarkable stories to tell. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about their personal growth, the failures and successes of their businesses, and how they achieved incredible results in the fast-moving world of technology.
Master of the Game: Henry Kissinger and the Art of Middle East Diplomacy: by Martin Indyk – former United States Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk writes about the complex history surrounding diplomatic negotiations to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. It’s a monster of a book that highlights the unique challenges Kissinger and his successors faced.
Based on newly available documents from both the US and Israeli archives and extensive interviews with Kissinger, this book is a guide of how and how not to negotiate peace from a historical perspective. Master of the Game has some incredible lessons that could be used today, not just when it comes to understanding the challenges that face the region, but also when it comes to the real art of diplomacy. It’s a wise and provocative read.
The Code Breaker – Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson (who also wrote the bestselling Steve Jobs biography) – Isaacson details how Nobel prize-winner Jennifer Doudna and her co-collaborators turned their scientific curiosity into a tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, this discovery is being hailed as the “life-science revolution” of our time – because it has the potential to use genetic coding to treat life-threatening illnesses.
Play Nice But Win: A CEO’s Journey from Founder to Leader by Michael Dell – This Wall Street Journal bestseller tells the candid story of Dell’s rise to become one of the US’s most prominent technology corporations. It gives an in-depth account of the highs and lows of Dell Technologies and unpacks founder Michael Dell’s inspiring leadership style.
This bestselling book takes the reader through the three decades of the tech giant – from the business’s launch in 1984 to the company’s evolution in a changing world to Michael Dell’s fight for the company’s survival. It’s a story told with humility and highlights how Dell has matured as a leader and become who he is today. It’s a worthwhile read for anyone working in the technology field.
Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance – This book tells the story of Elon Musk, who has become one of the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs. The author traces his life from early childhood in South Africa to the creation of PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity and also sheds light on how Musk wants to save the planet, send us all to space, and form a colony on Mars. Although written in 2015, the author uncovers some real gems in Elon’s unconventional life as an unapologetic changemaker.