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Capture Book Club: Special CEO Edition

Capture Higher Ed CEO Steve Huey is an avid reader. He reads with vigor and purpose, and keeps track of what he learns through a persistent habit of charting his books. In fact, for every book he has read since 2005, he has a simple table including “Author Name,” “Date Completed” and “Key Takeaways.” Sometimes he throws in some memorable quotes or passages.

It’s his way of retaining some of the more important or illuminating insights he encounters.

As a special edition to Capture Book Club, we asked Steve to send along some book recommendations. What we got were “cover and move” tactics, business lessons with rap lyrics, an appeal to relax our minds and get things done, and a 1959 classic that he has paid family members to read. 

Enjoy the list … and start charting your own adventures in reading.


Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jokko Willink and Leif Babin (2015)

(From the dust jacket flap) Detailing the mind-set and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult missions in combat, Extreme Ownership shows how to apply them to any team, family or organization. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic such as Cover and Move, Decentralized Command, and Leading Up the Chain, explaining what they are, why they are important, and how to implement them in any leadership environment.

A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership revolutionizes business management and challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.


The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz (2014)

(From the dust jacket flap) While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.

Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.


Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen (2001)

(From the dust jacket flap) In today’s world, yesterday’s methods just don’t work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen’s premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.


It’s Okay To Be the Boss: The Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need by Bruce Tulgan (2007)

(From the dust jacket flap) Managing people is harder and more high-pressure today than ever before. There’s no room for downtime, waste, or inefficiency. You have to do more with less. And employees have become high maintenance. Not only are they more likely to disagree openly and push back, but they also won’t work hard for vague promises of long-term rewards. They look to you — their immediate boss — to help them get what they need and want at work.


The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick M. Lencioni (2012)

“Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage.”

This is the promise of The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni’s bold manifesto about the most unexploited opportunity in modern business. In his immensely readable and accessible style, Lencioni makes the case that there is no better way to achieve profound improvement in an organization than by attacking the root causes of dysfunction, politics, and confusion.


The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D. (1959)

Millions of people throughout the world have improved their lives using The Magic of Thinking Big. Dr. David J. Schwartz, long regarded as one of the foremost experts on motivation, will help you sell better, manage better, earn more money, and — most important of all — find greater happiness and peace of mind.

(Also, catch up on your reading by checking out past volumes of Capture Book Club: Vol. 1 , Vol. 2, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4. These include excellent books about inquiry, curiosity, data and anything connecting different aspects of life that would otherwise not be obvious.)

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  • William Pierce

    Great list, Steve! Guess what I’ll be ordering this weekend?!

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