Most CEOs will tell you reading is key to becoming good leaders. What books should you be reading to develop your skills? We asked Top Producer of the Year honorees and agricultural industry experts to share their favorite business book. Consider adding them to your winter reading list.
Luke Brubaker, Mount Joy, Pa.
Richer Than A Millionaire: A Pathway to True Prosperity by William D Danko & Richard J. Van Ness
“This book is more than just about becoming a millionaire. The purpose of it is to help readers (especially young people) answer this question: Is being a millionaire even a worthy goal? If the answer is yes, it offers guidelines and inspiration for the venture. Evidence shows it’s possible to hold a modest financial net worth and be happy. Being rich and happy is not a bad goal—it is the American dream after all. In my view, being modestly wealthy (in a material sense) and happy is far more desirable than great wealth, while being unhappy.”
Steve Cubbage, precision ag consultant and owner of Record Harvest.
The Zero Dollar Car by John Ellis
“I saw John Ellis speak at the Farm Journal AgTech Expo. He contends agricultural producers need to stop thinking of themselves simply as farmers and more like agricultural technologists. Understanding and defining a digital strategy for your farm will be paramount to a farm’s viability. Bottom line: agriculture is not immune from the digital tsunami that has hit our society, and understanding the value from data will be something everyone must consider.”
Greg Peterson, aka Machinery Pete and Top Producer columnist
The Range Bucket
List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime by
“There’s no farming advice in this book, just solid life perspective. At 13, James Dodson wrote a list of golfing aspirations, titled ‘Things to Do in Golf.’ In his 60s, Dodson rediscovered the list and expanded it. This book takes you through his journey.”
Annie Dee, Aliceville, Ala.
40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World by Howard G. Buffett
“Howard Buffett first used his resources to try to protect some endangered animals in Africa and realized many of the people there are food insecure. That was when he realized that people need to be the priority. This is a great book about reducing food insecurity and some of the difficulties that exist in that endeavor. It is a very thought-provoking book about how everyone can really make a difference.”
Albert Peterson, Bardstown, Ky.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
“This book was beneficial to our operation because it helped us congeal as a team. We frequently reference this book during our meetings when we conduct our team health exercises. The bulleted lists in the book concisely illustrate traits of each of the dysfunctions, which was very helpful in our efforts to constantly make our teams better and stronger, in order to accomplish more.”