Monday, September 25, 2023

FALL BACK TO READING SERIES – Featuring Eric Jacobson

This year, as the seasons change and we enjoy fall, I’ve launched my FALL BACK TO READING SERIES. The series will feature two dozen leadership and marketing experts, who will share their inspiration in both fiction and nonfiction, and hopefully, provide the impetus to read more. To quote New York Times Bestselling author Kristin Harmel, “If you give a person a book, you give him the world.” For today’s post, I’d like to introduce Eric Jacobson.

Eric Jacobson has three decades of experience in successfully leading employees and teams through periods of revenue growth, new product development, and re-engineering. He is an experienced mentor and coach and holds an MBA Degree from Keller Graduate School. His passion is helping individuals to become effective leaders at work, within organizations, and wherever they are called upon to lead and inspire. Eric’s writings about leadership and management appear regularly on his blog.

QUESTION: Which three business books have made the biggest impact on your career?
ERIC JACOBSON: Recently, Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter, has been impactful. It’s all about how to do the hard things that come with the responsibility of leadership while remaining a good human being and bringing out the best in others.

Earlier in my career, I devoured books about mergers, acquisitions, and divestures during a time when I was deeply involved in integrating recently acquired companies into our parent company.

Finally, The Leadership Test by Timothy R. Clark, Ph.D., provides a powerful story about essential lessons of leadership, and how to navigate through the real world of egos, agendas, and ethical dilemmas. As with many leadership books I read, it helped me to become a better leader.

QUESTION: Who is your favorite author, and why?
ERIC JACOBSON: Choosing only one author is difficult because I enjoy reading a wide variety of genres and like nearly every book written by a handful of authors. However, for pleasure reading, my favorite is Fredrik Backman, author of books, Bear Town, A Man Called Ove, and many more. I enjoy his storytelling, character development, and examination of what it means to be human and the accompanying struggles.

My favorite author for business reading is Paul Smith, author of Lead with a Story and the 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell. Smith is a master at providing expert practical advice that leaders can immediately apply after reading his books.

QUESTION: What book did you read in high school or college that, to this day, you still remember vividly, and why?
ERIC JACOBSON: The Hobbit in high school and The World According to Garp in college. Early on, I did not enjoy reading. However, The Hobbit was a highly imaginative, terrific story that captured my interest and made reading not feel like a chore. The World According to Garp was a quirky, engaging, coming-of-age novel that captured my interest one summer during college.

QUESTION: Do you intersperse fiction with your business reading? If yes, what was the last work of fiction that you read, and what caught your attention about it?
ERIC JACOBSON: I do. I read mostly fiction as part of the book club I belong to. And I read many books about leadership that I review for my management and leadership blog.

The last fiction book I read was Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. The story was interesting, witty, heartwarming, and with just enough mystery (I’m a big mystery fan) to make this book a page-turner for me.

QUESTION: If you created a nonprofit organization to promote reading to children and young adults, what would you name it, and why?
ERIC JACOBSON: The name that instantly came to me is Reading Rocks! Unfortunately, as with nearly everything, that name is being used by a nonprofit called Reading Rockets for a PBS TV show called Reading Rocks.

However, I believe the name Reading Rocks conveys that reading is good, impressive, enjoyable, worthy and something to be envied by others. Hopefully, the name will encourage children and young adults to be part of the experience.

SHARE THIS: Reading is good, impressive, enjoyable, worthy, and something to be envied by others. ~@ericjacobsonkc #ReadingRocks #DebbieLaskeysBlog

My gratitude to Eric for participating in this year’s fall back to reading series and for sharing his inspiring recommendations!

Image Credit: Road Trip with Raj via Unsplash.

Connect with Eric at these links:

Check out Eric’s previous appearances here on my blog:
Let's Celebrate #NationalLeadershipDay!
February 20, 2023

How Leadership Crafts the #EmployeeExperience
May 1, 2018

Leadership Doesn't Have to Be Hard
May 3, 2016

The Importance of Mentorships
March 11, 2013

The Importance of Training, Customer Connections, and Leadership
March 21, 2011

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