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 Mitch Pisik.
Mitch Pisik, CEO of the Pisik Consulting Group, is an Award-Winning Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Sales and Leadership Trainer, Strategy Facilitator, and Board of Directors Advisor who has worked with over a thousand executives in hundreds of companies in dozens of industries from Fortune 100 global businesses to sole proprietors. He has been consulting for over twenty years; doing so in a full-time practice since 2016.
QUESTION: Which three business books have made the biggest impact on your career?
MITCH PISIK: Here are my three:
 The Seven Secrets of Influence by Elaina Zuker (How to communicate effectively).
 The Art of War by Sun Zu (How to win battles and wars).
 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (How to influence people to want to do what you want them to do).
QUESTION: Who is your favorite author, and why?
MITCH PISIK: Jack Welch because he was one of the most accomplished business executives in United States history. His actions could be a bit harsher then is ideal (Rank and Yank does not foster teamwork); yet he motivated his employees to be the best they could be, focused on maximizing returns for shareholders (and secondarily other stakeholders), dramatically increased the sales, profitability, and overall value of General Electric by huge multiples overall. I respected his disciplined approach of focusing only on what is most important, held people accountable for performance, and rewarded them appropriately. Following much of his approach was instrumental in my successfully turning around and growing four private equity portfolio companies.
QUESTION: What book did you read in high school or college that, to this day, you still remember vividly, and why?
MITCH PISIK: The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. He very methodically and intuitively identified what motivates people in various scenarios. Although much of his perspective was foundationally in war and palace intrigue, the logic remains pertinent to today's business environment.
As a Business Consultant and Leadership Coach, I am frequently hired to assist leaders in significant negotiations, inspiring their teams, and assuring they achieve their financial aspirations. Their successes are all tied into how well they learn and implement the art of influence. It's essential to be Interesting and Interested. Always consider the motivations of the other party. Be confident but not arrogant. And always be in control of the situation.
SHARE THIS: It's essential to be Interesting and Interested. ~@mitchpisik #LeadershipTip #Machiavelli #DebbieLaskeysBlog
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?
MITCH PISIK: Virtually all of my reading is focused on business magazines, newspapers, and books. That said, when I can find/make the time to read fiction, I enjoy books where I can learn something new. I am a big fan of Elmore Leonard who, in my semi-humble opinion, is the best American novelist of crime fiction and suspense thrillers. His character developments and creative twists are the best.
QUESTION: If you created a nonprofit organization to promote reading to children and young adults, what would you name it, and why?
MITCH PISIK: I'm very active in the not-for-profit world, and literacy and education are my greatest passion. I believe that the number one opportunity that children have to ultimately flourish and have a happy and rewarding life is through reading/education. A child has a fighting chance in life if he has access to books.
Here are some names:
 Books for your best life.
 Your best you – in books.
 Readers win.
 The more books, the greater your success.
 Love reading.
My gratitude to Mitch for participating in this year’s fall back to reading series and for sharing his inspiring recommendations!
Image Credit: Paolo Nicoletto via Unsplash.
Connect with Mitch at these links:
Daily tweets on Leadership at twitter.com/mitchpisik and linkedin.com/in/mitchpisik
Check out Mitch’s previous appearance here on my blog:
Do Your Leaders See Around Corners?