Friday, October 6, 2023

FALL BACK TO READING SERIES – Featuring Joseph Michelli

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 Joseph Michelli.

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., C.S.P., is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Nielson BookScan, and New York Times' #1 bestselling business author. He helps companies drive customer loyalty and referrals and writes books about clients like The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Starbucks, Mercedes-Benz, and Zappos. Joseph received his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California and holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association. He has won the Asian Brand Excellence Award and has been named a Top 5 thought leader in Customer Experience by Global Gurus for six consecutive years.

QUESTION: Which three business books have made the biggest impact on your career?
JOSEPH MICHELLI: I remember having an epiphanous moment when I first read The Experience Economy by James Gilmore and Joe Pine. I’d been partnering with leaders at brands like the Pike Place Fish Market and Starbucks to elevate their customer experiences. The Experience Economy, however, provided a rich analysis of an emerging economic shift that catalyzed my career. The Fred Factor is a concise masterful work based on the author, Mark Sanborn’s mail carrier. The Fred Factor is the quintessential guide for claiming one’s power to make a difference in the lives of others. Finally, every time I read Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead, I’m inspired and challenged to address issues more directly and assertively. Her humanity-rich and evidence-based works should be must-reads for every leader.

QUESTION: Who is your favorite author, and why?
JOSEPH MICHELLI: Dave Von Drehle is the acclaimed author of non-fiction books like Rise to Greatness Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year. Dave and I were the only two students in an independent writing course at the University of Denver, so I’ve watched him refine the art of storytelling and thrive as a journalist, Washington Post Opinion columnist, and book author. I eagerly anticipate each new book he writes.

QUESTION: What book did you read in high school or college that, to this day, you still remember vividly, and why?
JOSEPH MICHELLI: A Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. I remember its profound impact on me in college and re-read it every few years. Despite the horrors of living in a WWII concentration camp, Frankl recounts that some starving captives gave a portion of their food to others who were closer to death. While Frankl noted that few people were that selfless, he reminds us that we are all capable of that level of kindness – even in the worst of times.

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?
JOSEPH MICHELLI: I prefer history over fiction, so when I read fiction, I usually gravitate to books inspired by true stories. For example, I am reading An American Beauty, the historical fiction novel by the New York Times bestselling author Shana Abé. An American Beauty is an artful journey into the rags-to-riches life of Arabella Huntington.

QUESTION: If you created a nonprofit organization to promote reading to children and young adults, what would you name it, and why?
JOSEPH MICHELLI: The Window to the Word – reading has always been that for me. I was raised in a small town, and my parents had little money. My local library’s summer reading program was my ticket to ideas, people, and places I couldn’t have imagined. Through my love of reading and writing, I was blessed to receive a full-tuition college scholarship which propelled me to become an author, speaker, and consultant.

SHARE THIS: Reading has always been a window to the world for me. ~@josephmichelli #Reading #DebbieLaskeysBlog

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

Image Credit: Richard Wang via Unsplash.

Connect with Joseph at these links:
Twitter: @josephmichelli

Check out Joseph’s previous appearance here on my blog:
The Intersection of Leadership, Employee Experience, and Customer Experience

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