A CIO's survival reading

For CIOs who have never found their roles more challenging, here are three books worthy of your reading shelf.

Business is still a nutty roller coaster ride and CIOs have never found their roles more challenging. Here are three books worthy of your reading shelf: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson. Marcus spoke at the CSO Perspectives Conference in early March in the US; you could hear a pin drop during his keynote. His book is absolutely riveting as he describes how four US Navy Seals went on a mission to capture or kill an al-Qaida leader only to have things go horribly astray. The story of what Marcus lived through and the collective courage and honour he and his fellow Navy Seals showed is just remarkable.

Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox. This book seems perfectly timed for today's reality because just when you might be feeling a bit down or that the world might be turning against you, this beloved actor provides some perspective. One of the best quotes I've heard in a long time was during his recent interview on Larry King Live where he said, "Don't wish for a lighter load, wish for broader shoulders." As we're all being asked to do more with less, this perfectly captured how we all need to step up a little more in these hard times. His story is uplifting with a practical message about being optimistic even when life takes a tough turn.

Motivate Like a CEO by Suzanne Bates. Now, I'll admit that these CEO inspirational books sometimes come off as basic remedial reminders of the skill sets we hopefully possess to be good chief executives. Yet Suzanne does a sterling job of getting past the basics and making sure that you can motivate yourself before trying to motivate your team. Once there, the book delivers a pragmatic outline for sharing a vision, motivating people and executing well. Definitely worth the investment in time and money.