Summertime Book Recommendations: 2016 Edition!

Hola Todos!

On the first day of summer, we need to revisit an annual tradition – finding nuggetworthy ideas from some of the best books out there. This year’s list is a little shorter than previous years (see 2013, 2014, & 2015 book recommendation posts) but it still has some gems nonetheless.

Books 2016

These recommendations are in no particular order – go to Amazon or Google to find further detail on these books.  If you have a more particular interest, drop me an email and we can go deeper into a more specific topic.



Dr. Dan-o


Book Recommendations


Originals: How Non-Conformist Move the World by Adam Grant

Professor Grant is a rising star among academics and this book is further evidence he’s an out-of-the-box thinker. The Washington Post did an excellent interview and book preview you should check out. I bet you order the book before finishing the Post article.

GRIT: The Power of Passion AND Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

I first heard of Grit in an interview with Professor Duckworth on the TED Radio Hour podcast (Is Having Grit the Key to Success?). I’ve read Professor Duckworth’s academic articles and I’ve even used one of her Grit measure in a data collection effort. I can’t wait to read this one.

The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case

Former co-founder and CEO of America Online, Steve Case is accustomed to taking a 500-foot view of trends many times throughout the years. For those of us who have heard my discussion of the Web 1.0 era vs. the Web 2.0 era, I am always on the lookout for the 3.0 era. In a ReCode Decode podcast interview, he made a compelling case we are in a new era. I’m going to read the book and decide for myself.

Digital Badges in Education: Trends, Issues, and Cases edited by Lin Muilenberg and Zane Berge

As the Director of the MBA Program of the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University, I am always looking for new ideas. I hope this book will provide a few nuggets I can use in the MBA program.

Marketing Analytics: A Practical Guide to Real Marketing Science by Mike Grigsby

There is no question that marketing is becoming more “metric orientated” – “data driven” – “analytical” in nature. At the same time, finding a good guide for the non-PhDs is few and far in-between. I hope this book is one I can use on both the undergrad and grad levels.

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard Thaler

I’m a big fan of Professor Thaler and his book Nudge is on my 2013 book recommendation list. I’m also a big fan of Audible and I’m listening to this book right now.

Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It by Ian Leslie

It’s too easy to see this book as a “parenting” book (and yes it’s an excellent book for nuggets on how to raise your kids) but I see this book as an “innovation” or “creativity” book. As we all know, I am a big fan of storytelling and this is also an excellent storytelling book. I’m currently reading this one right now.

The Moral Molecule: How Trust Works by Paul Zaks

This is the first book on the list I already competed. Professor Zaks’s nickname is the “Vampire Economist” and his research goal is to find the master switch to human behavior. The book is excellent and he’s very creative on how he sets up his studies (yes, they involve blood samples). Again, I am a big fan of storytelling books and this is also an excellent storytelling book. Anyone interested in ethics and ethics research would also enjoy this book. When you get a chance, check out his very interesting TED Talk.















Leadership Lessons from Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Hola Todos!

Many of us have the day off in honor of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. – a leader of leaders.  At some point today, pause and reflect on the man that did so much for so many.  In an excellent post on the American Express Open Forum, 5 leadership lessons were offered  – inspired by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. –  including:

-Don’t underestimate low-level employees

-Embrace fear

-Encourage ‘creative tension’

-Know the ‘why’

-Involve everyone

Of the 5, it’s “know the ‘why’” that really caught my attention.  One of my main motivators to pursue the Ph.D., was I wanted to know the “why.” Too many times, I was doing things because “I was told to do them,” “this is the way we did it in the past” or “it worked before so therefore, we must do it again.”  It drove me batty that I could not probe deeper, ask those “why” questions and figure out a more theoretical or strategic reason to why I needed to do what I needed to do.

In honor of MLK, ask a few “why” questions this week.

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o


Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University




A Great Question to ask ALL the Time – WHY?

Hola Todos!

We live in a fast paced world and way too many times we just DO without thinking.  It’s easier to just DO things the way they have always been done OR what politically causes the least amount of scuttle bucket in the office.  Very few of us, however, have the presence to ask WHY on a continual basis.  WHY is a fundamental question – a gut check – to mentally challenge the status quo.

In Mike’s post this week, he touches on this topic of WHY along with the WHATs and the HOWs.  There’s an excellent Apple example about half-way through that can’t be missed.


Dr. Dan-o


To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

In a September 2009 presentation recently posted on TED Simon Sinek, marketing consultant and author of Start with the Why, shares his concept of the ‘Golden Circle.’  He asks why some people or organizations achieve things, while others don’t when they are seemingly the same with respect to talent, knowledge and resources.

The answer he found rests in the way these people and organizations act and communicate: “They all think, act and communicate in the same way.  And it’s the complete opposite to everyone else”.  He explains this process with his ‘Golden Circle.’ ‘What’ (the product/service/deliverable) is the outer circle, ‘How’ (the value proposition) is the center circle and ‘Why’  (the cause) is the inner circle. Relating each circle to how the brain operates he says the outer circle, the ‘what’, relates to our analytical/rational thought, while the two inner circles relate to our feelings (e.g. “trust and loyalty”).  This idea, he says, “explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren’t”. He uses Apple as an example to demonstrate his point:

“If Apple were like everyone else, a marketing message from them might sound like this. “We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. Want to buy one?” Neh. And that’s how most of us communicate. That’s how most marketing is done. That’s how most sales are done. And that’s how most of us communicate interpersonally. We say what we do, we say how we’re different or how we’re better and we expect some sort of a behavior, a purchase, a vote, something like that… But it’s uninspiring.

“Here’s how Apple actually communicates. “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?” Totally different right? You’re ready to buy a computer from me. All I did was reverse the order of the information. What it proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

Applying this idea to business he says: “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”  This is the magical connection with great, inspirational leadership.  The people whom great leaders serve don’t buy ‘what’ they do; they buy ‘why’ they do it. It’s an emotional connection beyond the rational and analytical. Sinek writes:

“…those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves.”

This week, think, act and communicate differently – start from the inside out. Let people understand your ‘why’ – your cause, purpose and belief – that they might see and “believe what you believe.” And when the people you serve believe what you believe, they will change the world with their fire and passion, and your “Golden Circle’ will glow.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!



Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528; (Mobile) 908.419.6060