“Judgment,” by Noel Tichy and Warren Bennis
Of Tichy and Bennis’s book, Grasso says, “It boils down to the fact that after we know all the techniques — after we know all of the operational procedures and we have evaluated all the quantitatives and even the intangibles — at the end of the day, key decisions are always driven by judgment.”
The book gets you to think about “how to keep clear judgment, how to avoid being blindsided, and how to avoid being swayed in our judgment,” Grasso tells CNBC.
“Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?” by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
Gerstner, the former chairman and CEO of IBM, tells the story of his unlikely turnaround of the tech company, which was on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1990s.
“I was impressed about the book for three reasons,” says Grasso. “One, he wrote it himself. There’s no shadow writer. The second one is, he really resuscitated IBM from the grave. It was three months away from basically running out of cash.
“The third thing is, he did it by basically leveraging 80% of the management he found there, so he didn’t clean house. He dissected what was working from what wasn’t working and engaged people fairly quickly, saved the company first, and then turned it around.”
“Winning the Brain Game” by Matthew May
“I’m fascinated by how our brains and our emotions work, together or disjointedly,” says Grasso, which is why he’s a fan of “Winning the Brain Game,” which explains the seven “fatal flaws” of thinking, such as leaping to solutions that don’t work or overthinking problems.
“It really shows how emotions, like fear, can affect the way we think,” says Grasso.
May also offers strategies to overcome these “fatal flaws” in order to become more mindful and a better decision maker.