One of the most common habits of successful CEOs is reading regularly. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is a famously voracious reader, who claims to read around 50 books a year.

This is no surprise, as studies repeatedly show that reading has myriad benefits, both physical and cognitive. It improves brain connectivity and problem-solving abilities, boosts vocabulary and comprehension, increases empathy by allowing the reader to see other people’s perspectives, and even reduces stress – all highly useful skills for businesspeople.

In this series, we’re looking at the reading habits of CEOs in Malta – the books that have shaped their lives and the ones that have helped them to get ahead in business.

Today, we’re quizzing AX Group CEO Michael Warrington…

What role does reading play in your day-to-day life? 

I read regularly and use every available opportunity to do so.  Reading helps to develop ideas, stimulates thinking and broadens one’s ability to express constructive thoughts on diverse topics.  It is one of the key criteria for a successful manager and business leader.

What are the books that have left the biggest impact on your work life? Why? 

The journal that takes up much of my reading time is The Economist.  It covers diverse topics on issues around the globe. History books are another favourite, particularly those dealing with strategy, evolution and mankind’s progress over the centuries. 

History teaches us about human nature, experience and the economic and political forces and how these interact in different situations.

What are your favourite books of all time? Why? 

There have been several authors who have influenced my thinking

Yuval Noah Harari is one such author with his books Sapiens, Homo Deus and 21 Lessons For The 21st Century.

Mario Puzo, while not a historian, demonstrates a deep understanding of human nature and human behaviour.

Richard Leakey, a paleoanthropologist and conservationist with his book The Making Of Mankind, is another favourite.

What is one book you think everyone should read? Why? 

Life On Earth by Sir David Attenborough shows the incredible diversity of life on the planet, how it evolved and how delicate that balance in nature is.  At a time when mankind has pushed the earth’s resources to their limits, it will sensitise people on how important it is to look after this balance and to appreciate that mankind’s reign on the planet has been so short but that sadly we are systematically destabilising that delicate equilibrium on which all life depends.

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