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Former Fortune 500 CEO Doug Conant’s Recommended Reading List

Karen Viotti
Monday, Aug 13, 2018

Doug Conant is an internationally renowned business leader, New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker with over 40 years of leadership experience at world-class global companies. From 2001 to 2011, Conant served as CEO and President of the Campbell Soup Company. Conant was the 11th leader of this iconic company’s 141-year history – faced with reversing a precipitous decline in market value. Conant succeeded by dramatically transforming the global leadership team, reconfiguring the portfolio, cutting costs and making strategic investments in Campbell’s products, marketing programs, innovation pipeline and infrastructure. As a result, the company was able to deliver cumulative shareholder returns in the top tier of the global food industry.

The key enabler of this performance was Campbell’s march towards achieving world-class employee engagement levels. During the decade of Conant’s leadership, employee engagement went from being among the worst in the Fortune 500 to being consistently among the best. Campbell has been widely recognized for its progress; its many honors range from being recognized by the Gallup organization with its “Great Workplace Award” for four years running to receiving the 2010 Catalyst Award for helping women advance their careers. During his tenure, the company was also recognized as a leader in social responsibility and ethical leadership.

In 2011, he founded ConantLeadership: a mission-driven community of leaders and learners who are championing leadership that works in the 21st century. Over the years, Doug has compiled his list of what he calls “Foundational Favorites” business and leadership books that both inspired and motivated him throughout his career. You can also buy Doug’s best-selling book TouchPoints, which reveals the theory that helped Conant turn around the Campbell Soup Company and lead Nabisco Foods Company during five years of consecutive growth.

Doug Conant’s Foundational Favorites

A Force for Change by John P. Kotter

A Simpler Way by Margaret J. Wheatley & Myron Kellner-Rogers

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

Above the Line by Urban Meyer

Are You Fully Charged & Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Closing the Engagement Gap by Julie Gebauer & Dan Lowman

Conscious CapitalismFirms of Endearment, & Everybody Matters by Raj Sisodia

Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Drive by Daniel Pink

Every Business is a Growth Business by Ram Charan & Noel M. Tichy

From Values to Action by Harry Kraemer

Good to Great by Jim Collins

High Commitment High Performance by Mike Beer, Russell Eisenstat, & Nathaniel Foote

Higher Ambition by Michael Beer, Flemming Norgren, Russell Eisenstat, Nathaniel Foote & Tobias Freberg

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein

Insanely Simple by Ken Segall

Leadership BS by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Living the 7 Habits by Stephen M.R. Covey

Managing People is Like Herding Cats by Warren Bennis

Quiet by Susan Cain

Rumsfeld’s Rules by Donald Rumsfeld

Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin

Teams at the Top by Jon R. Katzenbach

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen M.R. Covey

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Definitive Drucker by Elizabeth Haas Edershiem

The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes

The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

The Power Principle by Blaine Lee

The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey

Total Leadership by Stewart Friedman

True North & Authentic Leadership by Bill George

Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden

For more information of Former CEO and leadership speaker Doug Conant, contact Executive Speakers Bureau at (901) 754-9404.


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