From The CEO’s Desk: My Reading List

From The CEO’s Desk: My Reading List

In celebration of National Boss Day on Tuesday, October 16, I wanted to share something that Dunkin’ Donuts fans might not know about me – my passion for reading. I believe that a well-stocked bookshelf is one of the keys to bringing fresh insight and critical thinking to your everyday job.  Several months ago, I created a round-up of six titles—some to entertain me on long plane rides, some to help me gain a different perspective on historical events, and others to allow me to learn from successful (and unsuccessful!) business operations. Interested in checking out the titles that kept me learning and entertained this summer and into fall? Read on!


Nigel Travis, CEO, Dunkin' Brands and President, Dunkin' Donuts

Lead Like Ike: Ten Business Strategies from the CEO of D-Day by Geoff Loftus

This book traces Dwight D. Eisenhower’s leadership of the Allied military forces during the complex D-Day operation. While selling donuts and coffee is quite a different business than commanding troops from U.S., Great Britain, and Canada on the battlefield, I still find Ike’s leadership and ability to work under pressure to be applicable to my career. Ike also placed great value on setting a clear and consistent vision, and I always strive to communicate to my teams with similar effectiveness. 


Demand: Creating What People Love Before they Know they Want It by Adrian Slywotzky with Karl Weber

I highly recommend Slywotzky’s book to anyone who hears and uses the term “demand” on a daily basis. For the amount that we hear the word at the office and in the news, we very rarely take time to understand all of its implications in business environments. Slywotzky analyzes the unexpected nooks and crannies of the word and teaches us how to create demand and motivate our organizations to do the same. 


Triple by Ken Follett 

Although I thought I was lightening up my list with a little fiction, this novel proved to have many deep layers! Triple is a thrilling story of three secret agents from Israel, Russia, and Egypt. Follett does an excellent job of representing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as zooming in to a more human level with extraordinary character sketches. Confession: this book is “recycled” from several summers ago—it actually took me several years to complete! Still, Triple is well worth it. 


The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks

Here at Dunkin’ Brands, we are constantly researching the lifestyles and mindsets of our guests. The Social Animal delves into the creativity of the human consciousness, and urges us to question how our minds really work. The story follows Harold and Erica, an American couple who I grew to identify with throughout the book. 


Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson 

As someone who is constantly brainstorming new products that will surprise and delight our guests, I have always admired Steve Jobs’ knack for innovation. Interestingly, this biography also ventures into the darker, less successful portions of Jobs’ career at Apple. I enjoyed learning more about the mind behind one of the most profitable companies of all time, and also how he interacted with others personally and professionally. 


The Expats by Chris Pavone

This spy drama kept me on the edge of my chair! The novel’s protagonist is Kate Moore, a woman leading a double-life and attempting to bury her past. This was one of the most exciting reads on my list--- I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of mystery and scandal. 



Even though we are all busy, I hope that you are able to find time to read a title from this list or a selection of your own. Grab a cozy chair, a Dunkin’ Donuts of coffee and dig in!