Losing oneself in an engrossing book can be a source of comfort in times of crises. A book can have a calming power. It allows us to be a part of someone else’s life journey and think about conditions outside of our own lives. It can inspire and make one more focused in our tasks due to new perspectives.
We check in with our women leaders at UOB Asset Management on what they have been reading for inspiration during this pandemic.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
Many US professors give talks titled 'The Last Lecture' as their final chance to impart a piece of their wisdom. Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, did not have to imagine it to be his last. He had already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given three to six months of good health left. In his last lecture, titled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, Pausch mixed his personal brand of humour, inspiration and intelligence that had made his talks popular on YouTube. When he was done, he turned to his young children (age 2, 4 and 6) to tell them how he had tried to create memories so that his love for them would not be forgotten. – Joyce Tan, Senior Director and Co-Head of Asia and Singapore Fixed Income
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Deciphering codes, an eye for details, analytical skills and the mind of a detective. All these brings one closer to the unravelling of a mystery that stretches deep into the vaults of history. Unlike most books, it was able to keep the reader glued to the twists and turns in the plot. In a world where our minds are constantly stimulated and the need for that extra thrill while engaging in any activities, reading a book may appear dull. But I strongly believe this book will change your mind! To me, it is an “interactive” book that can stand up to the test of time. Enjoy your reading. – Koh Hwee Joo, Senior Director and Co-Head of Asia and Singapore Fixed Income
The Race by Robert M Solomon
The journey of life is like a race. But what kind of race are you running in life? What is the prize you want to claim? Amidst the numerous challenges and distractions in our lives, this book is a good reminder to keep our focus on running the right race; the reason for the race and the race that matters. Dr Robert Solomon points the reader to how we can train for this race by following the right coach. An encouraging book on how to live a truly meaningful life. – Tan Boey Yong, Senior Director, Fixed Income
Iconoclast - A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently by Gregory Burns
An iconoclast is a person who does something that others say cannot be done. This book takes a deeper look at the three primary facets of an iconoclastic brain: perception, courage and social skills through various psychological and neuroscientific experiments and findings into the behaviors and traits of iconoclasts from the world of technology, arts, medicine and other disciplines. An intriguing read that will give you glimpses and insights into how to reconcile the workings of your brain’s quest for certainty amid life’s inherent uncertainties. Happy Reading! – Marie Nicolette Lim, Senior Director and Head, Central Dealing
What it Takes by Stephen A. Schwarzman
"What It Takes" is a journey of an extraordinary life from a middle-class high school boy to a private equity billionaire. One that was also marked by failures that offers insights into the critical moments that eventually shaped a firm’s culture from management principles, talent strategy and succession planning which carved out one of the most successful investment companies in the world. I strongly recommend it as a guide for any leader or future leader who wants to build successful teams, create winning cultures and achieve excellence. – Feng Fang, Senior Director and Head, Risk and Performance
The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organisations That Win by David Ulrich, Wendy Ulrich
The Ulrich duo, Dave who is a business writer and Wendy, a psychologist wrote this book to show the importance of attention to meaning in helping leaders reach their financial, customer, organizational, community and strategic goals. Meaning becomes a multiplier of employee competence and commitment. It is also a leading indicator of customer share, a source of investor confidence and more. It is a guide for any leader of an organisation who needs to set directions that others aspire to and emulate when it comes to doing good work, communicating ideas and investing in practices that shape how people think, act and feel. Employee value proposition is also about meaning. – Rachel Ong, Deputy CMO; Senior Director and Head of Digital Channels and Sales
The Man who Solved the Market by Gregory Zuckerman
Over the past 16 years, the Medallion Fund, founded by Jim Simons has boasted an average return of 39.1% nett of management fee. Yet little has been written about the methodology behind the fund's success which continues to confound both investors and industry insiders. This book was based on a series of interviews with ex-employees, business associates and competitors. Individuals like Simons who have a penchant for poker games even as they took measured and calculated bets based on probability, statistics, trending and reversion predicting models. An interesting read that delves into the often secretive world of investing using quantitative analysis. – Lim Suet Ling, CEO, UOBAM (Malaysia)
The Speed of Trust Stephen M.R. Covey
This is a powerful book on the importance of a good foundation in management. Trust and credibility are vital when leading an organisation. Trust begins with the individuals. You need to have trust and confidence in yourself in order to motivate others and win over their trust. Trust is vital when running a successful organisation. When the stakeholders of an organization believe in it, it will in turn attract others and society to believe, thus creating brand awareness and the sustainable growth needed for the continued success of an organisation. – Rachada Tangharat, CMO, UOBAM (Thailand)
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