It’s been another year of lockdown and supply challenges for all companies dealing with the COVID-19 variants as they pop up.

But with challenges, comes opportunities to learn and grow. So as the end of the year approaches, we took the chance to tap our client list and ask CEOs of ASX-listed small caps – from sand miners to cannabis growers to fintechs – what they learnt in 2021, their highlights, and what they hope for in 2022.

Today, because you’ve probably already burned through your Christmas copy of Diddly Squat or something by Peter FitzSimons – and the cricket keeps finishing early – we’ve got some fresh ideas on the kind of thing business leaders read.

Jump in.

Do you have a book in mind you’re planning to tackle for the break?

Robert Martin (Chairman, Suvo Strategic Minerals, ASX:SUV)

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

Alex Biggs (MD, Critical Resources Limited, ASX:CRR)

Anything by Seneca, The War of Art (Steven Pressfield), Alchemy (Rory Sutherland).

Milan Jerkovic (Chair, Wiluna Mining, ASX:WMC)

Trying to finish a few on the go. Started reading The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (Vanderbilt).

Paul Russell (Executive Director, IOUpay, ASX:IOU)

Dune, by Frank Herbert. I read the first three Dune books as a teenager in the early 1980’s and would like to re-read it before seeing the new movie release. I suspect the geo-political dynamics will be more meaningful to me now.

William Howe (CEO, Andean Mining, ASX:ADM)

Siya Kolisi: Rise. As a South African who emigrated to Australia in 1989 I am still fascinated by the transformation of sport in South Africa. The Siya Kolisi story epitomises that transformation.

The story of an icon. Kolisi’s journey from an impoverished Eastern Cape township to captaining the world champions transcends rugby. The first black Springboks captain, his immense athleticism and talent on the pitch is outshone by his unifying force off it. His charitable foundation assists countless South Africans from disadvantaged communities.

Karim Nejaim, CEO and MD, ActivePort Group

Karim Nejaim (CEO and MD, ActivePort Group, ASX:ATV)

I love mixing up the fun with the serious when picking books. I’ve got four books ready for the summer:
I like the Jack Reacher books and can’t wait to read the latest.
I was given Sir Peter Cosgrove’s memoir last Christmas and I haven’t read it yet, so that is on the list.
Jock Zonfrillo’s book – Last Shot. I was in the hospitality world many years ago and I still miss it.
Lastly, I read Ken Segall’s book – Insanely Simple – years ago. It is about product development at Apple. I am going to dust that off again.

Paul Glass (CEO, Nexion Group, ASX:NNG)

The Art of not giving a….I will let you determine the rest.

Steven Yatomi-Clarke (CEO, Prescient Therapeutics, ASX:PTX)

I want to re-read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami. But my book cravings change, and so I could just as easily find myself reading non-fiction, in which case I have my eye on a couple of books by Michael Lewis and John Rasko.

Roby Zomer, (CEO, MGC Pharma, ASX:MXC)

No, I don’t have a particular book in mind, but I miss reading so I’m definitely going to try to find a book to read.

Ralph Highnam (CEO, Volpara Health Technologies, ASX:VHT)

The Isles by Norman Davies – history and knowing where you are from is important.

Michael Anderson (Managing Director, Firefinch, ASX:FFX)

Absolutely NOT! I’m not an avid reader and I don’t enjoy it.

Glenn Smith (Managing Director, TALi Digital, ASX:TD1)

Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes a Difference, 2019. One of the biggest problems in healthcare is burnout among the people on the front line, ie doctors and nurses etc. This book makes the case that not only is compassion important in achieving better outcomes for patients it can also have a beneficial effect for healthcare providers themselves. It’s a fascinating idea. I feel TALi too has a role to play in supporting healthcare professionals.

Jason Cooper (CEO, Envirosuite, ASX:EVS)

Noise by Danial Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass Sunstein.