Mexican Leaders’ Favorite Books in 2020
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Mexican Leaders’ Favorite Books in 2020

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Andrea Villar By Andrea Villar | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Fri, 12/18/2020 - 11:11

Books were the refuge for many amid this health and economic crisis. They served as a guide or encouragement to cope with isolation and a new normal. Different themes appeal to different people depending on what they need or what they are searching for. Here’s a list of 20 leaders who shared their best reads of the year with MBN.

Book Covers: Alfaguara (Salvar el Fuego) and Random House (The Price of Peace, A Gentleman in Moscow)
Book Cover Credit: Alfaguara (Salvar el Fuego) and Random House (The Price of Peace, A Gentleman in Moscow)
  • “I have read more novels to develop more empathy now that we are isolated. There are two books that I liked very much this year: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, which is an extraordinary novel about the Russian revolution, and Salvar el fuego by Guillermo Arriaga. In non-fiction, a book that I really liked this year was The Price of Peace by Zachary Carter, a biography of Keynes. I am an economist and I have this very nerdy side to understanding markets and I think that the world is experiencing a unique moment in terms of economic policy. It is perhaps the best thing I have read in a long time. Another good read was  Morality by Jonathan Sacks, a book that questions how we arrived to this stage, in terms of Brexit and Donald Trump, and this collective feeling that we are losing a little bit of our moral compass. It is a good book to engage in such a discussion,” Fernando Lelo de Larrea, Partner at ALLVP
Nestle, Juan Carlos Peralejo Serrano
Book Cover Credit: e-artnow


  • “Whenever I am asked this question, I find it very difficult to answer because I have many favorite books. One that seems relevant to me in these times is The Art of War by Sun Tzu. I have read it three times. The first chapter says: ‘Conflict is essential for the development and growth of man and society. It leads to the construction or destruction of states.’ As leaders, we have to understand perfectly the concept of conflict, which is inherent to growth. There is no better example than what we have experienced this year,” Juan Carlos Peralejo-Serrano, Vice President of Chocolate and Confectionery of Nestlé Mexico 

Runa HR, Courtney McColgan
Book Cover Credit: Portfolio
  • “This book provides a roadmap for innovative, value-based leadership in business and society. Pretty good!” Courtney McColgan, Founder and CEO of Runa HR

Evaristo Babe, Pulpomatic
Book Cover Credit: Oxford University Press (The Elephant in the Brain), Wiley (Objections)
  • "There are two books that I loved this year. One is The Elephant in the Brain, by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson. It talks about how the brain deceives itself. It is particularly interesting because you come to understand how your brain is capable of tricking you into believing certain things and communicating them outwardly, knowing the hidden motives that lead you to do things. The other is Objections, by Jeb Blount. It’s a sales book that deep down taught me to ask what I want to achieve. The book will help you to get a ‘yes’ in the sales process, but it can be applied to everyday life," Evaristo Babé, CEO of Pulpomatic

Joan Carles Segura, Play Business
Book Cover Credit: Harper
  • “My favorite book was Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I love the way the author tells how one event changes civilization, then another event happens and changes it again and so on. Right now, we are living a historical moment and nobody knows how civilization will change after that. We are not only experiencing the turmoil brought by the pandemic but also the artificial intelligence, blockchain and the banking revolution in Mexico. We still do not know how our civilization is going to change after this,” Joan Carles Segura, CEO of Play Business

Andrea Picardi, DiDi Pay, Mexico
Book Cover Credit: e-artnow
  • "My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. It represents how everyone can take control of their destiny and achieve their goals, no matter how difficult or complex they are, through support from the people around us and our determination,” Andrea Picardi, General Manager of DiDi Pay Mexico

Silvia Davila, Danone
Book Cover Credit: PLAZA & JANES
  • Paula by Isabel Allende shows the love of a mother and the strength it takes to let go of a daughter,” Silvia Davila, Regional President Latin America of Danone Dairy
Ivan Ariza, Cargamos
Book Cover Credit: Penguin Press 


  • "One of the most important aspects for us at Cargamos is to forge the pillars of a good culture. Understanding how a company as strong and robust as Netflix builds its own culture has helped us a lot. For me, this is one of the best books of this year,” Iván Ariza, CEO of Cargamos

Agustin Jimenez, Kavak
Book Cover Credit: St. Martin's Press
  • “Without a doubt, this has been a difficult year for many and the most important thing in the face of this type of situation is to be very close to the people. It has been a challenge to maintain teams motivated and to strive for a much faster recovery. Radical Candor by Kim Scott is a good read because it lets you see various situations from different perspectives and examples of how to deal with them, always putting people first,” Agustín Jiménez, Head of Expansion at Kavak Mexico

Adriana Garcia, Forcepoint
Book Cover Credit: Harper Business
  • "My favorite book and one that helped me a lot this year is Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen. This book talks about a study that was conducted to determine why some companies can grow even in times of chaos or uncertainty while others cannot. I believe that this year has shown us that success is not a matter of luck. The best-prepared companies can grow and be successful even under difficult circumstances,” Adriana García, Director General of Forcepoint Mexico

Alejandro Solis, Rappi, Mexico
Book Cover Credit: Harper Business
  • The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty by Clayton Christensen, Efosa Ojomo, and Karen Dillon - Alejandro Solís, Director General of Rappi Mexico

Alvaro Villar, WeWork
Book Cover Credit: Little, Brown and Company
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is a book that talks about success from a completely different perspective, taking into account uncontrollable variables in the life of each of us and demystifying some variables that we all believe to be associated with success, such as hard work, intelligence or luck itself. This is developed through stories of successful men and women in history. Highly recommended!” Alvaro Villar, General Manager of WeWork Mexico and Central America

Francisco Dominguez, Ciena
Book Cover Credit: Springer (Artificial Intelligence for Business), Free Press (No Limits), CareyLohrenz Enterprises (Fearless Leadership)
  • Artificial Intelligence for Business by Rajendra Akerkar talks about the evolution of IA. All branches of it will grow and have a major impact on everyone's personal and work life. We have to make sure that we do not have dark intentions with what we are trying to achieve. This requires rethinking what we expect from technology as it has more capacity to evaluate information and potentially to take action. Other books that I highlight this year are No Limits by Michael Phelps and Fearless Leadership by Carey Lohrenz,” Francisco Domínguez, Sr. Director of Sales Engineering in North America and the Caribbean at Ciena

Gustavo Romero, LendInc
Book Cover Credit: Penguin Books
  • “I loved Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant because, in such a unique, different, challenging time as the COVID-19 pandemic, it covers interesting issues of how creativity can be conceptualized in both personal and professional spheres to break several paradigms,” Gustavo Romero, Co-Founder and CEO of LendInc

Victor Lau
Book Cover Credit: Random House Canada
  • "I have read several good books this year but the one that has impacted me the most is 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. It talks about internal processes for personal improvement. I would sum it up through the awareness and wisdom we need to enjoy a much more consistent and fulfilling life,” Víctor Lau, Senior Financial Analyst

Oswaldo Palacios, Guardicore
Book Cover Credit: Simon & Schuster
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a reminder of good habits. Especially now that we are at home for a long time, we must learn to optimize. It is easy to think about working in bed or on the couch and so we can fall into bad home office practices. With this book, you can review your habits and learn how to improve them to do more in less time,” Oswaldo Palacios, Director of Sales Engineering in Mexico and LATAM at Guardicore

Luis Fernando Sanchez, Intelligential
Book Cover Credit: Harper Business
  •  “The Business of Platforms is very relevant for the tech or financial industry because it describes in detail and based on known examples that we use every day how the economy of the platforms works. At Intelligential, it allowed us to complement everything from strategy, design and product development to the business arguments and vocabulary we use internally in the office,” Luis Fernando Sánchez, CEO of Intelligential Mexico

SailPoint, Leonardo Scudere
Book Cover Credit: Princeton University Press
  • Capitalism Without Capital by Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake talks about how in the 1970s, 85 percent of the value of companies was in physical assets, such as buildings and equipment. Now everything has changed and most value is in intangible assets. With the pandemic, this has become more evident,” Leonardo Scudere, Latin America Regional Director at SailPoint

Cristina Sancen, WeWork
Book Cover Credit: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • “This book introduces you in a magical and simple way to the world of the great philosophers, through the adventures of a little girl who questions everything. The author takes us into the world of great thinkers. Anyone who thinks that philosophy is quite complex should read this book,” Cristina Sancen, Head of Public Affairs and Communications North LATAM at WeWork

Ricardo Weder, Justo
Book Cover Credit: Penguin Books (Mastery), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (AI Super Powers) and Crown (Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World)
  • AI Super Powers by Kai-Fu Lee has a very interesting perspective on the transformative future of AI, narrated by one of its pioneers with a context about the incredible ecosystem that China is generating around it. Also Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. It is impressive the impact that he had on the development of the oriental and also occidental civilization. Another book that I liked this year was Mastery by Robert Greene, which shares the path to ‘mastery’ through the analysis of historical figures” - Ricardo Weder, Founder and CEO of Jüsto

Photo by:   Mexico Business News

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