We catch up with Steve Reinemund, dean of business for Wake Forest University, which has an uptown Charlotte campus. He is also retired chairman/CEO of PepsiCo.
Colin Powell and Steve Jobs make for inspirational reading. And for Reinemund, so does The Little Engine That Could, the illustrated childrens classic by Watty Piper about perseverance.
The story line is familiar. After larger engines refuse to take on the job, a small engine pulls a train full of toys over a mountain chanting I think I can, I think I can the whole time.
When I was a child my mother used to read (it) to me, Reinemund said.
I cant count the number of times that I have thought of that simple message when faced with a challenging opportunity and stepped up to do something others did not feel was possible.
Hes now reading Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown, by Eric Blehm.
And his favorite book on leadership? Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Said Reinemund: A great leader brings out the best in others despite differences in personal and political beliefs.
My Favorite Titles offers reading recommendations from Carolina business leaders.