What they're reading now

Real estate pros share picks for books on leadership in war, Donald Trump, and how to get what you want

Nov.November 01, 2016 11:00 AM

books-novemberPaul Eagle
Managing director, Perkins+Will New York office

What are you reading?

I just finished “A Passion for Leadership” by Robert Gates, the former Secretary of Defense for both presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

What spurred you to read that book?

I read and enjoyed “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” Mr. Gates’ previous book about navigating the relationships across two very different administrations during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I admired the clarity in Gates’ ability to focus on the goals of his job through very turbulent conditions.

Has anything you read in it stuck with you? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes! I would particularly recommend this to business or institutional managers who are leading goal-driven teams on enterprise-level projects. I recently completed two long-term planning and design projects, for the United Nations and the New York City Police Academy. His experiences with empowered teams inside the Department of Defense and the CIA confirmed my experience that approaching any problem with real listening and a willingness for pragmatic compromise actually works.

Robert Dankner
President, Prime Manhattan Residential

What are you reading?

“Trump: The Art of the Deal” by Donald Trump with Tony Schwartz.

What spurred you to read that book?

With the election, I thought it would be interesting. I was motivated by a tremendous amount of curiosity and only curiosity. Trump talks about how he likes making deals, big deals, and that that is how he gets his “kicks.” I’m not a Trump supporter, but Donald Trump is a Manhattan real estate fixture and a brilliant man.

Has anything you read in it stuck with you?

When he notes that he likes to promote “with bravado,” “truthful and hyperbole,” and says, “I play to people’s fantasies,” it makes you think about what he’s now saying and doing.

Would you recommend it to others?

If he wasn’t running for president, I never would have picked it up, but yes, I would recommend it. It’s so entertaining. Anybody can learn from this guy. In a non-political context, I have a tremendous amount of respect for his brand.

Betty Castro
Market leader for Brooklyn & Queens, Cushman & Wakefield

What are you reading?

“Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. The authors discuss how to reach a certain outcome in a conversation, the best outcome or the one that makes sense for every party involved.

What spurred you to read that book?

I was being advised by a broker coach and I went to one of his boot camp classes, which was inspiring and very involved. One of the coaches recommended this book.

Has anything you read in it stuck with you? Would you recommend it to others?

Definitely. I would recommend it to everyone. I started reading it because of business but there are a lot of relatable life examples, including marital relationships, parent-child relations and friendships. It’s an easy read — only 200 pages — and you can use it in any aspect in your life. One of my favorite quotes is: “You can persuade more with your ears than your mouth.”


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