Second in a series

The opening keynote speaker at The PPAI Expo 2022, Simon T. Bailey will share his experienced approach to customer relations and personal growth with PPB all year.


One of the greatest gifts in my life was meeting my mentor, Dr. Mark Chironna, 25 years ago. At the time, he had 4,000 books in his personal library. He invited me to back up my car and load up on books. I  did, and my entire life changed as a result. Recently, he shared that he’s read over 18,000 books. 

Author and speaker Jim Rohn said it best: “The book you don’t read won’t help.” According to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults, 23% say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year. Pew found that an American’s likelihood of reading was directly correlated with wealth and education level.

Here’s the bottom line: If you intend to thrive over the remainder of 2022 and beyond, I suggest you get busy reading. Start or join a book club, either virtual or in person. The brilliance of reading a book together is hearing the different perspectives on how others interpret it.

Surely we can each strive to read at least one book per month. Here goes with my personal recommendations, some old and some newer, for your reading over the rest of the year.

FLUX: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change 
by April Rinne

Rinne has been described as a change navigator and one of the 50 leading female futurists in the world. She’s a Harvard Law School graduate and a Fulbright Scholar. Recently, I heard her present at a conference and I took five pages of notes. 


Why The Best are the Best: 25 Powerful Words that Impact, Inspire, and Define Champions 
by Kevin Eastman

One of my favorites is the powerful word “unrequired.” He defines it as “the work that others don’t see, don’t think about and won’t do that I must make a priority.” 

Diversity is NOT Enough: A Roadmap to Recruit, Develop, and Promote Black Leaders in America 
by Keith R. Wyche

Finally, someone has written a book about how to give black leaders in corporate America a real hand up instead of a handout. Wyche shares a collection of best practices, vetted by over 40 years of working as a corporate board member, senior executive and diversity, equity and inclusion consultant. 

Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success 
by Gary Vaynerchuk

At the church I’ve attended for 25 years, one of the pastors found me after service and gave me this book as a gift. I looked at it and said to myself, "He is giving me a book from a guy that’s smart and drops the F-bomb in every other sentence?" And then I read it and had to repent for judging Gary Vee. Wow. This is probably one of the best-written and most insightful books on emotional intelligence that I’ve read in a long time. 

Chosen: Become the Person You Were Meant To Be
by Robert J Watkins

Reading this book is like going to see your doctor for an annual physical. Watkins gets to the heart of the matter in gut-wrenching steps.I love this book and it will bless your life. 


Mary McLeod Bethune: Building a Better World 
edited by Audrey Thomas McCluskey & Elaine M. Smith

Bethune died in 1955 after living nearly 80 years as an advocate and spokeswoman for the oppressed and disenfranchised. This book covers the last five years of her life and the enormous legacy that she left at Bethune Cookman College, an HBCU based in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Spark: How Genius Ignites, From Child Prodigies to Late Bloomers
by Claudia Kalb

This book takes you inside the minds of 13 iconic figures who left a significant imprint on the fields of art, music, medicine, business and politics. Kalb explores prodigies in their early childhood, some who captured lightning in a bottle between 13-27 years of age, as well as mid-lifers who begin to figure it out in their 30s and 40s. 

The Practice: Shipping Creative Work
by Seth Godin

Godin is a marketplace prophet who catapults you into the future through thought provoking revelations that challenge business as usual. All of his books are must-reads. One of my favorite quotes from this book is “doing what you love is for amateurs, loving what you are doing is for professionals.” 

Lead the Field: How to Become an Authority and Dominate Your Competition 
by Adam D. Witty

One of my key takeaways here was, “when you and your business are the authority, you have a powerful microphone and platform in that crowded bazaar, which makes all the difference.”  

Bailey has more than 30 years of experience in hospitality. A former sales director for Disney Institute, he is a prolific author and hall of fame keynote speaker. Learn more at