The Reader: Jason Stockwood

The chief executive of business insurance provider Simply Business on what he enjoys reading

Jason Stockwood, chief executive of business insurance provider Simply Business

… How big a reader of business books are you?

I read on average two to three books a month. I don’t seek out ‘business’ books necessarily, as I’m interested in good writing and ideas from all areas of life experience.

… What do you get from it?

From specific business books I get to learn from other people’s experience, both good and bad. This can prove very valuable in terms of contextualising your own day to day experiences.

… Give us an example of something you’ve applied to your own business after reading a book?

‘Markets as conversations’ from The Cluetrain Manifesto is central to what I believe marketing to be about. For me, it’s about debate and engagement with customers as opposed to one way preaching.

 What have you been reading most recently?

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.

… What’s it about?

The life story of an entrepreneur and how he built a $1bn company around a distinct set of values and ethics. In essence, this is based around the theory that if you care for people, you will be profitable.

… Why should we read it?

It explains how strong values and ethics should remain consistent throughout your business operations. In light of today’s short term business environment, success is often only achieved after a long journey, which involves taking risks and experiencing the occasional failure.

… Anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m also reading How to Live – A Life of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell. I’m interested in the long term views on life and how to get the most out of the limited time we have. It highlights the importance of looking back at recent history as well as building your own views, experiences and perspectives.


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