11 Books for Benefit Leaders in 2021

Laura Cave
February 24, 2021

By Laura Cave, Director of Marketing at Ansel | February 24, 2021

We launched the Better Benefits podcast to gather wisdom from today’s top insurance and benefits leaders. We've interviewed industry veterans and insurtech CEOs who are working hard to make benefits work better for employers and their teams. Before we conclude these conversations, we always take a minute to get nosy about the books that helped them get where they are today. We ask:

“What book or resource had a transformative impact on you either personally or professionally that you think everyone should read?”

Here is a roundup of all the books that have been recommended so far. We also list the impressive titles these leaders have authored themselves. Some are healthcare industry-specific, and others are classic and just-released books packed with wisdom. We hope they inspire and equip you to take your life and work to the next level this year.

Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

Our own Chief Insurance Officer, Amanda Turcotte, recommended this book because it had a huge impact on her when she read it as a young professional. It offers both inspiration and practical advice for how to ask for what you want in your life and work.

Competing Against Luck by Clayton M Christensen

In her book Busy Bee: Queen Bee, former Segment President of Humana, Beth Bierbower, advocates for carving out time to read in the midst of career and family responsibilities. At the top of her reading list is Christensen’s book. He argues that your customer “hires” you to do a job that meets a need. Understanding the real job your customer has hired you to do is the key insight to successfully growing a company and building long lasting relationships with customers at premium prices.

Truman by Dave McCullough and Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Former Lincoln Financial Group Protection President, Dick Mucci, recommends reading the biographies of great leaders. He's particularly inspired by leaders who have faced extremely challenging situations. Recent favorites include biographies of American Presidents who led our nation through conflicts like the Civil War and WWII.

The Price We Pay by Marty Makary and The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Dave Chase, founder and CEO of Health Rosetta, has authored a couple of books that are essential reading for benefits leaders, including The CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream and his most recent book, Relocalizing Healthcare. He graciously provided us with a link to download the books for free on our recent episode.

As for what’s had a big impact on him as a leader, Dave recommends Makary’s book as an essential primer to understand the challenges in healthcare. He turned to Holiday’s book for inspiration on navigating life’s challenges with the wisdom of the ancient Stoics.

The Healing Organization by Raj Sisodia

Salary Finance’s Chief Development Officer, Anita Ward, recommended this new book after loving the author’s previous work. In this new title, Sisodia argues that a business at its best can be a healing force and a source of joy in society. This has been a huge inspiration to Anita and the team as they’ve been building Salary Finance.

No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings

Alex Frommeyer of Beam Dental recommended the Netflix leader’s new book, No Rules Rules. In it, Hastings presses deeper into the question of how to create company culture that drives success. The book challenges a lot of cultural norms that companies unthinkingly perpetuate. For anyone who wants to spend more time contemplating their company culture and then intentionally designing the culture for a specific outcome, this book will help.

Catch any of the episodes you missed on your favorite podcast platform or here on our blog. Note, these recommendations are for informational and educational purposes only. This is not an ad and Ansel receives no compensation through the links in this post.