By the Book

Local execs share their favorite books and podcasts


Word Marklewis

Mark Lewis
Evolve Media AI
I enjoyed ‘The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph’ by Ryan Holiday.  We all have had many obstacles in life, especially these days, and this is a great book that makes sure that you find opportunity in obstacles rather than wallowing in them.”



Word Carltondufrechou
Carlton Dufrechou
General Manager
Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission
“The Count of Monte Cristo,” by Alexandre Dumas taught me early on the value of patience, hope and perseverance.


Word Kellistarrett

My favorite podcasts are ‘Dare to Lead’ with Brené Brown and ‘HBR IdeaCast.’ The best business or leadership books I have read lately have been ‘The Blueprint’ by Douglas Conant, ‘Power Moms’ by Joann Lublin, ‘Never Split the Difference’ by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz, and ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear.
Kelli Walker Starrett, CEO, New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors



Word Benjamingotee

Benjamin Gootee
Gootee Construction
I enjoy Ryan Holiday, Jim Collins, Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink and Oren Klaff. Some other good reads are ‘Extreme Ownership,’ ‘Never Split the Difference,’ and ‘Bluefishing.’ A great book with its own podcast is ‘The One Thing.’ Other podcasts I enjoy are ‘Front Row Dads’ and ‘Out to Lunch’ hosted by New Orleans’ own Peter Ricchiuti. Some books and podcasts are more fun to listen to than others, but I always come away with more perspective and awareness.



A Book for All Occasions

Have a particular challenge you’re trying to solve? Local tech CEO Neel Sus, founder of Metairie-based software solutions company Susco, offers some of his favorite books that will help readers gain new insights


Word 5temptations

Challenge: “I’m in a senior leadership role and I suspect I have bad habits I need to break.”


Word 5secondrule

Challenge: “I procrastinate and get stuck in analysis paralysis.”

Word Presuasion

Challenge: “My ideas are great, but I’m not good at getting buy-in from others.”


More Suggestions

Word Fishatewhale

“The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King” by Rich Cohen — Peter Ricchiuti, finance professor, Tulane University

Word Daily

“The Daily” podcast — Greg Buisson, owner, Buisson Creative Strategies

Word Workinggenius

“The 6 Types of Working Genius” by Patrick M. Lencioni — Thomas Richards, owner/attorney, Team Title


For more thoughts from local business leaders on this topic, visit and scroll down to the latest New Orleans 500 Survey

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