Executive Reads: Mike Lickver

Mike Lickver has quite the impressive educational background. After double majoring in Philosophy and Socio-legal studies, he moved on to receive his JD from Western University and finished with receiving his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. In addition to taking a job working at a large law firm, he nurtures his passion through his own film company King Motion Pictures.

Barbarians at the Gate by Bryan Burrough
This is a must read for any young professional. The book is about the leveraged buyout (LBO) of RJR Nabisco and centres on the CEO of RJR Nabisco who planned to buy out the rest of the Nabisco shareholders. The book is a great way to learn about complex deal structures and different stakeholders, but more importantly it covers the emotional side of transactions – something that is not taught in any law or business school. Great read; if you are too lazy, at least check out the movie.

The Big Short by Michael Lewis
The book covers the build-up of the housing and credit bubble during the 2000s and follows people who thought the bubble was going to burst. The crucial takeaway is to keep a healthy degree of skepticism in your life; just because someone is in a position of power it does not mean they are always right. The story also reinforces the idea of truly thinking for yourself and having the confidence to follow through on any findings.

Business Section Globe and Mail
Often overlooked, but a priceless resource and a must for every young professional. I cannot count how many executives, university professors, lawyers, etc. have told me to read this section every day. If you have any interest in business, read this daily.

The Ethics; Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect; Selected Letters by Baruch Spinoza 
I read this as a young philoshopy student in university and it has always resonated with me. From a business perspective, there are great lessons about living by the guidance of reason rather than the sway of the passions.