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Boss Makes His Employees Read A Specific Book Every Month Or They’re Fired

Photo: CrispyLix, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons / Shiromani Kant via Unsplash / Rafiico Studio via Canva
Patrick Bet-David

Entrepreneur Patrick Bet-David revealed in a clip from an interview that was reposted on TikTok the number one rule that all of his employees and anyone who wants to work for him must follow. Bet-David, a 45-year-old veteran and minority owner of the New York Yankees, claimed that the rule might surprise some people, but it's something that he lives by in both his personal life and professional one.

He claimed that all of his employees must read a specific book every month or they will be fired.

"Everybody at the home office is required to read a book a month or you're fired," Bet-David bluntly stated in the interview. While he didn't specify which company he was referring to, he is the founder and CEO of PHP Agency, a financial services marketing company that started in 2009.

Bet-David wasn't kidding around and claimed that while the request seems ludicrous, it's also something that he stands behind. He reiterated that everyone in his company is expected to do it, and no one is exempt. It also can't just be any random book, but something that Bet-David personally chooses and assigns to all of his employees every month.



"You can read romance books all you want, but the one book I choose every month, we're all reading together," he continued.

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Not only do all of his employees have to read a book a month, but once they finish it, they must submit a full paper on it to him.

He explained that once the rule was implemented, he had to start bringing it up during the interview process so that potential candidates were aware of the expectations. Of course, most people are bewildered by such a thing and some of his employees pointed out that Bet-David shouldn't be allowed to do it. However, he didn't care about objections.

"That's very awkward for some people, so they fought me on it. I said I'm not compromising this." When others argued that he couldn't make people read on their off time, Bet-David informed his employees that he would pay them for one hour every week to read on company time.

"Step away from your desk, go sit over there. I have this nice lounge area, go sit there and read. I'm gonna pay for you, so I'm gonna pay four hours a month for you to read," he added. "I'm paying you $60 a month versus some of you guys that get paid $100 an hour, now $400 to read on my time."

Bet-David has publicly recommended books that he thinks everyone should be reading.

In another interview, which Bet-David posted a clip from on his personal TikTok page, the NY Yankees owner admitted that he is an avid reader, and seems to gravitate toward the educational and self-help genre category. When asked to give a list of books that influenced him, Bet-David didn't have to think twice.

"I would say 'Hypomanic Edge,' it's not a famous book. [It] made me realize it's okay to be wired the way I am. 'Hypomanic' will kind of give you an idea of how the individuals are and what they've built. It talks about craziness, business, and massive success."

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Next, Bet-David recommended 'Barbarians to Bureaucrats' written by Lawrence Miller. According to him, the book talks about the evolution that every society goes through, from the prophet to barbarian to builder, explorer, administrator, bureaucrat, and aristocrat.

"I would put '33 Strategies of War' by my good friend Robert Green," he continued. "Phenomenal book. 'Blue Ocean Strategy' on how to separate yourself from the marketplace." 

Bet-David also spoke highly of several other books, including 'Psycho-Cybernetics' by Maxwell Maltz and 'Power Vs. Force' by David R. Hawkins.

Not everyone was on board with requiring employees to read certain books.

While it can be understandable for a business owner to want his employees to be well-read and educated, many people found it problematic and a glaring "red flag" that it was something forced upon them, or else their jobs would be in jeopardy.

Not everyone has the same taste in books, and it can be an issue to force people to read material that they may not align with either personally or professionally. It's also a CEO's job to listen to feedback from their employees, and if many of them felt strongly against having this become a requirement, it's in Bet-David's best interest to compromise, even if he personally doesn't want to, for the overall benefit and well-being of the people who work for him.

Instead of making it mandatory, Bet-David could present it as something optional that employees can do, and offer up the possibility of being paid to read while on company time. The success of any company depends on the happiness and productivity of its employees, and having questionable rules and expectations can only jeopardize that.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.