By Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Montecristo

Ah, the Count! This book is a manual for revenge. Not that I’m suggesting you should get revenge if someone wrongs you, but it teaches something key in the corporate world: the importance of playing the long game. The innocent Count is locked in a prison for 20 years. What does he do during this time? Complain? Kill himself? Give up? No, he learns everything he can from the person in the cell next to him. He works to become a different person, a better person because he knows it will serve him well. Then – SPOILER ALERT! – he escapes and goes back to find all the people who wronged him. Does he kill them? Nope, he subtly becomes part of their lives. He wants to understand them, what they care about. Then he finds ways to make them repent for their wrongdoings. It’s a great book, and very deep.