Yankees owner’s controversial dictate: Monthly book reading or job termination

Patrick Bet-David (center) is one of the three stakeholders who collectively own around 30% of the Yankees.

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The New York Yankees fans may not be amused over the book reading dictate issued by one of the team owners. But his employees are feeling the heat. They have to read a book every month or are likely to lose their jobs.

Entrepreneur and sports team owner Patrick Bet-David recently shared in a TikTok interview clip that this is the number one rule he wanted all his employees and potential hires to adhere to. As a 45-year-old veteran and the owner of the New York Yankees, Bet-David explained that this rule might be unexpected for some, but it is a principle he upholds in both his personal and professional life.

“In our corporate headquarters, there’s a mandatory monthly reading requirement – read a book a month, or you’ll face termination,” Bet-David candidly declared.

Bet-David emphasized his commitment to this requirement and acknowledged that while it may appear unusual, he strongly believes in it. The Yankees owner emphasized that this expectation applies to all individuals within his organization, with no exceptions. Additionally, the reading material isn’t left to chance; Bet-David personally selects and assigns a specific book to all his employees each month.

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

Bet-David is the founder and CEO of PHP Agency, a financial services marketing firm established in 2009. After an extensive 13-month process involving background checks, interviews, and documentation, he acquired a minority ownership stake in the storied New York Yankees baseball franchise in June 2023. Bet-David joined a group of minority partners that includes investors Marvin Goldklang and Lester Crown, who collectively own around 30% of the team.

New York Yankees minority owner Patrick Bet-David.

Yankees owner’s unexpected order

Bet-David clarified that after instituting this rule, he began mentioning it during the interview process to ensure that prospective candidates were aware of the company’s expectations. Naturally, many candidates found it unusual, and some employees raised objections, asserting that Bet-David shouldn’t have the authority to enforce it. Nevertheless, Bet-David remained resolute in his decision.

The Yankees owner also recounted another scenario where there was resistance from some individuals. They argued that Bet-David couldn’t force people to read during their leisure time. In response, he proposed a solution by offering to pay employees for one hour every week to read during their work hours.

He encouraged them to take a break from their desks and use the lounge area for reading. By doing this, Bet-David was willing to provide financial support, granting $60 per month to those who participated, even if their regular hourly pay was higher, amounting to $400 for reading during company time.

Bet-David’s love for book reading

In a separate interview, which Patrick Bet-David shared a clip of on his personal TikTok account, the minority owner of the Yankees revealed his passion for reading, particularly in the realms of educational and self-help genres. When he was requested to provide a list of influential books, Bet-David had no hesitation.

In discussing his reading preferences, the Yankees stakeholder mentioned a book called “Hypomanic Edge,” acknowledging that it might not be widely known. Bet-David explained that reading this book had helped them recognize that it was acceptable to have the kind of energetic and driven personality they possessed. The book delves into the characteristics of hypomania and how individuals with such traits have accomplished remarkable feats in the realms of business and success, providing insights into the connections between intensity, business endeavors, and substantial achievements.

Furthermore, Bet-David suggested “Barbarians to Bureaucrats” by Lawrence Miller as another influential read. He explained that the book delves into the evolution experienced by every society, encompassing stages from the prophet and barbarian to builder, explorer, administrator, bureaucrat, and aristocrat.

The Yankees owner recommended two books, starting with “33 Strategies of War” by his friend Robert Greene, which he described as a phenomenal read. He then mentioned “Blue Ocean Strategy,” emphasizing its value in guiding individuals on how to differentiate themselves from the crowded marketplace.

Bet-David also offered praise for a number of other books, among them ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ authored by Maxwell Maltz and ‘Power Vs. Force’ written by David R. Hawkins.

Employees resist Bet-David’s order

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While it’s reasonable for a business owner to encourage their employees to read and educate themselves, many individuals found it problematic and viewed it as a concerning “red flag” that reading was mandated under threat of job loss.

Not everyone shares the same literary tastes, and making people read material that doesn’t align with their personal or professional interests can be problematic. It’s also part of a CEO’s responsibility to listen to employee feedback. If a significant number of employees were opposed to making reading mandatory, it would be in Bet-David’s best interest to find a compromise, even if he personally prefers the requirement, for the overall well-being of his workforce.

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