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The ‘great’ business book Venus Williams is reading right now

November 20, 2019

When Venus Williams isn’t on the tennis court, running her multiple businesses or playing with her Havanese dog named Harold, she enjoys reading.

Currently, she’s got her nose in a book by S. Chris Edmonds called “The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace.”

In the 2014 book, Edmonds, an organizational behaviorist and founder and CEO of management consultancy The Purposeful Culture Group, explains how those in management positions can get their teams to engage meaningfully and perform better through the creation of “an organizational constitution” — a signed document that outlines a given company’s mission, values, strategies and goals.

“It talks about how to build an amazing culture. But it also talks about what your values are and how to incorporate that. So, it’s a great book,” Venus, 39, told CNBC Make It at an American Express Travel event in November.

As the CEO of her interior design firm, V Starr Interiors, which launched in 2002, and her athletic apparel line EleVen, which she founded in 2007, organizational culture is something that’s important to Williams.

“When you are purpose driven as a business it really makes the impact, that you can have on people, so much greater. It is also exciting for employees that they know that they are working towards that mission on a daily basis. People matter, every single person makes a contribution,” Williams said in a video posted in August by TriNet, an HR services business.

Beyond being a business owner and investor (Williams and her siter Serena Williams are investors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship [UFC] and are minority owners of the Miami Dolphins), Williams also has a legendary work ethic, and no plans to retire from tennis.

When asked what she plans on doing for the holidays and Thanksgiving, she calmly answers: “I don’t celebrate any holidays. I’ll be at practice ... yeah, on the courts!”

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