Leadership

Wal-mart CEO's top 6 inspiring reads of 2016

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart.

Being the CEO of a retail company with a market cap of over $200 billion probably doesn't leave Doug McMillon with lots of uninterrupted afternoons to curl up on a comfortable sofa and read.

But, like many chief executives, the leader of Wal-Mart Stores does prioritize setting aside time to read, and his choices may surprise you: His list includes works about Chinese politics, leadership strategies, and how to care for the soul.

As part of Facebook's #ReadtoLead social media campaign, McMillon posted a photo of the stack of his favorite books from 2016.

Here's what's McMillon has been "taught and inspired" by most this year:

"Sam Walton: Made In America," by Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart

"Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World," by General Stanley McChrystal

"Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership," by Cheng Li

"Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation," by Tim Brown

"The Good Jobs Strategy," by Zeynep Ton

"Soul Keeping," by John Ortberg

McMillon started working at Wal-Mart as a summer associate in 1984, and he rejoined the company as an assistant manager in Tulsa, Oklahoma, while he was getting his MBA. McMillon got a job at Wal-mart in merchandising and went on to hold senior management jobs throughout the company.

McMillon writes in his Facebook post that noticed similar leadership themes in Sam Walton and General McChrystal's writing. "For example, fostering a shared consciousness and empowering execution delivers results," says McMillon.

The CEO says he is working to implement the leadership strategies he is learning to improve the potential for employee development. "We are making progress in designing a 'system' for our associates that results in opportunities for them and an even better work environment," he says.