Leaders are readers.
I have no idea who first shared that statement. It is something I hear numerous times in leadership and yet it is often overlooked. If you are going to lead, you NEED to be reading; not just in your area of study but in all disciplines (to a certain degree).
Below are three reasons YOU need to be reading a wide variety of books/blogs on a daily basis.
- Reading connects you with the past.
Let’s be honest, there are a lot of dead people that have much more wisdom than you or I. Most of my favorite books are written by people who have been dead for centuries. The really beneficial aspect of reading old books is that the wisdom has been tested and proven true.
Truth is timeless.
If the book is sharing REAL truth then it will stand the test of time. If the writing is more focused on pop psychology and fads, no one will remember it 100 years from now – so why read it? If the book has stood the test of time, you NEED to be learning from it.
- Reading allows you to have a conversation with people you will (probably) never meet.
If you are going to grow both as a person and a leader, you need to be around people who are farther along than you are in your field of study. This is the reason mentors are so important; they can share wisdom and experience with you.
Reading is a conversation.
One of the reasons I find reading so beneficial is that it is not a lecture. You are able to read, ponder, and meditate at your own speed as you study literature. I love to journal and speak my thoughts verbally as I read a book. It allows me to digest the information and, in a way, have a conversation with the author who has much more experience, knowledge, and wisdom in their specific field than I do.
- Reading improves your writing and speaking ability.
Being able to write efficiently and speak pervasively are arguably the most important skills you will ever develop. If you want to make a difference and impact the world (which I hope we all do) you NEED to be able to clearly express yourself as both a dynamic speaker and influential writer.
Don’t believe me? Do a Google search for “skills that employers look for” and I guarantee both writing and speaking will make virtually every top ten list you can find.
By spending time reading both modern and historic literature, you will expand your vocabulary and have a better understanding of others’ viewpoints. When you are reading the works of another person, you are able to enter into their thoughts; this will help you immensely both to understand and connect with your audience.
Reading connects you with the past, allows you to converse with various authors, and improves your writing and speaking ability.
How has reading helped YOU grow as both a person and a leader? Leave a comment and let me know!