Times are tough, budgets are tight and great leaders are a dying breed. Great! Napoleon Hill said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” So today we are going to talk about one of the many ways that we can plant the seeds of a great harvest through reading great books.
How do we learn to become adept business leaders? If you’re a product of the military, you received leadership training at various stages throughout your career. If you’re from a large corporation, perhaps you had courses in managing people and a culture that required 40 or more hours of training a year. If you’re fortunate enough to have found a mentor and become a mentee, that can also be of tremendous value.
But did you know that books can be just as valuable as your favorite boss, best mentor or camaraderie-building team event? The real beauty is that books are at your immediate disposal. You don’t have to wait to be selected. You don’t have to wait until the budget is approved. You don’t even have to hunt down a mentor to groom you. You just pick up the book knowing that the hand that lifted it will be different than the hand that puts it down.
So why don’t more people read? Especially people who are responsible for leading others?
I’ll give you three main reasons why people fail to take full advantage of the greatest and most accessible resource of all time.
The first response of folks who display no intention to read is I’m busy, followed by I read only work stuff, then I’m taking courses after work to, I’ve got the kids to deal with, and even the very honest I don’t like to read.
The second key element in taking advantage of the many benefits of reading is how to read. Yes that’s right, there is a how. I’m talking about a way to read to ensure you get the maximum results. The attention you pay to reading and harnessing your wandering mind is no different than the discipline and attention displayed at the gym as you train new muscle groups.
Lastly, folks miss out on reading because they are overwhelmed with choosing what to read. There are over 200,000 books that come out each year alone. It can be a daunting task to hone in on selecting and committing time and money on the one that will benefit you the most.
As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “Leaders are readers.” If you are sitting in the head shed and not reading, you are not truly leading. You’re just occupying the position.
Make the effort to read a little every day and you'll put yourself on the fast track to real, genuine leadership.
Love this – great article – I especially like “Charlie’s” quote – “If you are sitting in the head shed and not reading, you are not truly leading. You’re just occupying the position” – that is a powerful thought. I think that happens a lot and I also think in to days world where we are so used to being entertained, we need to get back into the books and really “start thinking” Someone said It is important to “think outside the box” but more importantly than that – is to actually think – that would be a great improvement, Thanks for such a great insight.
Thanks very much for your comments Rosemary. Yes, reading is hard work and a skill to be acquired. And it’s a serious job to guard what we let enter our minds and to have the discipline to continually feed it!