As a leader, everything is a reflection of who you are, even the pictures on your desk and the books on your shelf. Keep yours stocked with tremendous reading material and let your team know they are free to take them, read them, and share them.
Haines and Yaggy said, “You may judge a man more truly by the books and papers which he reads than by the company which he keeps.”
Books on the shelf give a sense of humility about the leader. They let the employee know that the boss is humble enough to read what others have to say about leadership so that they can be better themselves.
When people came to my father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, for answers, he’d pull a chosen book of the shelf and have the individual read a passage to him. He knew that allowing them to discover the answer themselves was far more powerful than spoon feeding the information.
As Brian Tracy said, “Difficulties are not to obstruct, but to instruct.” Be sensitive about getting in the way of the person’s learning journey. Simply open a book and let the words speak to each individual’s ears and hearts. They’ll find exactly what they need to know.
It’s tough to keep your mouth shut when people come to you with problems. It’s in our nature to want to help solve everyone’s issues with our own clever solutions. But if we deny someone the struggle of finding their own true answer, we deny them their victory. The path we forged may not be the best one for them.