Book reading makes a leader a more adept and articulate communicator.
Are all leaders readers? The successful ones are.
Over the next few months, I will be diving in to MY TOP TEN leadership books. Why is reading so important to your future?
Leadership benefits of reading are wide-ranging.
What do the world’s most powerful people have in common? They READ. A lot. Most CEOs and executives read, on average, five books in a single month. They’re not just doing it because they dig Stephen King, they’re diving into books because reading is a key ingredient to success in life and business. Reading has a ton of professional benefits (as well as personal) that you may not have even considered.
Studies suggests reading can drastically increase intellect and lead to new processes, innovations and insights. Some research has shown that reading makes you think at a higher level through “a expanded vocabulary and greater world knowledge in addition to improving reasoning skills. Reading is one of the quickest ways to acquire new information.
Many leaders claim that reading across fields is a booster for their creativity. And those who can gain insights in other fields, such as sociology, the transcendence, socio-economics, or psychology, and apply them to their organizations, are more likely to accept change and excel.
And, reading can introduce you to new people and places that you may have never experienced. When you frequently put yourself outside of your comfort zone (by reading), you develop new slants on life and learn new things. The more you know, the more capable you are, and the more interesting you are to talk to…and people listen.
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
Reading will also make you much more effective in leading others. It makes a leader a more articulate communicator.
So what leadership books does a business leader read?
The choices are infinite. There are so many great minds that have put their collective thoughts and experiences to paper. But I would love to help you get a jump on leadership focused learning.
Elon Musk (when asked how he learned to build rockets):
“I read books.”
One of the most important reasons to read leadership books is you can take the lessons you’ve learned and then applying them to yourself.
To put it simply, in order to lead others effectively, you need to lead yourself first.
The most profound leaders are also the most profound communicators. When you read a wide variety of genres and topics, you can not help but pick up language that transfers across the board, including oration and writing.
Words are a powerful tool and reading assists you in mastering them by helping you understand which words to use AND when. Whether you want to motivate or persuade, if you know how to produce the message effectively, you can definitely get things done your way. (Hidden Law of Leadership – Distorted Reality, one of my favorite.)
Over the next several months, I will be dedicating this blog as well as publishing articles on LinkedIn speaking of my own “life-altering library”. This will include books that have inspired me and created the sphere of influence in which I try to live.
First, I will start with my list. You can download it here: My Top 10 “Transformational” Books on Leadership
The reason these leadership books are so helpful is because of the ideas and insights that they present. What makes them so powerful is that you get to read about the results of implementing such tactics.
There is no “magic powder” for enhanced leadership. No app will do it for us. We need a framework that we set up, in advance, that will support us and our goals.
We need resources(books) that will aid us in working efficiently and effectively. Resources that will thrive within the framework.
I will begin tomorrow with my #1 most influential read: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.
But before I begin, let me just say what prompted this opportunity to share these principles with you, it actually is a story about one of my nephews. A young man that I’m very close with.
I noticed a few years ago that he was really feeling dejected. I knew something was wrong. And so I asked him, “What’s going on?” And at that time he had just entered a new school and he didn’t have any friends. In fact there was one boy that was being mean. I said, “Well, do you mean bullying? Is he bullying?” He said, “No, he’s not bullying me, but he’s just not very nice.”
And I said, “Well, let me ask you this. Do you think that successful people in life know how to make friends?” And he said, “Well, yeah. But it’s not that easy. It’s not like it was when you were little.” “Okay.” I said, “Well, I think that you can make friends and I actually have an easy way for you to do it. I have an easy way for you to have more friends than you would even know what to do with.” He replied, “Well, what’s that?” And I said, “I’ll tell you what.
If you’re willing to do what I ask you to do, you would be way ahead of all the other 12 year olds in the world. In fact, I don’t know, not even one 12 year old that has done what I’m going to ask you to do. That’s how ahead of all the other kids your age you would be, if you take on this challenge that I’m going to give you.”
And he said, “Well, what’s the challenge?” I said, “The challenge is to read a book.” He instantly replies, “I don’t want to read a book uncle.” I said, “Well, here’s the deal. Successful people love to devour books. We read books. All of the most successful people are constantly learning. Leaders are learners. So I’ll tell you what. To get you started, I’m willing to pay you. Let’s consider this a job. Like I said, most 12 year olds aren’t doing this. So I’ll take you out for an evening treat. We’ll go see a movie. We’ll get popcorn and we’ll have a good time. And I’ll give you 50 bucks if you’re willing to read this book and put into practice what it says. You have to do a book report for me.” And he said, “Aw, man.” “You want the deal?” Then he said, “All right. What is it?”
And I said, “The name of the book…” Actually the book was written in 1936. I didn’t tell him that. And the book was written by a gentleman by the name of Dale Carnegie. It is one of the all time great books on how to be successful. And it’s called How to Win Friends and Influence People. And it’s a great piece of work. One of the cornerstones, I believe, on how to have successful relationships, especially in business, is to start by reading that book. So anyway, I gave him the book and I said, “I want you to read the book and I want you to do a book report.”
Well, I’m very proud of him. He did a great job. He read the book. He did the book report and sure enough, he went on to have more friends than he knew what to do with. And so pretty soon here, he’s going to be graduating from his current phase of youth into the next phase.
And I’m very proud of what he’s been able to create for himself. And it started one day by instead of being argumentative, confrontational, he gained a willingness to read the book (through incentive at first).
So, over the next few months, I’m going to share the 30 principles that are the cornerstone principles from the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. And I look forward to sharing these 30 principles with you and hear your feedback. Hopefully you will be joining in on the conversation. These are going to be teachings that I have found to increase every aspect of my business and leadership as well as my personal and spiritual growth.
Again, here is a list of my “go-to” books for leadership growth:
“Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.”