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 five books in a single month on average. 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 many professional benefits (as well as personal) that you may not have even considered.
Studies suggest 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 an expanded vocabulary and greater world knowledge and 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, socio-economics and psychology, and apply them to their organizations are more likely to accept change and excel.
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.”
In addition to the personal development benefits, reading improves communication skills.
So what leadership books does a business leader read?
The choices are infinite. Many great minds that have put their collective thoughts and experiences to paper. Over the next several months, I will be sharing 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.
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 apply 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 cannot 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.
The books on my list have helped me master the power of words and increase my ability to influence and lead other.. You can download it here: My Top 10 “Transformational” Books on Leadership
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 feeling dejected. I knew something was wrong and so I asked him about his mood.
“What’s going on?”
He explained that he had just entered a new school and he didn’t have any friends. In fact there was one boy that was being mean.
So I asked him one simple question.
“Do you think that successful people in life know how to make friends?”
He replied, “Well, yeah. But it’s not that easy. It’s not like it was when you were little.”
I agreed, but told him that I knew the secret for making as many friends that he wanted, no matter what the times. I challenged him…
“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 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.”
“The challenge is to read a book.”
He instantly replied, “I don’t want to read a book uncle.”
“Well, here’s the deal,” I said. “Successful people love to devour 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.”
The name of the book was… How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I believe it’s one of the cornerstones on how to have successful relationships, especially in business.
I gave him the book and I said, “I want you to read the book and I want you to do a book report.”
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 it started one day by being willing to read the book instead of being argumentative.
Over the next few weeks, I will begin by sharing 5 principles that are the cornerstone principles from the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I look forward to sharing these principles with you and hear your feedback. Hopefully you will be joining in on the conversation. These teachings have helped me to increase every aspect of my business and leadership as well as my personal and spiritual growth.
Here’s 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.”