If you have ever taken the time to research the habits of well-known leaders you may have noticed a common discipline of learning through reading. Consider the following quotes:
- "My best friend is someone who will give me a book I have not read." Abraham Lincoln
- "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." Walt Disney
- "Reading is a level playing field. Everyone can read the same stuff." Warren Buffet
- Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary." John Rohn
- "The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest people of the past centuries." Descartes
- "Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." Harry S. Truman
Reading is paramount in leadership because it promotes continuous learning. One of the most successful men in the world, Warren Buffet, is well known for his habit of reading between 600 to 1,000 pages per day. Here are a few of the many benefits of daily reading:
- Through reading, you can receive a personal one-on-one with some of the greatest minds of the past and present.
- Reading will remind you to prioritize learning.
- Reading will keep you humble by reminding you that there's still so much to learn.
- Reading provides stimulation for interesting conversations.
- Reading can increase your vocabulary.
- Reading is a stress reliever.
- Reading exercises your mind, keeping it young and agile.
Whether you are an avid reader or you are just getting started, remembering to keep variety in your reading discipline will help keep the journey fun and well-rounded. Here are five types of reading that will develop every leader.
- The Bible – Reading God's word daily will give you direction and wisdom. Psalms 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. It also helps to set and keep your moral compass. "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You" (Psalms 119:11).
- Opposing Viewpoints – Reading material that is contrary to your thought process and belief system can challenge and educate you. This will help prepare you to combat and correct erroneous thinking. It can also serve to help you see things from others' perspectives to help you think outside of the box and relate to/lead varying personalities. 2 Timothy 2:15 exhorts us to study so that we can rightly handle the word of truth.
- Staying Current in Your Profession – Keeping up with the latest information in your profession by reading from a variety of sources will help you to articulate better, learn from the success and failures of others, and stay on the cutting edge of your market.
- Something Outside of Your Box - Learn to become well-rounded in your education. Some of the most successful people branch out of their box to develop skills way outside of their comfort zone. This will multiply your experience and relatability.
- For Entertainment and Pleasure – Reading for pleasure is a great de-stressor, can increase your creative capacity by flexing your imagination and is good for your health.
Whatever your profession, if you want to be a great leader, consider adding a minimum of 30 minutes of reading to your daily schedule. For in the words of Dr. Seuss, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."