Reading is a great investment in your personal development, not just in leadership. A leader builds his personality before his leadership capacity. So, to become a leader, first, how is your personality? Personality refers to your pattern of thinking (cognition), feeling (mood) and set of behaviours (attitude, conduct). A leader without a good personality may produce bad followers, and this is hazardous. This is a principal and significant aspect of leadership that you must pay attention to if you want to become an effective, successful and impactful leader that will make lives count.
Reading has always been known as a habit of great leaders. Effective reading produces effective leaders. Effective reading goes beyond skimming and scanning. Yes of course, there’s a place for skimming and scanning, but it goes beyond these to become a very effective leader. Effective reading requires you read deeply, understand and apply the ideas and lesson to the challenges of the day. Harry S. Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers.”
LEADERS READ QUALITY MATERIALS
Leaders don’t read anyhow and anything. They invest in quality books that will transform their lives and affect their followers. And one of the categories of these books among others are personal development books. As I said above; this is a very principal and crucial aspect of the matter. To get the most out of your reading time requires you read books of quality. Quality books nourish your mind and inspire your heart. Most people take care of their bodies than they take care of their mind. The mind is very important as the body. Reading is to the mind as exercise is to the body. Effective reading requires you read right and that you read quality.
LEADERS NEVER STOP READING
Reading may be one of the most under appreciated tools for continuing your leadership development. It is a mode of development that is available 24 hours a day. You can do it virtually anywhere. One of the most frequent pieces of advice I give to folks on spiritual, educational, business and several aspects of life, especially to those just starting out in something is, “build your library”, and I also prescribe movies sometimes and audio tapes that are very important towards their success in their field. Bishop David Oyedepo said, “You are either building a library or you are building a mortuary without knowing.” When you stop learning you start dying.
Reading great books stimulates a leader’s thinking and is a source of new ideas and insights. Leaders are always eager and most times on the lookout for great new books. Reading opens you up to new ideas, new ways of looking at the world, and new ways of operating.
According to author John Coleman, “deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.”
LEADERS READ BROADLY
Leaders broaden their scope and the categories of books they read, and this makes them increase capacity and capability as leaders, giving them ideas and also make them have multifaceted career. Don’t limit your reading to a single genre. Develop the habit of reading broadly which include books from a broad range of genres such as business, science, politics, internet, technology and many others according to your choice and wish or what is needed at that particular time. This helps leaders broaden their worldview and become multi-dimensional thinkers. It makes leaders vast in knowledge and ideas and this can make them versatile.
LEADERS RE-READ GREAT BOOKS
There are books you can’t read once and dump. There are book when you read them, every aspect of the book is inspiring and can’t be skipped. There are books that you wish they don’t finish, and when they eventually finish you feel like reading them again or getting other books by that same author. I call books like that Great Books. Not all books are read and dump for leaders.
There are many books that you will gain significant more insight and understanding on the second reading. This is especially true for quality books; they usually require a second reading. Then there are a number of books that you many want to consider reading every year or very frequently especially books with ideas that you need to keep top of mind.