Leaders are Readers

Reading can take you anywhere you want to go – a million miles away without ever moving a foot. It can provide the opportunity to be in situations, places, people, and conditions that you’ve never experienced before. It can describe problems similar to your own and offer unique processes, choices and solutions. Reading allows us to continue learning at any time, at any age, and in any place. But what do we learn by reading? Reading offers us the opportunities to disconnect from the usual and routine to experience and create something different, to discover new ideas by considering alternative views, and to skillfully navigate the range of emotions throughout life’s inevitable ups and downs.  Are these not skills needed by today’s leader?   But don’t take my word for it. When CEOs average reading about 4-5 books a month, consider the success achieved by these leaders:

  • Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year.
  • Mark Cuban  reads more than 3 hours each day.
  • Mark Zuckerberg commits to reading a book every 2 weeks.

(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-merle/the-reading-habits-of-ult_b_9688130.html)

These leaders have discovered that “Reading can also make you more effective in leading others. Reading increases verbal intelligence (PDF), making a leader a more adept and articulate communicator. Reading novels can improve empathy and understanding of social cues, allowing a leader to better work with and understand others — traits that author Anne Kreamer persuasively linked to increased organizational effectiveness, and to pay raises and promotions for the leaders who possessed these qualities. And any business person understands that heightened emotional intelligence will improve his or her leadership and management ability.”  (Source: https://hbr.org/2012/08/for-those-who-want-to-lead-rea)

So, dive in to our book list of 2017, compiled from researching what’s on the lists of successful leaders as well as some of our own favorites. Some are new releases; others are classics. And some simply continue to give us joy with each reading and deserve being picked up again and again.  Don’t keep the list to yourself. Share it with your team. Recruit peers to join you in a monthly book club lunch-n-learn to share ideas, perspectives, and applications. Here’s a link with “how-to’s” for leading your book discussions, applicable to any book that you’re reviewing. Invite me to join you virtually or in person! I would love to read and learn with you! Above all, take your reading to the next level by applying what you’ve learned within your own environments. That’s when you’ve bridged the gap between learning and doing to the sacred place where knowledge applied becomes wisdom.

Our list:

  1. Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success by Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch and Sean Lynch.
  2. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss.
  3. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms by Vishen Lakhiani.
  4. Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, Jonas Koffler.
  5. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth.
  6. Thinking, Fast and Slow Kindle Edition by Daniel Kahneman.
  7. Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen by Steve Sims.
  8. Find Your Why: A Practical Guide to Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team by Simon Sinek, David Mead, Peter Docker.
  9. Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior by Jonah Berger.
  10. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.
  11. Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life by Sir Richard Branson.
  12. The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, The Making of a Navy SEAL by Eric Greitens.
  13. Transparency—How Leaders Create A Culture of Candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman and James O’Toole.
  14. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.
  15. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
  16. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl.
  17. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  18. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  19. Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.
  20. The Bible