Today’s guest post comes to us from Stephanie Vozza for FastCompany.com. Stephanie is an author and freelance writer who, for more than 20 years, has written about business and productivity.
If you want to get ahead in business, sit down and pick up a book. Warren Buffett spends 80% of his day reading. Bill Gates reads for an hour each night before going to bed. And Mark Cuban credits part of his success to the fact that he is willing to read more than anyone else.
“Leaders are readers,” says author and syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey, who reads at least one book a week and gives five of his favorite books to every new team member as part of the onboarding process. “It’s in my DNA to always want to grow as a leader. We want our team to always be learning and growing, too,” he says.
Business boils down to personal interactions, and exposure to new ideas challenges you and expands your understanding of viewpoints, says Joan Fallon, CEO of the biotech company Curemark, who reads a book a week. “Reading forces me to stop thinking about my day-to-day life for long enough that I often find a new perspective or a new way of thinking about something,” she says.
WHAT TO READ
If you’re not sure where to start, get recommendations from friends or mentors. Gates shares his favorites on his blog throughout the year. Buffett shares his favorite picks in his annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway.
You can also check your local library for recommendations or join a business book club. Last year, Mark Zuckerberg set a goal to read one book every two weeks, and he started A Year of Books page on Facebook as a virtual book club. He and followers discussed the choices and invited authors to participate via webcasts; by December, he had finished 23 books.
HOW TO DO IT
Finding the time to read needs to be a priority. “I wouldn’t recognize a Kardashian, and I don’t know who got kicked off the island,” says Ramsey. “My suggestion for anyone who wants to be successful: turn off the TV and open a book. You can become an expert on just about anything just by reading and learning.”
Fallon also finds time during travels. “Every day there is time that is idle or spent traveling from one place to another,” she says. “If those gaps are long, I can read a book; if they are shorter, I read an article. Everything I read adds value to my life: personally, professionally, emotionally, and on so many levels.”
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Your partner in ministry,
In my How to Read More Seminar resource, I’ll give you twelve simple steps to help learn how to develop and hone your reading skills so that you can grow as a leader more quickly and increase your capacity to read and comprehend more!
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