One thing ALL leaders need is the ability to assimilate information, that is to be able to take in and understand information or ideas, and a great way to do that is through books. I’ll be the first to admit reading doesn’t come easily to me but I certainly understand the importance of it so I plug away. The problem is, I’m not a fast reader and I admire (can I say I’m even a little envious) of those who say they read several books a month or even a week - that’s definitely not me, so it’s often easier just to submit to the lack of momentum and read nothing. If you think about it for a minute, what better way could there be to get your hands on months, years or even a lifetime of information, learn the lessons without feeling the pain and do so in a relatively short amount of time. Lets face it we’d all rather learn through someone else’ mistakes than our own!
So my encouragement to you is to begin today - not on January 1st - today, to get hold of a book and read a chapter a day until it’s finished.
Recently a friend of mine, Julian, published a book he’s titled “19 - Leadership Lessons I would Tell My Younger Self”. Julians leadership journey began, as you might have guessed, at the age of 19. Now a husband, father and executive Pastor of a thriving church, he’s spent several years writing a book to give leaders over 25 years of first hand information, experience and lessons.
I’ve put aside my current reading to delve into his book and I would encourage you to have a look at it too, you can get the first chapter free of charge here: http://the19project.com
Thumbing through it I see there’s going to be some very interesting chapters. Here’s a few of the headings:
Leaders make mistakes.
Leadership excuses just don’t work.
Leaders know when to speak.
Leaders without integrity are incomplete.
The book isn’t about bashing anyone over the head, it’s Julian’s leadership journey so I suspect much of these are lessons he’s learnt first hand.
Back to my thoughts on reading, here’s what he has to say to help those who find it hard to read in the chapter “Leadership is About Reading”:
Pick an interesting book,
Get a book that’s recommended,
Choose something thats not so intimidating,
Set time aside to read,
Use the chapters,
Have it close to hand,
Have a list,
Put it (the book) down,
As an extra, he’s added, “Learn to enjoy reading your Bible”, and gives five things that can help you do that.
After 19 I’m going to get back to, Bigger Faster Leadership but in the meantime I’m enjoying a book I wish I had read many, many years ago - on page 51 Julian’s about to be confronted by his leaders for some bad choices…