The Well-read Leader

December 17, 2018

Reading and leadership go hand-in-hand – so book some time to do it.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am constantly moving, talking, thinking, reading – you name it. It keeps me sharp, energized and ready for what’s next.

And if you’ve followed Front and Centered for any period of time, you know I’m a voracious reader. I’m reminded of what Warren Buffett said about the key to success: “Read 500 pages every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest."

PB-US-Blog-well-read-leaderAnd I still get a thrill when I read something that’s so impactful to me that I’m compelled to share it. (I’m a firm believer that enthusiasm is contagious.) I’ve shared musings on books I’m reading and their impact on me as a leader in my “Leaders Library” series. I also started a book club with my team – which over time, has extended to other employees.

And it looks like the word is getting out: I was recently included in Inc.com’s roundup of executives who shared a book that inspired them. I’m honored to be in the company of others whom Inc. considers “high achievers” (don’t worry, my family will not let this go to my head).

You can read the Inc.com article here: 26 of the Most Inspiring Books Everyone Should Read

This isn’t rocket science; reading is fundamental.

Reading makes us smarter, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “if ‘smarter’ means having a larger vocabulary and more world knowledge in addition to the abstract reasoning skills encompassed within the concept of intelligence.”

Reading may actually literally pay dividends, both professionally and financially.

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And reading may actually literally pay dividends, both professionally and financially. Surveys by N2growth show that executives who think they are not achieving the level of success they believe they are capable of, say that they’re “too busy to keep up with their reading.” (And if my graduate students are reading this, those same surveys show that active readers are likely to have annual incomes more than 5 times greater than those who spend little or no time reading.)

Add to your leaders library

As we turn our attention to family and friends, reflections of the year gone by and anticipation for the one ahead, the reader in me can’t help but offer you a few more book lists for any upcoming quiet nights by the fire:

  1. 10 Must-Read Emotional Intelligence Books for Leaders
  2. 15 books world-famous CEOs think everyone should read in their lifetime
  3. 10 Must-Read Books for Leaders: Expand Your Mind

Do you have a book list? Please share it in the comments. I wish all of you and your families a very happy and safe holiday season.  The Front and Centered team will be taking some time off as we celebrate the season with our families.  We will return with a new post the second week of January.  Thank you so much for being a part of this community.  Have a very Happy New Year!

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Al Chiaradonna