Dr. Seuss nailed it when he said, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go!" Reading never hurts. However, what you read makes a difference. For that reason, this article proposals investing your time reading books that contribute to your leadership development; nine tips are presented.
What to read
Tip 1 – Read about principles and ethics.
You'll find some good books on leadership principles along with ethics in the library. Start with the most recent. When you find a favorite author, make it a goal to read whatever he or she writes about the topic. For example, leadership guru John C. Maxwell is one of my top picks.
Tip 2 – Read books on communication.
Communication is a core component of good leadership. What's your communication style? Do you present yourself with poise and confidence? Are you a good listener? How do you relate to others? Is your writing clear and concise?
Make a commitment to improve your written and verbal communication skills. Browse the bookstore or library shelves; Google the topic. You'll forget a gold mine.
Tip 3 – Read books on team building.
As a leader, you do not fly solo. Your success or failure depends on the cast of characters surrounding you. Here, building a team with the right people is essential. Aside from specific skills, what qualities are desirable? How do you motivate and bring out the best in others? Again, you will find answers in the library and online.
Tip 4 – Read biographies of leaders.
I equate reading the biographies of leaders to getting the expertise of a top-notch consultant for free. You get the inside track on their lives as leaders. To that end, make a list of people who interests you.
Tip 5 – Read books in your field.
This tip is a no-brainer. Stay abreast of current events and trends in your area.
Tip 6 – Read the Bible.
How can you read everything else and ignore the greatest success book ever written? You'll gain insight on every topic imaginable, even leadership. If you're a beginner I suggest starting with the book of Proverbs.
Tip 7 – Read books written by coaches.
Here, I am recommending coaches in the sports arena. I've acquired valuable information about leadership and life from reading books written by Coach Wooden, Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Vince Lombardi, Tony Dungy, and others. If a coach has found a way to win more than most, he or she is worthy of my time.
Tip 8 – Read self-improvement books
Self-improvement books abound. Moreover, they cover an array of topics. Let's say you struggle with public speaking, dealing with conflict, or writing reports. You can enlist the help of a good book or two to serve as your personal tutor.
Tip 9 – Read about health and wellness.
A leader must take care of himself or herself. When you ignore health and wellness, you inherit a boat load of problems. Beside, if you do not have your health, what do you have? Thus, read about nutrition, exercise, and ways to reduce stress. You will live longer and better.