Successful Leaders Read More Books

Jul 8, 2011
3 Min Read

I always learn something new by reading Tim Sanders, a former Yahoo! Executive who hit the big time with his first book, Love is the Killer App.  His latest effort, Today We Are Rich, focuses on how to live and work more confidently, and what Tim says about reading leadership books really resonated with me:

"You need to commit a high percentage of time to reading books related to your job.  You might be in the habit of grazing: reading articles and blog posts on a subject.  That is surface level research, the same general knowledge that everyone else you know reads too.

Many of the most successful executives I know are voracious book readers.  According to a 2007 Market Tools Survey, the average businessperson reads one book a year related to his or her profession and the average C-level executive reads six."

Books Deepen Your Knowledge of a Space

The best books help you understand the industry’s history, players, economics, and trends that influence success or failure.  Tim recommends looking at your field’s trade magazines and websites for book recommendations, and then, as you’re reading, taking notes as if you were still in college and going to be quizzed.

When you see a great point, underline it and log it along with its page number on the blank pages at the back of the book.  Look at every new project or business opportunity as a chance to expand your knowledge, even if you already consider yourself an expert in a particular area.

Where Will I Find the Time?

Carry a book with you everywhere you go – there’s space in transit, waiting between meetings, eating alone, and before you go to bed.  If you cut down on Internet surfing, phone calls, and/or a few entertainment events, you’ll find enough extra minutes to complete one new book each month.

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