Leadership requires a constant flow of intelligence, ideas, and information. There is no way to gain the basics of leadership without reading.
As a boy in elementary school, I remember with fondness the Weekly Reader Club, a newspaper of sorts as well as an opportunity to buy books. My parents, especially my dad, were always happy to accommodate my asking for books to buy and bring home.
Reading is my passion – but I don’t just read for reading’s sake.
The leader learns to invest deeply in reading as a discipline for critical thinking.
Reading, for me, is a chance to have an ongoing conversation with the author. The image above, taken from a new addition to my reading list, reflects the inside cover of almost every book in my library.
- The large green Post-it® notes are for writing down important ideas from my reading of the book.
- The smaller yellow Post-it® notes are for bookmarking important ideas in the pages of the book itself.
- The four symbols are my “shorthand” for use while reading, indicating additional action needed.
- I also usually highlight sections in various colors.
- And on occasion, I will write longer notes in the margins.
When I’m finished with a book – particularly one that has really engaged me and caused me to think – the result looks something like this:
I’m an active reader, working on becoming a more critical thinker, which will help me become a better leader.