You and I are spending more and more time on our digital devices and watching TV. Studies suggest that Britons spend more time on tech than asleep, Americans will spend more time on digital devices than watching TV , whilst the average American watches 5 hours of TV per day. All these activities may be entertaining, but they do little to improve your leadership ability.
Considering these findings “when was the last time you read a book?”
If you are one of the many who don’t have a reading habit you are missing out. Reading is a great way of improving your leadership ability.
1. Reading Makes You Smarter
Research has shown that reading improves your cognitive ability the most obvious reason is that reading improves your vocabulary and knowledge. This improve your abstract reasoning and problem solving ability.
Reading is one of the quickest ways of gaining new knowledge, information and insights. And the more knowledge you have the better equipped you are to tackle the challenges as they come your way.
2. Reading Improves Your Emotional Intelligence
Reading improves a leaders communication and social skills. Especially reading fiction which research has found to improve your empathy – “when people read fiction, and they are emotionally transported into the story, they become more empathic.”
Improved communication ability and empathy helps leaders better understand others. Getting an understanding as to what motivates other, inspires them improves a leaders ability to influence and persuade others.
3. Reading Keeps Your Brain Healthy
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” – Joseph Addison
“Just like muscles, the brain benefits from a good workout. And reading is more neurobiologically demanding than processing images or speech.” – Lauren Duzbow, Watch This. No. Read It!
4. Reading Improves Your Creativity
Reading changes your worldview and thereby improving your creativity. As reading challenges your thinking and helps you see the world from a different perspective.
Reading shapes your worldview, helping you think in more diverse ways, this increases the likelihood that you come up with new and novel solutions to problems.
5. Reading Helps You to Learn from the Mistakes of Others
Whilst successful leaders learn from their personal experiences they also take time to learn from the experiences of others.
“Employ your time in improving yourselves by other men’s documents, so you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” – Socrates
One of the best ways to learn from others is by reading non-fiction – especially biographies. Whilst leader can and do learn from their own life experiences, but they don’t have the time to make all the mistakes themselves so they need to learn as much as they can from the experiences of others. Books are one of the quickest and most rewarding way to learn from the experiences and mistakes of others.
Reading biographies provide insight into the struggles, challenges and victories of great men and woman of history. They encourage and inspire us to strive to make a bigger impact on our world. Their stories give us the courage to act and do more with our lives.
Successful leaders know the benefits of reading, so they make it a daily habit.
Have you developed a daily reading habit?