Leaders are Readers

Harry Truman is quoted as saying, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Not that many years ago if someone had asked me what was the last book I read, I would struggle to tell them. Over the past couple years I have been reading regularly, and it’s been a good habit for me to resume.

Right now I am reading two books concurrently, both as part of book study groups. The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros is the book I am reading with ESU 11 librarians, and Leadership Redefined by Dave Weber is the other book we are reading as an ESU-wide book study. Both book studies are covering one chapter per week, and we post our thoughts and reflections in a Google Community. The schedule has been easy enough to keep, and it’s nice to hear other people’s thoughts as we progress through the chapters.

Most of my reading falls squarely under the non-fiction, professional development heading. I also listen to quite a few audiobooks as part of my daily commute (one hour each way). One of the more recent audiobooks I listened to was What EveryBODY is Saying authored by former FBI counterintelligence officer Joe Navarro. I’ve always been pretty observant and receptive to nonverbal communication, but this book was a real eye-opener.

I do occasionally venture out of the self-help section and enjoy reading for pleasure. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finished reading Winging It! which is a stunning compilation of short stories outlining the aviation career of Jack Jefford. Jack is a distant relative in my family, so reading about his trials and tribulations as an Alaskan aviator made for a very enjoyable read.

Not surprisingly, I am also an avid reader and follower of various blogs. This is a great way to stay current with industry trends and news happenings. The byte sized reading is like a modern-day version of reading the daily newspaper. Feedly is my app of choice for reading various blogs through their RSS feed.

Reading is inarguably one of the best ways to grow professionally, learn, and it’s also a great mechanism to relax. I spend a lot of hours each day glued to a screen, so cracking open a paperback is a welcome release for the eyes and mind.

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