[March 29, 2019] Some might assume that a great leader is someone who is highly experienced, confident in their knowledge, and has a great intuition for what is right. These traits are certainly a part of what makes a great leader, there is something else that people often forget: great leaders are very aware of what they do not know. Becoming a more senior employee doesn’t always mean knowing more, but constantly learning and pursuing their own growth and the growth of those around them.
This is why famous entrepreneurs and CEOs like Bill Gates and Elon Musk are known for being avid readers and voracious bookworms. Reading is one of the best ways to expand your knowledge in a subject, gain insight into other perspectives, and even de-stress after work. Despite the clear benefits of reading for both business and pleasure, the average American only reads about 4 books each year. For an average-sized book, that works out to only 3 words of a book a day.
We read thousands of words on our phones, Facebook timelines, and in emails each day, so we’re clearly capable of reading more. The biggest obstacle is finding a chunk of time to dedicate to reading. Thanks to audiobooks, the task is a bit easier. Try incorporating a great book about leadership on your commute to work. Or instead of eating your lunch at your desk, try taking a book with you outside. A typical reader can actually finish a book in just a couple lunch breaks!
For those who do find the time to make reading a priority, there are extensive benefits. Aside from providing valuable insights in business, marketing, and leadership, reading can help stimulate your mind and build stronger associations between disparate ideas. It’s a great way to stay sharp mentally. In addition, even if you consider yourself a walking thesaurus, you’re likely to pick up a few terms you’ve never heard before.
Plus, studies have shown that reading is a great way to wind down after a long day at work. Reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68%, making it a great way for over-achievers to get away from overwhelming work while remaining productive. Reading a book is also a great way to strengthen your memory skills. Because a long read can require you to remember plot points and concepts that you may have read days or weeks earlier, reading improves your ability to store and recall information.
So, with all the benefits of reading, what’s stopping you from picking up a book today? If you’re unsure what to read and want a great list of business books, check out this infographic by Fundera. They’re categorized by what area of business you most want to learn about, whether that be funding your business, marketing, motivation, money, or leadership, there’s a book for you. Plus, you can see how long in lunch breaks it will take you to read the book, so you can make a small or large commitment right for you schedule. Check it out here.