Leaders Read

I recently saw this come across Instagram. I like it, of course, but did a double take. I am so lucky because I never got this messaging from my folks. My parents never ever said through their actions or words, “Be the CEO your parents wanted you to marry.” They encouraged me to work hard at everything I did. They said I could do anything, that I could be anything; they never taught me that a man was a plan.

That messaging is starting to become more commonplace as we empower female populations all over the world. But, what if you weren’t taught that? What do you do if your messaging and patterning from when you were a young child didn’t encourage you to take control over your own destiny by doing hard things, attempting big ideas and challenging the status quo? How can you overcome this early patterning if you weren’t encouraged to control your own destiny?

The old adage "leaders are readers” may provide one of the answers. Did you know that the average CEO reads 4-5 books a month and spends a significant time reading magazines and listening to podcasts? On average, most CEOs watch less than 1 hour of TV per day. Leaders have a thirst for knowledge. If you truly want to change the environment in which you live, you need to change your brain.

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Getting better, in small ways, every day is one of the ways we become better parents, better partners, better community members, and better small business owners. That happens only through deliberate effort. You can get better at anything. When I started learning how to make pasta, I read everything I could. This goes for just about anything you want to learn. Someone else has written about it, explored it and wants to share.

This year, in addition to exploring all things DIY (cheesemaking, pasta making, bitters … it’s a rabbit hole of creativity), I’m focusing on a couple areas of personal development and leadership. Specifically, developing a habit based orientation towards work and home life; learning to sit with stillness and quiet my mind during meetings so I can focus on listening better. I’ve chosen the following books as my personal development books for the year for this education track. I’m aiming for 1 book for this specific self-improvement focus every quarter, read in 20 minute increments per day. It’s not too overwhelming to commit to something for 20 minutes a day. Once I finish my quarter’s self-assignment, I’ll go on to reading all the other books I want to read this year.  You can follow along with what I’m reading on my Goodreads page.

 
 

If you get inspired to take a hard look at where you’d like to improve this year, I’d love to hear what those areas are and what books you’re going to tackle to improve yourself this year. All of the knowledge and experience in the world is out there, just a library visit away. We just need to supply the time and focus to read, absorb and act.