In today’s Knowledge Age, there’s no getting away from this reality.  If you are aspiring to be a genuinely effective leader in this day and age, you need to make sure that you are continuing to expand your intellect through reading.

The most common excuse for not reading more is that there just isn’t enough time.  I know because it’s an excuse that I’ve used myself on many occasions.  However, the more that I read, the more that I realise how much time I’m wasting on other things that are much less important.

What are some simple ways to get started on improving your leadership through reading?

Find some great authors.  Authors like Stephen Covey, John C. Maxwell, Peter Drucker, Brian Tracy and Jim Collins are extremely influential and universally regarded so you can’t go wrong with them.  Pick one author at a time and work your way through their catalogue of material.  You’ll be glad that you did.

Find some great blogs.  There are some terrific blogs out there (far better than mine) from people with amazing credentials as leaders.  Michael Hyatt, and Seth Godin are excellent examples of great thinkers who can help expand the mind.  I’ve certainly benefitted personally from each of them.

Do some study.  OK, now I’m getting extreme, but what a great way to expand your mind.  It doesn’t have to be an MBA (although that would certainly help), but even a short course on a particular aspect of leadership, management or personal development would assist you in becoming a better leader with a more capable mind.

Put aside some time.  It’s easy to crowd out reading from your schedule, but if you want to be a great leader, then you need to be putting aside time in your day for this important activity.  Whether it’s in the morning, evening or during your lunch break at work, is up to you, just make sure that you do it.  I catch the train to work and have found that reading on the way is a very effective use of my time.

Join the local library.  I have to thank my seven year old son Hayden for this one.   He is doing a reading challenge for school, so we joined the local library to give him access to a wider range of books.  I then realised that there are a lot books that I previously had baulked at buying, but could access for free.  I saved myself a few hundred dollars and managed to get my hands on a lot of books that I wouldn’t have read otherwise.

Buy a Kindle.  Research suggests that Kindle users read three times as much as non-Kindle users.  I know that for me that’s certainly been the case.  I read much more now that I have a portable e-book reader.

These are just a few simple suggestions, but the most important thing is that you stop making excuses and start reading.  Your mind will thank you for it, your people will be more effective because of it and you will grow and develop beyond your previous expectations.

Are there any other authors or blogs that you would like to recommend?

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