Read a Book?! Me?!

Is this your response if someone asks you to read a book?  I’ve heard it from many people that I encounter.

Studies have shown that when a person graduated high school and even college that a vast majority never read a book after that. When I ask people why they don’t read, I usually get responses such as “who has time to read a book?”

The answer is simple. You do. No, you really do.

In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson tells us exactly how to read a book, an entire book, and as little as 30 days. Olson suggests that you set aside time to read 10 pages each day. Now I’m not a fast reader, but I can read 10 pages in about 10 minutes. Olson states that if you read 10 pages a day, you’ll finish a 300 page book in a month. But I think too many people look first at the 300 pages and become overwhelmed thinking “I’m never going to read this”. And then they don’t. 

But if you break it down into simple segments – 10 pages a day – you can easily get through a book in a month. This is the secret to the slight edge – taking small incremental steps each day that gets you towards a goal.

What happens when you start to read?

  • You expose yourself to insights and thoughts that you wouldn’t get any other way.
  • You get an opportunity to learn something.
  • Ideas come to you.
  • A difficult situation may become more clear after reading.
  • You begin seeing your world from a different perspective.
  • It will positively affect your leadership style and your leadership abilities.

We probably all have heard it said that leaders are readers. There really is no downside to daily reading a book.

One of my goals for 2017 is to read 12 books this year. So far this month I’m about to finish book number 2. They’re not “long” books but I’m using the slight edge principles to read at least ten pages a day. As a result I’m moving through the books quickly and I’m gaining new knowledge and insight. And I’m journaling things that I’m learning (another goal of mine).

So, what are you reading? Yes, you! Put the slight edge in your favor, find a great book, and start reading. If you need a book list, start with The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. At the end of this book he lists around a hundred books that he would suggest leaders start reading. That would be a great place to start. Or listen to your favorite podcaster. I bet they’ll be some suggestions there.

In your town there may be a used book store. You can get great deals at places like that. Or go to Amazon. You can buy great used books for a fraction of the original cost. And many of those used books are in great condition.

Don’t limit your leadership abilities by giving yourself excuses not to learn and grow. Start reading. You really will love it.

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