In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson talks about the ability that each of us has to grow just 1% each day. To get better in incremental steps.
Do you read regularly? Are you intimidated by a book? Do you take a book off the shelf at the bookstore and think “I should probably read this” but then think “I’m never going to make it through 200-300 pages”?
You’re never going to read an entire book in a sitting. So don’t set yourself up for failure – at least in your mind. Try this instead.
Read 10 pages a day. That’s it. Just 10 pages a day. If you were like most adults, you can read 10 pages in 10 to 15 minutes. Perhaps faster.
If you can do this, and I believe everybody has at least 10 – 15 minutes a day to do that, you will finish a 200 – 300 page book in a month or less.
So grab that business book you’ve been putting off reading. Head to the bookstore. Go to your library. Get a book that’s going to motivate, inspire, educate, and change you. Start reading. 10 pages a day. 10 to 15 minutes a day.
You can do this. Read, Leader!
As I shared earlier, one of my goals this year is to read 12 books. I am actually on book #3 now. This book, Gritty, is co-written by a friend of mine, Ron Lewis.
Take the time to find out more about these brothers and their passion the following link. Order the book. By their book and give it to a first year college student. They will thank you for it.
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.
In a couple of hours, I will be facilitating another “Emerging Leaders” group sessions here at work. We are working our way through John Maxwell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Here is an application from the end of chapter 5 (Law of Consistency) that is worth sharing:
“The more whys you have for pursuing personal growth on a daily basis, the more likely you will be to follow through. Start compiling those whys. Think of immediate benefits as well as long-term ones. Consider reasons related to purpose, vision, and dreams. Think of how it will help you relationally, vocationally, and spiritually. Any reason to grow is a good reason as long as it’s your reason.”
On my way into work this morning, I was listening to John Lee Dumas’ podcast, “Entrepreneur on Fire”. In the episode I listened to (#1482 from November 11, 2016), John was interviewing Rob Moore, author of Disruptive Entrepreneur. I would highly recommend taking time to listen to EOFire. Whether you are striving to become an entrepreneur or not, you will learn valuable insights into yourself, your work, and your world.
During an interaction, Rob pointed out that John had emphasized the word “responsibility” as “response ability”. They had a great exchange following that. For obvious reasons.
This past Friday, my company held its 3rd annual all-employee education day. It was a great time to learn, collaborate, and stretch. But now it’s Monday morning. What are we all doing with all that information we were exposed to?
Studies show that probably only 5% of us will actually act on new insights we’ve been exposed to. That’s it! Only 5%!
But dove-tailing off of EOFire this morning, you have the “response ability” to do more with what you learn.
- You read an article that directly applies to your line of work. Take time to share it with someone on your team. Find out if your work should change based upon new ideas you discovered.
- You read a book about personal growth. Create an action plan to put what you’ve learned into practice. Today.
- You attended a seminar that got you all pumped up. Journal about what you learned, how you felt, and what you intend to do about this new insight.
In other words, when you learn something new, TAKE ACTION! That’s your response ability. As Jeff Olson in The Slight Edge says, take daily, disciplined action toward your goals and you will succeed.
Are you taking responsibility? Make a plan. Do the plan. Don’t let great insight and experience go to waste.