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.

Emerging Leaders by Jim Johnson 

I’m going to start something new this fall. I have formed within my department an “emerging leader” team. I asked each of my four managers to pick 1 person from each of their teams to join me this fall for a mentoring group that will last until Christmas. 

We’re going to start off by studying the book by Jeff Olson called The Slight Edge. We will then end with John Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. I will be also involving them in a all-day education day with our employee group. They’re going to help me with a presentation that I’ll be making.

This is going to be an intentional, one hour per week, time where I can help develop these individual’s growth and potential. Their managers saw something in them that said if we can continue to develop them, they will be our future leaders in our organization. I’ve had another vice president in our organization asked me to do the same thing with one of her teams.

In any organization, leadership matters. John Maxwell states that leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less. If that’s true (and it is) then we need to be developing leaders.

I would encourage you and your organization to think about doing the same thing. The people who are going to be in my groups are very excited about the opportunity coming up. Your organization will improve and your people will be excited about the kind of growth that they’ll experience. 

For me it’s a short-term investment that will have long-lasting impact. If you start something like this, please let me know so we can encourage each other through our journey.

Emerging Leaders

After reading Jeff Olson’s book The Slight Edge, I’ve decided to begin a new “mentoring” initiative with my team.  In September, I will begin an emerging leaders group.

I’ve asked each of my 4 managers to choose someone for this group.  I reminded them that this is a great opportunity to speak encouragement into the person they selected.

We will begin our time together by reading, studying, and discussing The Slight Edge.  If time allows, we will most likely go through a John Maxwell study (I’m a certified John Maxwell team member).

I’m looking forward to spending more intentional time with this new team.  We will meet regularly until the end of December.  At that time, we’ll evaluate as a team whether we continue into the new year.  I will also be starting up a new team in January.

Why do I do this?  As I have been learning, one of my primary jobs is to influence leaders to become successful while they in turn influence others to become successful. The impact my resource center has can be multiplied as I develop leaders in our business.

I’m looking forward to this new adventure!  I love being a part of an individual’s growth and development.  I am passionate about raising up successful leaders!