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Leaders Are Readers

Aug 17, 2007
I have observed many leaders in organizations during my leadership development work. Some leaders motivate, empower, coach, and grow their employees while others will do anything to ship the required dollars or work at the end of the month no matter what the impact to the company and its employees. One work place is positive, uplifting, and productive. The other is deflating, draining, and unproductive. One work place has high retention and happy workers and the other has high turnover and unhappy workers. What I have observed is that one leader is a reader and the other is non-reader. Can you guess which is which?

Interestingly, reading leaders are learning and growing and often share what they are learning. They are highly positive, creative, and exude confidence and competence. People eagerly follow them and are loyal. Followers emulate their behaviors and beliefs to others in the organization. The non-reader leader is heavy handed, demanding, less competent, and often manages by intimidation and fear. People avoid them and do only what they must to get by. Their management techniques are also repeated by others in the organization.

There are many leaders distributed between these two opposites. Do you know where you are in this continuum?

The message is this. A distinguishing characteristic of empowering and effective leaders is that they are avid readers. I'll extend that statement by saying that learning can occur in other ways like listening to CDs, teaching, seeking new experiences, and in general exercising a proactive effort to seek knowledge, learn, and grow as a person. With a small effort on your part, you can ascend to new levels of effectiveness as a person, leader, manager, or supervisor. Just 30 minutes a day reading will add up to over 180 hours in a year. Reading a book in 10 hours and you will read 18 books in one year. Reading 9 books in any subject will qualify you as an expert in that subject. You will become an expert in two areas each year and in three years you will become an expert in 6 new areas. You will be promoted, receive a raise or change companies and receive those same benefits. Listening to CDs in your car creates a university on wheels.

Reading is your choice. Will you choose reading, listening, learning, and growing? Or will you rely on what you learned in the past? Leaders are Readers!
About the Author
Joe Farcht is the founder and president of Leadership Advantage, Inc. His purpose for living is to develop and coach leaders, executives, managers, and supervisors to new levels of performance and success in their work and life. He is the author of the book Building Personal Leadership: Inspirational Tools & Techniques for Work & Life. Learn more at Leadership Advantage, Inc.. Please contact Joe at joefarcht@cox.net or at 602 996-1802.
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