#NationalBookLoversDay: Benefit from Reading

a stockpile of books

"I read books and talked to people. I mean that's kind of how one learns anything. There's lots of great books out there & lots of smart people"
- Elon Musk

If you want to be a successful business leader, reading should be an essential part of your routine. However, with the hectic lifestyle that comes with running a business, managing employees, and making marketing plans, how can you possibly squeeze in the time to get any reading done?

There are always ways to carve more time out of your day, to find the time to read - and the internet is full of these tips! Find them online and see what fits your lifestyle. You can read during the mornings, use an E-book reader that you can take with you anywhere, or listen to audiobooks while driving. How you consume your book reading doesn’t matter - what is essential, is that you just get it done to start absorbing the knowledge.

Well-known business leaders like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet are all avid readers. It has always been known that reading contributes a lot to a person’s leadership skills. Find out how below:

1. You think better.

a phone with an emoji of someone thinking

As a leader, you have to stay ahead. One way to do this is to update yourself with new information all the time. Reading can help you with that. When you dive into books and other textual materials, you gain and retain new information. Choose something related to your business to specify your knowledge or broaden your mind with something outside your field.

In addition to this, a study done by Anne Cunningham - an Associate Professor in Cognition and Development at the University of California, Berkeley found that readers are good at analyzing whether details are accurate or not. Hence, you can save yourself from believing false information - a necessary skill to have in this day and age! Reading also helps you when it comes to interpreting complicated situations, connecting random ideas, solving problems, and making decisions.

2. You communicate more effectively.

There are a multitude of benefits from reading. According to Cunningham, books and other published materials can introduce us to new words because they use more terms we do not always encounter on TV. When we expose ourselves to these new words, we increase our written and spoken language proficiency. This means we enhance our vocabulary whenever we read.

man giving a presentation on the benefits from reading

Moreover, another benefit from reading is that it helps us better understand the meaning of each word, allowing us to know what term to use at a given time, reacting with more depth.

Being an effective communicator is vital in being a leader. You have to convey your thoughts and ideas in a convincing manner to get others to listen to you and thus, support you.

3. You improve your people skills.

One crucial thing that leaders should have is empathy. Without it, they wouldn’t be able to connect to the people around them. Work on this key skill by reading books, particularly fiction. A study found that people who read more fiction-based novels can process their social world much better.

woman smiling while reading a book and holding a cup

Reading stories lets us dive into new worlds, allowing us to connect with and relate to various characters - even long after we’ve finished the book. It allows us to see the world from the characters’ point of view. CEOs said that this helps them understand and relate to others in real life. In addition, it also helps them to communicate with an open mind, encouraging their employees to provide feedback and contribute ideas.

4. You become more creative.

In business, we always need to think outside the box to be more innovative than our competitors. Innovation needs creativity. To be creative, you need your imagination to run - and this is another benefit from reading. When we read, we use our imagination to create pictures in our heads, using the words from the pages. It also helps us come up with new ideas that we can connect together like never before.

Good leaders always strive to answer the question of how they can make things better. Sometimes, the answer is simple. However, there are other times when they have to look for solutions in different places. If you’re not creative enough, you may not be able to find the answer. You may not be able to come up with unconventional ideas and different methods to approach the problems without a little wisdom from others.

a black book that says write ideas

If you want to be a successful business leader, then make use of the benefits from reading. It can help you develop all the skills and qualities you need to succeed. Just don’t make reading a chore, forcing yourself to finish hundreds of books in a year. Read what you can and at your own pace, make it an enjoyable hobby instead of stressing over it. Remember that the goal here is to be the best leader for your company and team. It is not about how many books you can finish in one sitting.

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
- Margaret Fuller

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