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Success Advice

If You Want to Lead, You Need to Read

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A common habit that extraordinary achievers, leaders, and CEOs seem to share is the habit of reading regularly. They find time to read books despite being busy with their regular activities and tasks. Bill Gates admits, “I had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.” Reading makes leaders. And reading makes people smart and wise. It makes them more aware and better equipped to achieve their goals and objectives. Here are innumerable advantages associated with reading. 

  • It engages your mind constructively. It keeps your mind away from troubles and takes you to an imaginative world.
  • It decreases your stress and provides you peace of mind. It removes negative thoughts from your mind and replaces them with positive thoughts. 
  • You update your knowledge, skills, and abilities. You get inspired by the books. They help you become a complete individual by equipping you with several qualities, traits, and practices. 
  • Reading is an active mental process that improves your concentration and focus. It improves memory, vocabulary, discipline, and creativity. It builds mental associations, improves reasoning skills, and enhances conceptual skills.
  • It helps you understand the realities of life and become pragmatic. It helps you explore uncharted paths. It opens the window to the outside world. You get respected by your community and society.

Stephen King touched the right chord when he said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” You can learn by yourself with little investment. Precisely, books provide you with self-motivation and help you dream big.

Research suggests that reading can work as a serious stress-buster. A 2009 study by Sussex University researchers showed that reading may reduce stress by as much as 68 percent. “It doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.” 

Here are some tips to make reading a lifetime habit

  • Read the newspaper every day. 
  • Read blogs, online magazines, and journals in your area of interest. 
  • Discuss what you read with your peers. Their knowledge and information will push you to verify and know more, and you will end up reading more.
  • Carry a book whenever you travel.  Else you have the app to download e-books which are accessible over mobile.
  • Start with 30 minutes a day, to be dedicated to reading. During those 30 minutes do not do anything else. Switch off anything that might distract. Read and analyze what you have read. Form an opinion.
  • Avoid reading just for the sake of reading because you may end up developing an aversion to reading forever.  Hence, read books in your area of interest.  
  • Think of a situation when you have read a book till about a few decent pages. 

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

I am a bookworm

I have read quite a few books during my lifetime. I was a book reviewer for the Human Resource Management International Digest of an Emerald journal and received many books to review. I get lots of books from eminent international thought leaders. I read and post reviews on Amazon. I purchase many books and read. Additionally, I read a lot of online content. Reading is a daily activity for me. There is not a single day in my life when I slept without reading and writing.  Whenever I commute I carry a book with me to read and use my time. I am a passionate reader with a heart to share my knowledge with others. 

I always remember the best thing about traveling is to help myself with a book. Whenever there is enough time to board the train, I would stand at a book stall in the railway station and surf through the book titles. The same happened when I had to take a flight. The in-flight time is dedicated to reading. I had the practice of stopping by the road whenever I spotted books being sold on the footpaths in India. I have loved books since childhood.

Reading the newspaper is an old habit for me. Although there is a shift to digital newspapers currently, I still enjoy reading print editions.  It keeps me updated with current developments globally. I also read the news online regularly.

Over to you!

Reading books can change your life. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by several books including John Ruskin’s Unto This Last. He borrowed his principles from this book. Most successful leaders from history are voracious readers. Leaders including Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt read books widely. Research shows that CEOs of Fortune 500 companies read an average of four to five books a month. Research further shows that successful entrepreneurs read for an average of 2.6 hours per day. It is obvious that leaders are readers and reading helps them excel.

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: https://www.amazon.com/See-Light-You-Spiritual-Mindfulness/dp/1949003132. He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications.

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Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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Success Advice

Dead Men Tell No Tales: How to Navigate a Mutiny as a Leader in 10 Steps

You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way

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You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way and perhaps that has created a divisive and adversarial working environment that makes it difficult for you to influence and inspire your team in a way that meets your vision. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Think Like a CEO for Your Future Success

A blueprint for CEOs to draw a disciplined strategy

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Strategic thinking helps CEOs build successful businesses. It helps them establish everlasting enterprises. It is one of the key elements of decision-making. It is different from strategic leadership. It differentiates between leaders from managers.  (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Focus Your Mind on Your Goals in 2023 Constructively

In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds

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In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds on positive aspects and constructive activities. Sometimes we waste our precious time mentally and physically due to distractions arising out of technology. We must understand our priorities and learn how to focus on them religiously. (more…)

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