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Success Advice

Leaders Are Readers: How Important Reading Books Is to Your Success

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reading a book

People who are born leaders have a few traits in common. Firstly, they’re naturally inquisitive, which leads them on a quest for knowledge. Leaders are hungry for knowledge thus they want to understand life, people, and reality.

Without knowledge, it’s hard to get far in life. Knowledge applied well becomes wisdom; this is also something leaders must have in abundance, if they are to be successful. One of the best sources of knowledge is books since they usually offer the most in-depth information on any given topic. Anyone who is inclined to immerse themselves in learning has at least one of the innate qualities it takes to be a leader.

Let’s take a look at the ways in which reading books influences leadership skills for the better:

1. Reading books expands our vocabularies

Your communication is only as good as your vocabulary, which is directly linked to your intelligence. Leaders must be at the very least articulate. How else could they manage to help others understand what needs to be done? A strong leader will be convincing, demonstrative and eloquent. Without a diverse vocabulary, this is less likely.

Books are one of the best educational tools, and not just because of the subjects they cover; the language itself is an opportunity to learn. When an inquisitive person sees a word they don’t understand – even in the context of the sentence – they will go and look it up. Due to this, leaders gain a richer perspective, be truly expressive, and have many ways to convey their understanding.

2. Reading books means picking smart brains

One of the best ways to get inside the heads of those you admire is to read their book. If you wanted to learn about building business empires, you might choose the autobiography of Richard Branson. Autobiographies are great for getting a glimpse into the mentalities of other leaders.

Then there are the books that impart the exact knowledge you need. The chances are that what you’ll find inside such books will be the best of what’s in your would-be mentor’s head. After all, they’re showcasing what they know. You’re getting what they consider to be the most important information on the subject of interest.

Although you can’t spend physical time with these people, picking up their book is the next best thing. On at least some levels, you’re getting to know them, what worked for them, and how they think.

“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.” – Lady M. W. Montagu

3. Reading books can be inspiring

When you’re just starting out on your path to leadership, you may see a hazy road ahead. It’s easy to feel insecure, or to view challenges as insurmountable. When this happens, it helps to remember that most leaders have felt this way at some point.

No doubt such feelings will have been at their most acute in the early days. The reason the book you’re looking at even exists is because these people overcame such obstacles. Delving into their success stories is a very helpful way to boost your confidence and spark a few of your own ideas.

Biographies are some of the best books if you’re looking to be inspired. As they are written by a third party, you’ll usually get the full, unbiased lowdown on your chosen person and their path to the success you also seek.

4. Reading books gives us perspective on reality

You won’t receive the best value (in terms of knowledge) from any one book since no one person has all of the answers. The more books you read, the wider your perspective will become, and the more possibilities will become apparent.

What becomes even more apparent from reading books is that success of any kind takes time and effort. The experiences, research and subsequent presentation within that book were probably a long process with some degree of trial and error.

Your authors will have been through a lot to bring you their knowledge, so it stands to reason that you may have to do similar. Knowing this helps to develop realistic goals, strategies and timelines. The books you choose give you access to many different experiences, perspectives and routes to success. You can map out your own path by emulating the aspects you prefer from each.

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” – Rene Descartes

5. Reading books give us a much-needed break

On the path to leadership success, it is easy to become fixated. It is natural to be focused on the goals and productive to keep this focus. However, there are times when we just need time out to relax, process and reflect upon what’s happening in our lives.

Reading a good book is a great way to do this. It doesn’t matter whether that’s a fiction book or a self-help book, but ideally it won’t be the kind of book mentioned above. Disengaging from time to time has lots of benefits, such as improved mental clarity, rest and recuperation. This leads to clearer focus and fresh perspectives.

The most important thing is that you take time out from busy schedules to get a mental breather from goal chasing. This can have some surprising benefits. Consider how an inventor often gets his or her best ideas when not focusing on the issue. When the conscious mind has a chance to relax, the subconscious goes to work and brings through ideas the conscious mind was previously blocking.

6. Reading books help us to become experts in our niche

Reading books naturally increases your knowledge, so when you focus on one particular subject, you’re bound to develop some level of expertise. You’re probably doing this precisely because your personal experience is limited, anyway.

By gaining the knowledge and second-hand experiences of others who know the subject better than you do, you’re armed with fresh information and understanding. This naturally lends power to your leadership abilities.

There is no real substitute for direct experience, but the books you’re reading are likely to pave the way for you to go out and get that experience with confidence and vigour. You’ll also be better equipped to deal with challenges that come up, now that you’ve acquired such valuable knowledge!

One of the best things you can do for yourself is carry an Amazon Kindle wherever you go. You don’t know when you’ll have a chance to choose the perfect material from your digital library. The same goes for getting an Audible account. The best leaders prioritise learning whenever they get a spare moment, and having a diverse library of information at your fingertips makes this possible.

What was the last book you read? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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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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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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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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