The best way to grow your personal brand and career? Reading.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Leaders are readers, and readers are leaders?” I usually wince when I hear this because it’s not an entirely true statement.
Reading by itself doesn’t make you a leader. If simply reading made the reader into something else, then certainly by now I’d be a crime-fighting billionaire who only goes out at night, dressed as a bat, invoking vigilante fear into the hearts of criminals. But, alas, I am not.
The actual statement (by Harry S. Truman) goes, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
This speaks to the fact that leaders are readers not just because they read, but because of what they read, why they read it, and what they do with it.
True leaders never stop growing and learning. And reading is one of the best ways to learn. And it’s one of the best ways to grow your personal brand and grow in your career. Through reading, you can become an expert in any subject, you can gain insight from some of the most intelligent people, and you can develop new skills to grow your influence.
As U.S. reading habits are in a steep decline, reading can be a competitive advantage in your career.
Reading Makes us Better Thinkers
Reading brings you new information, and new information gives you knowledge and insight to apply in situations. Studies have shown, unsurprisingly, that the general knowledge of readers is significantly higher than non-readers (those without the habit of reading). Even better? Those same studies also show that readers are better at deciphering misinformation and have a higher proficiency for judgement.
Gain New Perspectives
Reading gives you insight into others’ experiences and viewpoints. And it expands your ability to see beyond your own viewpoint. When that happens, you’re able to make connections from “out in left field” to solve problems. And the wider you delve into reading genres and subjects, the more you’re able to expand your perspective and ideas. In fact, I once helped solve a significant problem at work by using lessons I found from Batman: Knightfall. Of course, I didn’t admit to anyone that the idea came from Batman until much later.
Reading Improves Your Communication Skills
The more you read, the more you’ll be exposed to new vocabulary and new ways of delivering ideas and messages. All of these will help you in articulating your own thoughts and ideas more clearly. If you’re going to influence anyone in your career, you HAVE to be able to form visions and ideas to share. But you’ll only succeed in delivering them if you’re able to clearly, and simply, articulate them.
So if you want to be a leader, you need to be a learner. You need to be a reader. It’s one of the surest traits that’ll help you brand out from the crowd!
Now you know WHY reading is so important for your career. But WHAT you do with the lessons you learn from reading is equally, if not more, important.
Unfortunately, it’s not always clear how to apply what you learn from reading into your specific role and into your specific business.
Thankfully, I have a solution for you, SIMPLE brand Book Club - a monthly reading program designed for busy leaders who want to grow themselves, strengthen their team and grow their business. You can join the club here.
Here’s what you get as a SIMPLE brand Book Club member:
CURATED BOOK SELECTIONS: Monthly books to help you simplify your business and grow your personal brand.
LIVE READING REVIEWS: Weekly online reading reviews, discussions and Q&A with your book club host: me, Matt Lyles.
LIVE AUTHOR Q&A: Opportunities to attend live interviews with book authors and ask questions on how to apply lessons to your business.
READING GUIDES: Reading guides simply developed to help you get the most out of your books and retain the lessons.
ACTION PLANS: Action plan prompts to help you tie the book lessons directly to your business and immediately take action.
PRIVATE MEMBER GROUP: A private online group where business leaders like you ask questions, share lessons and encourage each other.
Don’t make your professional development any more complicated than it has to be.
Group discussion, action plans, private author Q&A and more! This is your monthly book club to help you learn how to provide a simple experience to your customers, to your people, and to yourself.
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