Leaders are Readers by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

Improving your leadership skills should always be on your list of priorities. Of course, this involves putting your skills into practice, but it also involves learning about new skills. One of the best ways to increase your leadership skills is by reading.

You might be surprised to learn that some of the country’s most well-respected leaders avidly read about leadership. These very successful leaders in their own right are always interested in learning new skills and learning how other leaders handle issues.

Making reading one of your new priorities can help you determine which new habits and programs have been successful for other leaders and how these might work for you. Over time, you’ll have the opportunity to put some of these ideas into practice for yourself, and determine if they help you become a better leader. While it’s unlikely that everything you read will become a trusted practice, you’ll likely learn something from every author.

Even when you don’t decide to put an author’s ideas into practice, you’re certain to gain valuable perspective just by reading about how other successful leaders handle their workday, their human interactions or their business practices.

You might be wondering where you’ll find all this reading material. Start by making a list of some of the world’s greatest business leaders. There’s a good chance that every person on your list has written a book or two. Once you’ve been through the list of world renowned business people, move to those from your own country, and then to leaders in your community. Even if leaders in your own community have only written articles for the local paper, there’s a good chance they can provide valuable insight for you.

Keep a record of what you read this year, and keep notes on your observations from each book or article. When you read something that has application for your life, write down one or two principles you’ll incorporate into your routine. Add these to your goals, and put a reminder on your calendar to help track your progression. After a few months, you should be able to evaluate which methods are working for you.

The more you read works from other leaders, the more tools you’ll have in your toolbelt to increase your leadership skills. There is much to be learned from all different kinds of leaders. Taking their suggestions and adding your own personal style makes you the best version of yourself.