There are a lot of recommended reading lists floating around this time of year targeted at high school and college graduates. For many grads, the last gift they want this season is a book. They have read enough. They need a temporary or perhaps a permanent break from reading. Little do they know that the discipline of reading and wise application helps to evolve a leader into someone worth following. One fact I know about this generation is that they possess a pervasive curiosity that when harnessed and directed creates and achieves what formally seemed illogical or impossible. We need young leaders and we need those leaders to be readers.
There are a number excuses why young people say they do not read:
- They don't have time.
- They are busy.
- They don't like to read.
- They cannot comprehend well what they read.
- They don't know where to begin.
- They don't have a long enough attention span.
I am reminded of Kelsey Meyer's article for Forbes, Why Leaders Must Be Readers, and the three distinct ways she outlined how reading can help anyone grow as a leader:
- Reading reminds us.
- Reading challenges us.
- Reading gives us the opportunity to interact with others.
Everyone has a preferred taste in books. I hope at least one book on the list below is helpful.
- Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality
- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
- Visioneering: God's Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision
- Leadership 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know
- So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
- The Me I Want To Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You
- Humility: True Greatness
- Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
- Emotional Intelligence 2.0: Harness the Power of the #1 Predictor of Professional Success and Personal Excellence
- Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence
- Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions that Control You
- I Am Not But I Know I AM: Welcome to the Story of God
- Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
- The Difference Maker: Making Your Attitude Your Greatest Asset
- Derailed: Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership
- Think Like a Freak: Retrain Your Brain
- Soul Cravings: The Search of Your Life is the Search For Your Life
A few helpful secrets:
- Skip the full length of a book and read a book summary. Google it. There are several good companies that provide this service.
- Listen to an audio book as you drive or exercise. Check out Audible.
- Link up with some friends and read together. Chat about it.