Leadership and Learning: Reading is fun!

I like to read books. A lot.

I’m that annoying person who, during the course of a conversation, will tell you 2-3 books you should read because they are really good and would probably solve all the world’s problems and what do you mean you don’t have any time to read?

I’ve always been like this, and I thought everyone was like this. As a new manager, I used to suggest books for my team to read ALL the time, and I was surprised they weren’t as excited about it as I was. They good-naturedly (mostly) gave me a hard time about it, and occasionally someone would read a book.

Here’s the thing – even if they NEVER read the book, they were exposed to different ideas that might change their approach or encourage them to do a little research about topics that interest them. Basically, I made curiosity an expectation.


It’s for this reason that I say leadership and learning need to go hand in hand. As leaders, it’s easy to be pulled in a number of directions and use the excuse you’re too busy to learn anything new. Poppycock. If you don’t have time to read, use your commute to listen to Audible.com. Seek out people you don’t normally interact with and ask them about their work. Have lunch with a person you admire. If you have the means, find a conference or two to go to and connect with others in your line of work – or even outside of your line of work to expand your horizons.

Once you’ve done all that to keep your thinking fresh and current…SHARE. Share with your team, share with your peers, share with the world (Twitter isn’t ALL about cat videos, you know).

[Note: I just finished reading ‘Contagious’ by Jonah Berger. Check it out. Great stuff about making a message viral.]

Like I said, I love to read. It’s how I learn, it’s how I share. If I tell you about a book I read and I think you should read it…it means I care about your development and think you have potential.

When my boss suggests something to read – as an employee I LOVE it. When I suggest a book to my team – as a leader, it’s my job.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.
– Maya Angelou


Got a book or interesting tidbit that you want to pass on? Share in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Leadership and Learning: Reading is fun!

  1. Nice job, Mary! I have always been inspired by those of you who DO read, to read more. Keep the suggestion coming!

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