“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” ― Mark Twain
Over the past couple of weeks, I have discussed the topic of reading at length. It has been on my radar so much that I am now seeing and hearing about reading in articles and podcasts I frequent. Reading is perhaps the most important skill you can learn. Being literate will help you learn countless other subjects. If you cannot read, you are at the mercy of others. I wonder why our education system is under attack. Read the rest of this entry
Each day, I have a 25 minute commute to work. This gives me almost an hour devoted to learning; while Bernadette has been in the Netherlands, I have been soaking in almost two hours of learning each day. My learning tool of choice for these situations has been the podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire by John Lee Dumas.
During this podcast, he interviews a different successful entrepreneur each day. While there are many lessons to be learned, there are a number of themes that seem to shine though. One topic that has been emphasized over and over is the importance of coaches and mentors to the learning process. While I would love one-on-one mentoring on a number of topics, I do have access to countless coaches on many subjects, and so don’t you. Read the rest of this entry
What you do and how you do it are largely shaped by what you learn. One of the ways you can learn is through professional reading. Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin were avid readers. While in the Air Force, we were encouraged to read the books on the Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List. If you check out my book reviews, you can tell that I also find reading is important. Reading lists can help ground you in a vision that leaders have for an organization. Here is a consolidated list of reading lists from key leaders, innovators, and organizations. It is a good place to start if you are trying to find something to read over the break and into the new year. I am going to start with the first reading list I became aware of. (** – books I have read) Read the rest of this entry
Last night, I was reading a book by David Cottrell called Tuesday Morning Coaching, and I ran across a statement that surprised me. I thought it was important enough to share with you. “According to the U.S. Labor Department, business people who read at least seven business books per year earn over 230 percent more than people who read just one book per year.”
This makes a lot of sense to me. People who want to be and stay successful are constantly learning. Reading is a great way to tap into new ideas regardless of your discipline.
While I was poking around the Internet, I was surprised to find that 25% of Americans have not read a book in the past year. A number of other sources are highlighting that CEOs are reading 4-6 books… per month. While have not confirmed these numbers, I did read some time back that Bill Gates would collect books, and twice a year would take a two week vacation simply to read and make notes. This speaks volumes to the power and necessity of reading for professional development.
In a recent survey with some of my colleagues, they reported that they read regularly in order to stay abreast of changes in their specialty and to be better educators (Skrabut, 2011). However, more can be done at the organization level to encourage reading. Organizations can support informal learning by encouraging professional reading as well as include current reading as part of staff discussions (Bell, 1977). Organizational leaders should share the books and articles they are reading (Tobin, 2000). I think the Air Force does a great job promoting reading. Each year the Air Force Chief of Staff puts out a professional reading list. Here is the current list: http://www.af.mil/information/csafreading/index.asp
Does you organization have a professional reading list? If so, please comment below.
Skrabut, S. A. (2011). An examination of informal learning strategies for University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service educators. Manuscript submitted.
Tobin, D. (2000). All learning is self-directed: How organizations can support and encourage independent learning. Alexandria VA: ASTD.
United States Department of Labor, Survey by Yahoo! Chief Solutions Officer Tim Sanders and Business Majors, Survey by Bersin & Associates, How Executives Stay Informed.