There are so many traits associated with leaders. Management, confidence, team building and what not. But, the one trait we all forget is that they are all good readers. Talk about any of the inspirational leaders be it in the past or present, and you will notice they all have the habit of reading.
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From Winston Churchill to Steve Jobs, they all have been great readers. As a matter of fact, Steve Jobs had this special love for Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas. But, what is it that makes reading such an impactful activity to inspire great leaders?
Or, in other words — why should you inculcate this habit if you want to become a great leader? Well, here are some of the reasons -
Reading leads to learning
The one thing that’s common between all the powerful leaders is that they never stop learning. And, reading is a great way to learn new stuff. As a matter of fact, you cannot always spare time to join classes for learning something new. But, you can always spare a few hours every now and then to read a book on that topic and learn the basics.
That’s why great leaders are always found immersed in books whenever they have free time. After all, there’s a reason why they say “Books are always a man’s best friend”.
Reading inspires innovation
We cannot experience everything in life. That’s why it becomes imperative to learn from others. Great leaders have this proclivity towards books because they inspire them to learn from someone else’s experience. Books are a medium through which the writer has given shape to his/her dreams. Those dreams can lay the stepping stones of something innovative, which is hard to think of in an ideal world.
That’s where the seeds of innovation are sown. And, this is why great readers don’t leave an opportunity to read whenever they can.
Reading brings a new perspective to your thinking
A good leader has to be good with people, else he can never become a great one. Books help good leaders become great ones by inculcating a new thinking perspective. When you read a book, you are reading how a particular person thinks or perceives a particular situation. And, how he/she would react to it.
In a way, this helps you to break the mold of your personal thinking. It brings a new perspective that will help you to understand why a person reacts or behaves how he/she does in a situation.
And, this can be of great help to a leader. After all, a good leader must marshal his troops in such a way that everyone feels important.
Reading takes you away from everything
In the ideal world, it is impossible to go away from everything. But, sometimes you need to go into that world of fallacy to live your dreams and to inspire your creativity. Books are the perfect medium to achieve that. Books can be the perfect resource to take a break without having to even move out of your abode.
Apart from this, reading habit also increases concentration. You would have noticed that avid readers are usually found lost in their own world. With better concentration you can eventually return to work with better focus, and achieve more.
Reading is the best stress buster
No one can deny the fact that being a leader is a stressful job. You have to take decisions, work with multiple people and make sure that everything and everyone is in harmony. This stress of managing and handling so many things can take a heavy toll on the person himself. But, books can be the best stress buster for someone going through such situations. And, the best part is that you also get to learn something new with every book you read.
Great readers always keep a company of good books to read so that at the end of the day they could get rid of all the stress by reading.
Those were some of the habits that I’ve managed to add to my repertoire once I started reading more. And, it has helped me become a better leader and a better manager. If you also want to become better as a leader, and a person in general, then these tips can be of great help. Try them out, and see how well they work for you!
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Vartika Kashyap is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016. She currently runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
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Originally published at The Huffington Post