“Yeah, uh, I really don’t like to read much.” I can’t tell you how many times a man has said that when I asked them about reading. Most of the time, it goes back to one simple reason: “I’m not very good at reading.”
You want to know a secret?
I wasn’t very good at reading either. And, compared to many, I’m still not a great reader. But I am a much better reader now that what I was 15 years ago.
Readers have influenced me. Their personalities have been different and their leadership styles varied, but every great leader/teacher/pastor/professor who has influenced me has been a reader.
So, reading is essential. (And yes, I do count listening to audiobooks as “reading,” particularly for those who may face challenges such as dyslexia).
Over the next four posts, I’m going to share how I improved my reading (and am still working on it). Why do I want to spend this much time on the subject of reading? Because being a reader is crucial to being a leader.
Al Mohler agrees, “There is no substitute for effective reading when it comes to developing and maintaining the intelligence necessary to lead.” (The Conviction to Lead, p. 99).
Reading Improvement Tip #1: Practice brings progress.
Like any other skill in life, the more you read, the better you will become at reading. This seems absurdly simplistic, doesn’t it? But it is true. You won’t get any better at reading if you settle for Netflix or gaming every night. There is nothing inherently wrong with gaming or Netflix, but if we neglect reading for those things, our reading ability and leadership skills will never increase.
So, think of reading as a skill that needs to be developed rather than a gift some lucky people are born with. Set some goals. Read for 10 minutes each night before turning out the light. You would be surprised at how your reading will improve.
Think you could read 10 books this year? I bet you could. And, if you would like, I’d be happy to give you some recommendations on where to start.