Any professional who aspires to navigate up the corporate ladder, especially in belt-tightening times, must develop intellectual power. The fastest way to develop intellectual power requires reading the right books which is akin to eating. Some books have to be chewed, some digested and others savoured.
Tim Sanders, former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo! Inc. in his book Love Is The Killer App, recommends that you use the 80/20 rule. Spend 80 percent of your reading time on books and 20 percent on articles, newspapers and so on. Books give more detailed knowledge on any subject than articles do.
Before reading, develop a reading plan and identify your purpose for reading. Is it for entertainment, for information or to further your knowledge? Think about how you can apply what you are reading to improve your personal and professional life. When you read, have a pen, notepad and highlighter to take notes and capture ideas that may percolate.
Why Read? 7 Reasons Why You Cannot Afford Not to Read
- Builds intellectual power: Reading widely allows professionals to learn about different concepts and gain insights, which builds intellectual muscles, enabling them to shine in conversations
- Builds verbal power: Reading extensively introduces professionals to words they usually would not come across in their everyday interactions. And, research by the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation found that vocabulary correlated with executive level and income
- Discovers new ways of thinking: Authors who write thought provoking books frequently introduce readers to new ways of viewing the world
- Develops critical thinking skills: Reading demanding and difficult text requires focus and concentration, forcing professionals to think about what they are reading
- Keeps the mind active: Professionals who interact with the words on the pages are engaged, keeping their minds active into their senior years
- Discovers/Builds on ideas: After Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace independently read Thomas Robert Malthus’ Summary View of the Principle of Population, they both understood how evolution worked. For Darwin, the rest they say is history. Galileo built on Copernican’s work and Newton built on Galileo’s work and the field of astronomy was born. More recently Amazon juggernaut Jeff Bezos after reading that the Internet was growing 2,300 percent per year wondered how he could use the information. He then looked at the top 20 catalogues to see which would translate best to an online business and as a result Amazon was formed.
- Builds the power of communication: All of the above reasons enable professionals to communicate with power, both orally and written because they have a well-fed mind.
Consistently reading the right books and the right articles allow professionals to tap into their inner genius and promote a personal growth regiment. Where will the idea for the next “big thing” come from? And more importantly, will you be the person to find, develop, and implement the idea for the next “big thing.” Keep reading!
Sasha Dichter’s Blog Post Why do you read?
Photo Credits By Avil Beckford