Sighting of the Lesser-spotted C-Suite Bookworm.
Written by: Caroline Newns
This weekend, I responded to a LinkedIn post. One of my VP clients commented on how much he enjoyed working for his CEO who enthusiastically reads and encourages reading throughout his organisation.
Most of my clients tend to fall into one of three categories when it comes to reading:
The ‘voracious’ ones – who read books; online articles; blogs and other social media output. They also read signs; leaflets; pamphlets; business cards – they quite simply READ and enjoy the process of doing so.
The ‘sporadic’ ones who read in ‘fits and starts’. These include those clients who are presented with a reading list as they enroll for their company-sponsored MBA; DIY experts; active LinkedIn and Twitter followers and those have a genuine (but not consistent or passionate) interest in reading about issues relating to leadership and organisational life.
Finally, there are the ones who regard the practice of reading as engagement in a black art and / or a sign of weakness.
Years ago, I had the privilege of delivering an international leadership programme in conjunction with a Professor of Behavioural Psychology who remarked ‘Books read YOU, Caroline’. Having secured my first degree in English Literature, she had me at ‘Books . . . ‘.
Her point – the more we read, the more we understand our response; the more we read the more we challenge our thinking and our prejudices and the more we read the more we broaden our outlook on the world.
I encourage my clients to read – especially my most senior clients.
Reading develops a relationship with one’s brain as well as the outside world. I regularly run client programmes in ‘Critical Thinking’ – supporting Strategy and Change Management processes. In doing so, I present Reading as a necessary contributor for future-proofing companies, managing change and ensuring effective leadership.
It’s said that ‘actions speak louder than words’, but words have the power to inform our actions.
If you’d like to talk further about how you can develop a well-read, highly informed, critical-thinking leadership team, give me a call. Keep reading. Keep growing.