Leaders Are Readers, SO READ!

When I was young I used to love to read. It was my way of getting away from the world I suppose. However when I started becoming a teenager I stopped. I stopped reading for my homework, I stopped reading literature and I didn’t touch it for years.

It wasn’t until 2 years ago that a quote made me change my ways and it is the following:

“Not all readers are readers, but all leaders are readers”

– Harry Truman

And it was this that made me actually start picking up books again. It was the thought that I wanted to become a leader. Not for the money, not for the power I would have over people, not the corner office with a few nor having the ability to push work on my “subjects”. I wanted to create a work environment that meant something to people. Where the boss wasn’t an asshole (me in this case) and the productivity of the employees was high, though not due to fear of being fired, but out of desire. The desire of actually contributing to a cause worth working for. The desire to help the fellow co-workers out of love, not steal credit from them to impress me. I also wanted an idea-meritocracy. I didn’t want to envision a meeting where I come in and say what the problem is and bring the solution. I wanted my employees, my co-workers, to tell me what they thought was wrong and their take on the solution. My job wouldn’t be to nod yes or shake my head to say no. My job would be to listen them talk about the issues we’re facing and at most ask clarifying questions. I would never dream to know everything. I am a flawed human being who needs help and I needed to create an environment where help was cherished.

I give a lot of credit to my success from reading. The ability to obtain a lifetime of knowledge from the most intelligent people that has ever lived on this planet in a matter of hours is undervalued. I can read about what made Ray Dalio the worlds most successful hedgefond manager after creating Bridgewater. I can read about the mistakes he did, the mistakes he had to suffer through, in a few pages. How amazing is that? I can read about Grant Cardones struggles, success and ultimately what made him a millionaire, in a day. We have the ability to prosper without falling in every pitfall. So many people have fallen through them already and have written about how they ended up there, what they did down there are ultimately what made them climb out. All of this could be the difference between success and failure. A leader is a true never-ending learner and the best way I know of to learn, is to read.