Sunday, October 5, 2014

Leaders Are Readers -- Do You Have The Habit?

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” -- Harry Truman

Although terribly unpopular when he left the presidency, Harry Truman's legacy has cemented his place in American history as one of its greatest leaders. He was also one of its most prolific and dedicated readers. Although he never earned a college degree, Truman's love for reading and learning started early and continued throughout his life. He was especially fond of history and said: "In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves... self-discipline with all of them came first." There is no doubt his love for reading served him and in turn, the America people, very well. It is said that his decision to drop the atomic bomb to end WWII essentially saved the lives of thousands of American soldiers. Being a child of a WWII vet, this is especially significant as I look at the impact and legacy of that decision. 

Like Truman, I have a love for history and devote a large part of my reading time to historical leadership and to studying the great men and women of the past. What about you? What are you interested in? What, or who do you want to know more about? What part of your life or occupation would you like to improve and develop? That's the beauty of a self-directed education. We get to choose what we want to learn about and the pace at which we learn it. The question is: Are we taking full advantage of that choice and like the great leaders of the past and present, committing ourselves to a true self-directed education?

Reading is a great path to discovery and its discipline can have a wonderful effect on our lives, the lives of others, and on the fulfillment of our purpose. Did you know that by reading just 15 minutes per day you can finish an average book in about a month? That translates to approximately 12 books a year. Think about what that can do for your life, your career, your relationships -- and even the world around you. Are you ready? Grab a book and get a firm grip on your own self-directed education. I'd love to hear about what you're learning. 

Be a leader and be a reader!

As always, your comments are welcome!

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