It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
Charles William Eliot
Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
I am a huge proponent of reading. I like to read all kinds of things. My kids said they could tell where I had been by the piles of books. In the past couple of months I’ve read things like:
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
Paradigm Flip: Leading People, Teams, and Organizations beyond the Social Media Revolution by Ben Lichtenwalner
My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir by Dick Van Dyke
The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin
The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
Mental Floss: The Book by Ethan Trex. Et al
Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein
Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
What You’re Really Meant to Do by Robert Kaplan
These books are all really different. Some I will keep and read again…or at least refer to (perhaps, steal from!). Others were good diversions but certainly not life-changing. The point…I am a dyed-in-the-wool book person. I believe in the power of language and ideas. I LOVE to learn things that challenge me to be better and see with different eyes. Heck, I love the things that challenge me even if I don’t agree. All of those points of view get me outside of my own head.
Certainly it goes without saying—Scripture is our foundation. That ought to be a given. Only the Bible is authoritative in our lives. Yet, there is also a rich variety of thought, ideas, and culture available. Books can move us from the narrowly provincial to the broadly diverse. Inhabiting the space between our ears with only our thoughts as a guide and metric can be a little barren, a little lifeless, and even downright dangerous!
Leaders need to seek knowledge. Leaders need to be aware. Leaders need to be on a lifelong journey of understanding. There is absolutely no way to read all that is published nor should you. Like everything in life, it pays to be discerning. But, you will never run out of great material. There is always something to be learned. There is always a new thought to be considered.
- What is the best book you have read recently?
- What subjects are you interested in?
- Is there a part of your life and/or ministry that needs a new perspective or insight?