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Leaders are Readers - What's on Your Bookshelf?


Readers are Leaders

After coaching with a client in London's Canary Wharf last week, I was reminded of the importance of shared experiences. These come in many forms from a trip to the movies, a novel, a simple cup of coffee to a full-blown team training event.

An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

'Tuesdays with Morrie' is a book I've recommend for years. It's the tale of an old man, a young man and life's greatest lesson.  When you share an experience such as reading a powerful book, you learn so much more than the activity itself. When a character in a novel talks about a gut wrenching moment, you feel that you are being presented a life experience, with the opportunity to explore how it may affect you emotionally and spirituality; it allows you to consider your own thoughts and motives, drivers and values. Yet there's no element of preaching or coercion and you are free to get involved. There is then the chance to discuss important issues, voice opinions, emotions and strengthen relationships. 

Team Reading

Team reading is a powerful yet one of the easiest shared experiences;  when you read a book and you know that a colleague or friend has shared the experience too, you are doubly involved in it.

In the case of books, your heart races during the intense parts, your like or dislike certain characters is palpable, you become emotionally and cognitively involved with the protagonist with every turn as the plot unfolds. Such is the power of narrative. It doesn't matter whether the characters are real or not, you respond to them as if you know them personally. This is what makes it all so wonderfully engaging; and that is why I recommend that organisations team read. This innovative concept brings people together; thoughts and experiences are shared, personal and social connections are made. I know clients involved in the education sector who give 'Tuesdays' as a gift to all new members of staff. One of my business clients gives each employee a copy of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which is an excellent book that supports change management and growth.

Our son Kyle on the other hand, gives each member of his IT team 'Leadership and self deception.'  Readers are leaders applies to business, education and family settings. So let me ask you,

  • "What book would you like your people to read?"
  • "Why that one?"
  • "What you are reading at the moment?"  

Click here for a comprehensive list of professional and personal development books including classics from Dale Carnegie, Spencer Johnson and Susan Jeffers. I've have read all of these books and recommend them highly.

Team viewing is also very powerful. You can download two new lists of Ted Talks That I love to watch. 

TedTalks Issue 2 - Eilidh's Viewing List TedTalks Issue 2 - Eilidh's Viewing List (971 KB)

TedTalks Issue 1 - Eilidh's Viewing List TedTalks Issue 1 - Eilidh's Viewing List (1038 KB)