Here’s a quote from Harry S. Truman that you may have heard or read before.
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
I love this one and it is definitely one of my favorites. Reading is so important, especially for leaders. The most important thing leaders need to be doing is trying to become better leaders. There are many ways for us to do this, but reading is definitely near the top. I will put it up there right next to mentoring.
I have more books on the shelf and in Kindle than I can keep up with right now. This year I have made it a point to read more than I did last year. One way I have chosen to do that is by participating in Jon Acuff’s #EmptyShelf Challenge. It is simple really. You just clear out one shelf from your bookshelf or any horizontal area valid for holding books. If you’re a Kindle or Nook type of reader, just create a collection called Empty Shelf 2014. Now when you finish a book, just put it on that empty horizontal or in the electronic collection. You’ll soon see that shelf start to fill up, and if you are like me, faster than last year.
But I did not want to stop there. There are so many great books on my shelf and Kindle, that at first I just started pulling them almost at random. I soon figured out that there might be a better way of doing this.
It’s all about focus
I have chosen that this year in order to focus on becoming a better leader, I am going to focus on myself first. Why? Because you can’t expect to lead others if you do not lead yourself first. Is this the golden rule of leadership? If not, it should be. Let’s declare that right now if it isn’t.
And instead of pulling books at random, I have chosen to stick to one genre, Christianity. I could not think of a better genre to pick when it comes to leading self. Like metal to magnet (magnet to metal?), I was drawn towards several books which will blaze the trail ahead.
Read and reading now
Emotional Intelligence (Steve Gutzler)
Ok, so this one doesn’t exactly fall under the genre I have chosen to follow but it is a quick and informative read that I just couldn’t pass up. In it, Steve tells the story of how he helped one woman shape her emotions to have a better impact with her team. It really made me think about my own actions and how they could be affecting those around me, without me really knowing.
Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander (Phil Robertson)
When I met my wife 11 years ago, my father-in-law introduced me to the fine sport of duck hunting. I have been hooked ever since and now that the Duck Commander crew is on TV and signing book deals, I couldn’t pass on this one. It is the story of Phil Robertson and how he went from a humble beginning in his youth to the successful businessman he is today. The story is amazing. I just couldn’t put it down.
Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most (Craig Groeschel)
I found this one on Andy Traub’s Instagram feed. The chapters are short and it is hard to put down as well. It is basically about being a better man and caring for a family. I look forward to adding this one to the shelf and since it was my first of Groeschel’s, I will be checking out many others.
Twelve Ordinary Men: How the Master Shaped His Disciples for Greatness and What He Wants to Do with You (John MacArthur)
Point Man: How a Man Can Lead His Family (Steve Farrar)
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (David Platt)
Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus (Kyle Idleman)
These were all recommended to me and I can’t wait to get into them. It seems like a great lineup and I will be more than happy to add them to the shelf this year.
What have you been reading this year and what is in your lineup?