Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Reading

I read for fun and for information, but Lifehacker provides some utilitarian reasons for doing so in "Want to Be a Great Leader? Start Reading":
The National Endowment for the Arts has found that "reading has declined among every group of adult Americans," and for the first time in American history, "less than half of the U.S. adult American population is reading literature." This is terrible for leadership....
  • Evidence suggests reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight. Some studies have shown, for example, that reading makes you smarter through "a larger vocabulary and more world knowledge in addition to the abstract reasoning skills."
  • Many business people claim that reading across fields is good for creativity. And leaders who can sample insights in other fields, such as sociology, the physical sciences, economics, or psychology, and apply them to their organizations are more likely to innovate and prosper.
  • Reading increases verbal intelligence, making a leader a more adept and articulate communicator. Reading novels can improve empathy and understanding of social cues, allowing a leader to better work with and understand others.... And any business person understands that heightened emotional intelligence will improve his or her leadership and management ability.
  • ...[A]n active literary life can make you more personally effective by keeping you relaxed and improving health. Reading is a great way to relax, as reading for six minutes can reduce stress by 68%, and some studies suggest reading may even fend off Alzheimer's, extending the longevity of the mind.
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Want to Be a Great Leader? Start Reading