Leaders Read But Reading Isn’t Leading

November 30, 2012 — Leave a comment

It’s the end-of-year list time! We’re going to see lists on any subject you want for the worst and best of 2012.  There’s a great one on leadership books just out by Tim Fox, the “Federal Coach”, who blogs for the Washington Post. 

Leader Know How Notes

Leaders Read

If you’re going to be a great Leader-Manager you need to keep up on the best in Leadership thought and example. Leaders need to read! You should always have a good book going on your job as a leader.  Fox’s list is short and sweet. His recommendations span history, biography, and practical application. To be great you need to follow the greats. Fox has a great list to up your Leadership game.

I also have my own list of  favorites – those books and articles that have been helpful to me and those I teach on our journey to becoming better leaders.

But Reading Isn’t Leading!

Along with my reading list I provide my Know How Notes.  Know How Notes are ideas about how you can apply what you are reading to your practice of Leadership.

Because let’s face it – just reading about Leadership won’t make you a better Leader! It’s not enough to KNOW – You have to KNOW HOW! You actually have to practice the ideas that are suggested in what you read and incorporate them into how you lead.

Sometimes that can be pretty overwhelming, because there are so many leadership ideas to try.  Don’t give up. Remember, becoming a great leader is a life long journey – you’ve got time.  As I tell participants in my leadership classes – it’s one step forward at a time toward greatness.

So each of my book or article recommendations comes with an idea of how you could try out something in the book.  But you when you read those other books too, you can create your own as well.

Here’s how…

1. READ each article with an eye for one idea that will strengthen your leadership skills.

2. Think of a plan to practice that idea – how you will practice, where you will practice it, when you will practice. Then TRY IT OUT.

3. After each practice – REFLECT:  What worked well and so I should repeat? What will I do differently next time?

4. Practice again – 21 times until it becomes a habit – and then TEACH your new skill to firmly root it as a leadership habit.

5. Lastly, REPEAT these steps with the next leadership idea you learn.

What challenges and successes have you had putting what you read into practice?