I met Anand on a flight from Singapore to India. We chatted for a while as we settled into our seats, exchanging notes on what we do and what our career graphs are like – as usual, we boys were talking shop. Guilty, as charged. Eventually, talk veered to the economy, then politics and then the overall challenges we face as we build careers and businesses in the climate of information, exposure and governance surrounding us.
As we talked, I asked him what books he reads. Any authors you follow to clear your mind and get some insight, I probed. Anand said something that a lot of people say to me very often.
“Read? Who has the time to read? And in any case, people who write usually read.”
Now, this is something that I hear very often, and I must admit that I am also guilty of not making time for reading. But of late, I have noticed a growth in the work of thought leadership and books that essay their journey and processes. Here are a few tips to start reading if you are a leader or an entrepreneur who does not really have the “time” to read.
- For every 15 minutes spent on a screen, ensure that you read a book for 10 minutes.
- Travelling for meetings and other professional commitments? Carry a book!
- Create time for the family or your friends to read together.
- Try and work out of book cafes for some part of the day – you will find plenty of them sprouting in the smallest of towns.
- Join a book club or start one at the work place. Ask other entrepreneurs and your colleagues for recommendations.
Now, having said that, here are a few books that I would ask you to start reading if you want to get ahead at work and fulfill a higher leadership role.
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey: This book has literally taken the world of corporate and entrepreneurship literature by storm and I would suggest setting your reading pace and standards by turning to this book first.
- Four Disciplines of Execution by Sean Covey: Sean Covey is a well known thought leader whose simple and doable tips have helped people across the globe. If you are looking for a simple read with scientifically backed methods, this is the book for you.
- The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast! By Josh Kaufman: If you have read my previous article on creative thinking for problem solving, then you will know that I am all for learning new things to further your own evolution in any sphere. Pick up this book to master a new skill and reach the next level.
Do follow my series on new books to read every month and feel free to share some of your favourite reads too!