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The Role of Reading in Leadership - ETCSINES

The Role of Reading in Leadership - ETCSINES

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader,” said Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli (popularly known as Margaret Fuller), who was a prolific American journalist, critic, and women’s rights advocate associated with American Transcendentalism Movement during the 19th century.

Perhaps, you might have asked yourself: “reading” and “leadership,” “what is the link?” I urge you to pay a very rapt attention now because I am about to unravel a very big SECRETE. What has made the world’s great leaders highly exceptional? The answer is reading. An American financial planning veteran and author of “Soldier of Finance,” Jeff Rose said, “reading is said to be the spark behind creative thinking and it is the most predominant trait of individuals said to pertain to a level of higher intelligence.”

The concept of leadership rises beyond governance, the position of authority and power. Leadership means “setting the pace to make a long-lasting trans-generational impact, land-mark and legacy in your society or even in the world at large.” That is my personal perception of the meaning of leadership. The likes of Aliko Dangote, Bill Gates, and John C. Maxwell are not in government yet, I tell you, they are leaders.

I will show you some of the world’s greatest leaders and how they excelled through reading. There is no leader, who is not a reader. Harry S. Truman said: “not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Reading is a culture that has made great leaders great. Some readers don’t, eventually, become leaders because they have failed to translate their reading culture into a realm of making an impact, but great leaders are those who have attained the level of higher intelligence through reading and have also applied this intelligence to make a generational impact.    

Bill Gates began programming computers when he was 13 years of age as a student living in the northwestern US state of Washington. How was he able to achieve this at a very young age? His father, William gate Sr., in an interview, said: “very early, he demonstrated his really insatiable curiosity. He became a voracious reader.” He continued: “we know he was smart, academically gifted, but we didn’t have any impression that there was something world-class going on in our living room necessarily.”

Rene Descartes, who was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist, said: “the reading of all good books is like conversations with the finest men of past centuries.” I will personally say that you may never have the opportunity to personally meet great men like John C. Maxwell, Stephen R. Covey, Ben Carson, Aliko Dangote, and the likes. The truth is that you can actually meet them by reading their writings.

Even the Bible says, in Psalm 119:99, “I have more insight (understanding) than my teachers, for I meditate [study, ponder and ruminate] on your statutes (word).
When you stop reading, you stop learning; and when you stop learning, you start dying. You want to become an exceptional leader? Be a voracious reader. 

Writer: Daniel Owa-George

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