“The man who does not read has no
advantage over the man who cannot read.”
— Mark Twain, American author and humorist
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Readers
are leaders.” If you’ve taken the time to
research the habits of well-known leaders,
you’ll see that most list one habit in common:
reading. Leaders make time for it in
their busy schedules. Why do leaders feel
this is so important?
1. Reading Serves as a Reminder of
Many leaders reread the same article or
book multiple times. It’s not because
they didn’t understand the concepts the
first time. It’s because the concepts are so
important to the leader that they want to
be reminded of why they are important.
Leaders are readers because they want to
keep the best business concepts in the
forefront of their thoughts.
2. Reading Presents New and
Like anyone else, leaders must be exposed
to new and thoughtful ideas. The key is
to choose books that are insightful. Don’t
be afraid to read something outside the
norm. For example, a physician who runs
a small medical clinic may generally only
read medical journals. But picking up a
a book on business management could
provide the physician great insight into
how the practice could be managed more
You may not feel as if you’re in tune with
a particular book—that happens sometimes.
But in the future, that book may
inspire your own new ideas.
3. Reading Gives Leaders an
Steve Siebold, author of How Rich People
Think, spent years interviewing 1,200 of
the wealthiest people about their habits.
One commonality? They were regular
readers. And they didn’t just read for fun.
Rather, they read for knowledge. Mark
Cuban reads for almost three hours a
day. Why? Because he understands that
reading provides knowledge accessible to
Yet, not everyone will take the time to
read. Cuban understands that this creates
a distinct advantage for him. He’s not
alone. In fact, Warren Buffett is known
for his reading habit as well. He’s one of
the richest men in the world. Buffett is
known for reading between 600 to 1,000
pages each day. Buffett estimates that he
spends around 80% of his time reading.
4. Reading Encourages Better Decision
Reading gives us access to experiences
that are not our own. It exposes us to
how other people approach problems in
business and in life. This gives leaders
more options to make better decisions.
Through reading, leaders are exposed to
different perspectives that may encourage
them to take a new or different approach
to conflicts. It also promotes tolerance of
Reading is one of the best possible ways
to become a better leader. Take some time
to find some great books—biographies,
bestsellers, and stories from people you
respect. You won’t regret it.
About the Author
Jeremy Kingsley is a professional speaker,
leadership expert and bestselling author.
Learn more at www.jeremykingsley.com.