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During the entire month of March, we’re talking about leadership habits, and we’re kicking it off with a habit that is near and dear to us… reading.

Reading has tons of proven benefits. It helps boost creativity, reduce stress, and makes it easier to make decisions. And reading is a habit that top leaders around the world swear by… so, of course, we’re going to spend some time diving into it!

Skip Around:

00:00 – 2:24: Introduction to reading as a habit + how Marie and Jessi met! {It’s nerdy}

2:25 – 6:03: Reading with intentionality + making time for the habit

6:04 – 10:59: Paper books vs. Podcasts vs. Audiobooks

11:00 – 13:11: How to make reading a regular habit

13:12 – 15:00: Reading creates empathy

15:01 – 17:35: Jessi’s reading story

17:36 – 21:19: Marie’s reading story

21:20 – 23:07: Reading anecdotes {like falling down the stairs!}

23:07 – 39:25: The Intentional Leaders Book Club

Don’t have time to watch the video? Here are the main takeaways:

This episode dives into the importance of cultivating a regular habit of reading. Reading is a habit that almost all great leaders have cultivated, and it has tons of benefits.

Reading is meant to be done with intention (2:25)

Unfortunately, these days we’re all strapped for time. As a business owner, you’re busy. You have things to do and decisions to make. If you do read, there’s no guarantee you’re taking the time to do anything with what you’ve read.

And yet reading, especially reading personal and professional development books, is meant to be done with intention. It’s an opportunity for us to reflect, implement, and grow. If we simply jump from one book to the next, we’re not gaining everything we could from the book.

There’s no right or wrong way to read (6:04)

Back in the day, if you wanted to do anything other than lug around a big ole’ hardcover book, you were outta luck. You could do audiobooks, if you were willing to spend tons of money on a brick of CDs… but most people didn’t bother.

These days, there are tons of ways to read books. You can download the audiobook right from Audible. You can access it on your phone or tablet. You can grab the trusty old paper copy. You can even go to YouTube and find summaries and reviews.

And none of these is more “right” or more “wrong” than the other. It’s all reading. And it often comes down to the way in which you absorb information best. Are you an auditory learner? Audiobooks might make more sense to you. Do you spend a lot of time in the car? Again, audiobooks. Are you super visual and like to make notes? You might want to try a paperback.

Finding time to read doesn’t have to be hard (11:00)

In just 15 minutes a day, you can finish a book a month. And we’re willing to bet you have a LOT of pockets of time you may not even realize exist. Do you take your dogs for a walk? You could listen to an audiobook. Do you have a morning routine? Add in a tiny bit of reading. Gonna spend twenty minutes in the bathroom? {Hey, it happens} Bring your book with you.

Once you commit to making reading a regular habit, it’s about finding the times to make it happen. It all starts with making it a priority.

Reading makes us better leaders… and better people.

One of the biggest benefits of reading is the ability to get in the head of other people. They allow us to stretch our empathy muscle, which a skill that’s helpful in leadership roles. Empathy also just makes us better people. We learn and grow through these shared experiences.

Books are, essentially, companions. They befriend us, teach us, and cheer us on. They teach us confidence and creativity and allow us to walk in the shoes of another.

Ready to incorporate reading into your habits? Join the Intentional Leaders Book Club.


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