Read Better, Do Better

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"How to Read Your Way into the Executive Suite." That titled jumped off the screen at the Human Capital League blog. It's Dan McCarthy's re-post of one that appeared first on Brad Collins' blog. Here's a key paragraph.

"A Player executives have very common reading habits, and what they read varies dramatically from what C Players and lower level managers read. For anyone aspiring to be a successful CEO, or a C-level executive, emulating the reading habits of the best and the brightest might give you an edge."

Collins then uses data from his files to analyze the reading habits of effective executives and adds his comments. This is a must-read post.

Reading is a key skill for gathering information. It's the food you feed your brain, so what you read affects your judgment and your ability to make good decisions. Here are some pointers to posts that should help you make your reading more effective and productive.

Earlier this year, I asked Todd Sattersten for a guest post on "Starting Your Personal Reading Program." That led me to post "Tips for Getting the Most from Reading Business Books." The posts include links to other related posts, to Todd's Change Manifesto, "How to Read a Business Book," and to reading lists by Bret Simmons and Michael McKinney.

Those lists are important because you get ideas from learning what others read. Here are some other lists.

Inside the libraries of federal leaders
2008 A Summer Re-Reading List
2009 Summer Re-Reading Mini-List

You should also check out Mike Myatt's excellent review of business blogs and my post "Read your fiction it's good for you." You'll also benefit from a great post by Bob Sutton titled "Evidence-Based Study Tips: Nine Ways To Help You Learn ."

Now it's your turn. What advice or book recommendations do you have to share?

Wally's Working Supervisor's Support Kit is a collection of information and tools to help working supervisors do a better job. It's based on what Wally's learned in over twenty years of supervisory skills training. Click here to check it out.



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  • 9/5/2010 3:29 AM Patrick wrote:
    Read better, do better.

    I think this suggestion is very important for most of us. However, thinking and translating the reading to practice is more important. I don't think one person can do better if he or she just read some better things without thinking carefully and connect what he or she read to real world.
    Reply to this
    1. 9/5/2010 11:03 AM Wally Bock wrote:

      Thanks, Patrick. You're right, reading without turning some of what you learn or think of into action may be fun, but it's not productive. Of course, if you don't read, you're limited to learning from your own experience and from the people you talk to.

      Reply to this
  • 9/5/2010 7:53 PM Jonathan Ledbetter wrote:
    I can't stress enough how reading about current events will make you more well-informed and better-equipped to formulate solutions to any problems that may arise in your organization. However, in this day and age, it would be wise to read or watch up on what your customers are reading or watching as well.

    One recent example at my organization is that some of our clients were exposed to have potentially overcharged their customers for their product. Our executives may not think it's a large problem because it may not be extensively covered in what they read. On the other hand, our customers tend to watch "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," the latter of which covered the story. As such, we came up with tactics to weather the bad press and retain the integrity of our clients. It was paying attention to our customers' media habits that helped us avert being side-swiped by a crisis.
    Reply to this
    1. 9/6/2010 6:23 AM Wally Bock wrote:
      Thanks for adding that comment, Jonathan
      Reply to this
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