As I've discussed on my Freak Factor blog, I'm a reading freak. I love to read anything, including packages of sugar and Hardee's Thickburger bags. I like to read so much that I once read a book called How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren.
That is why I was so pleased to discover a recent post by Seth Godin about how to read a business book. One of the best ways to grow, to develop yourself and improve your leadership, is by reading. Godin's suggestions will help you get more out of what you read and will probably change your perspective on reading as well.
He makes two crucial points. First, books don't change your life. Applying what you've learned changes your life. Action is what matters. Are you doing anything about what you are reading?
Second, it's not about you. The most important part of learning is sharing what you've discovered with someone else. This is exactly what I suggested in the fourth factor of effective leadership, Improvement. Successful leaders are learners but it doesn't stop there. They learn and then teach others.
As Guy Kawasaki says, you need to "eat like a bird and poop like an elephant." Birds are voracious eaters just as we should be voracious readers. Elephants are unparalleled poopers and also enjoy spreading it around. Similarly, we should take what we have learned and spread it around.