Posts Tagged ‘power of reading


what’s on your shelf?

Books were a constant presence in my house for as long as I can remember. I was started on the habit of reading at a very young age; so young, in fact, I think I read How to Win Friends and Influence People and The Power of Positive Thinking before I cracked open The Pokey Little Puppy and Green Eggs and Ham.

But in all seriousness, I clearly understood the criticality of reading personal development material at a very early age. After earning my degree and beginning my professional years, however, I found myself reading only things that taught me the “know how”. I read regulations when I was in the Air Force. I read technical manuals and procedures when I was in the semiconductor industry. I read contracts and policies when I was in the defense contracting world. I knew every single rule, regulation, and clause interpretation in the books.

But for all the brain smarts I packed into my head, I was not growing in wisdom; knowledge, perhaps, but not wisdom.

Just as there are people we meet who have varying degrees of impact upon us, the same is true of books. We need to read material that doesn’t just stimulate our thinking on the left or right sides of your brains; we need to read material that will stimulate our hearts. Material that will show us not only the “know-how” but the “know-why”!

So take a look at what’s on your bookshelf. Is it solely comprised of technical manuals, contractual documents, or corporate policies and handbooks? Or are there books sprinkled in between that will develop you as a leader? You can’t have one without the other to truly be effective. So make sure you are getting a balanced reading diet to ensure you’re operating at peak efficiency!


talk may be cheap, but the written word is priceless

As a leader, everything is a reflection of who you are, even the pictures on your desk and the books on your shelf. Keep yours stocked with tremendous reading material and let your team know they are free to take them, read them, and share them.

Haines and Yaggy said, “You may judge a man more truly by the books and papers which he reads than by the company which he keeps.”

Books on the shelf give a sense of humility about the leader. They let the employee know that the boss is humble enough to read what others have to say about leadership so that they can be better themselves.

When people came to my father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, for answers, he’d pull a chosen book of the shelf and have the individual read a passage to him. He knew that allowing them to discover the answer themselves was far more powerful than spoon feeding the information.

As Brian Tracy said, “Difficulties are not to obstruct, but to instruct.” Be sensitive about getting in the way of the person’s learning journey. Simply open a book and let the words speak to each individual’s ears and hearts. They’ll find exactly what they need to know.

It’s tough to keep your mouth shut when people come to you with problems. It’s in our nature to want to help solve everyone’s issues with our own clever solutions. But if we deny someone the struggle of finding their own true answer, we deny them their victory. The path we forged may not be the best one for them.

Tremendous Tracey

CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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April 2020

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