• Nick Henderson

Leaders are readers: 3 reasons to read consistently

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

“I read books.” – Elon Musk (when asked how he learned to build rockets)

This leadership lesson comes from Coach Todd McVey, the head football coach and athletic director of Tompkins High School. He has turned the football program at Tompkins into an absolute powerhouse and in doing so has been nominated for coach of the year in Houston two years in a row.

He is a great leader to say the least and was an absolute honor to chat with.

Many insights emerged from our conversation, but one stood out in particular: the amount of emphasis he put on the books he read and gleaned wisdom from. Books such as “Chop Wood, Carry Water” by Joshua Metcalf, “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” by Mark Batterson, “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon and many more.

He attributes a lot of his leadership and coaching success to the books he has read and studied. And it has paid off - big time for him.

Since our chat, I have become a believer in the power of reading consistently and it has morphed into a habit I work to cultivate daily.

With this, my hope is that you recognize the value in reading as well. So, here are 3 reasons why you should start reading more consistently:

1. Reading is great for your brain.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” In the same way that going on a run or lifting weights keeps our body in peak operating condition is how books work with our mind. Multiple scientific studies (Ex: University of California) have shown that reading keeps our brain in tip top shape - allowing us to process and analyze things effectively for many years to come, even into old age.

2. Reading increases your discipline and consistency.

Discipline divides those who wish from those who are. Being consistent and disciplined are the biggest indicators when it comes to being successful. Reading is a great way to develop those attributes daily.

As opposed to skimming social media, jumping from post to post, reading forces you to focus on one subject matter for an extended period of time. Which trains discipline and consistency.

3. Reading informs and inspires you.

Reading is akin to having a conversation with the author. At least, that is the feel that most writers are after. Imagine sitting down with a C.S. Lewis to talk creativity, John Maxwell for leadership or A.W. Tozer on theology. This would be amazingly informative, but even more inspiring. It would have the potential to spur you onto actions you never thought possible for yourself.

With those reasons, I understand that knowing reading is good for you and actually doing it are very different. So, here two things that have helped me develop this needed discipline more and more.

· Picking a specific time or times to read. Personally, mine are first thing in the morning and right before I go to sleep. Do not just assume you will get to it – it will never happen.

· Setting a timer on my phone for how long I want to read. I set mine for 10 minutes and I do not allow myself to stop beforehand. Once the timer is up, I stop. It provides an actual finish line for me. This way I can stick to it, knowing I have a stopping point.

I hope this blog helped you out. If it did, I would greatly appreciate it if you would share it on your social media – it helps IMMENSELY!

Books I Recommend:

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