If a business leader wants to remain relevant in today’s dynamic marketplace they must always be learning. One of the best ways to learn and increase your knowledge is by reading.
Active reading, where you highlight important information and take notes on what is being read, is even one step better! Putting the highlighted passages and notes into a format that can be shared with others or reviewed at another time kicks learning up to a whole new level!
I have always been a voracious reader but I lacked the discipline required to go back to the books and pull out the highlights and notes. Because of that lack of discipline, I often spent many unnecessary hours searching through volumes of books for something I had read that I needed for my business.
Then Amazon changed everything . . .
“Leaders have forfeited their right to make excuses.” – Horst Schulze
How many times in the last year have you heard high profile leaders making excuses for something that happened in their organization rather than taking responsibility for it? Statements like:
- “The price of oil fell more than expected and because of the previous government’s actions, we now can’t balance the budget.”
- “It was an engineer working for us that programmed a module to defeat pollution control tests.”
- “Someone falsified and deleted data to make our test results look better”
“Without solitude, no serious work is possible.” Picasso
Our world today is incredibly busy (see Do You Suffer From Continue Partial Attention Deficit Syndrom) and interruptions are almost constant. In 1789, Benjamin Franklin said “. . . nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” I think in 2015’s world, we can revise this to say “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and constant interruptions.” Chances are, a large percentage of you were interrupted by your office phone, cell phone, email, text message, instant message or some other modern day technical marvel at least once during the time it took to read this!
As business leaders we must set aside time that is insulated from interruptions so that we have time to strategically plan our business. We need to think through issues, set vision, direction, goals and communications. This cannot be done when you are being interrupted every 30 seconds! You need solitude to get serious work completed!