You’ve heard that phrase many times. I think I first ran across it in a book by Bennis and Nanus (how’s that for two great names for co-authors?).
Not only does familiarity breed contempt; it can also breed neglect. Sometimes we discount the value of an idea because it is familiar.
Andrew Carnegie said, “Reading should be carefully planned as a diet for optimum mental growth.” How many leaders plan their reading carefully? My experience and observation is that most of what leaders read is thrust upon them. They read more out of obligation than by choice.
William Godwin said, “He that loves reading has everything within his reach.” A leader can get a handle on almost any problem or opportunity if he or she knows who to read in that area. The biggest challenge today is finding wisdom in a sea of often dubious information.
Would you like a strategy for your reading? Here’s a suggestion that is as true today as it was when written 100 years ago: “There are three keys to reading profitably: intention, attention and retention.” The classic self-help author Orison Swett Marden said that.
Read by intention, rather than just obligation. Give your attention to items of importance and not just interest. Then highlight, outline and synthesize so that you can retain the nuggets of wisdom.