failure to read syndrome

According to John Maxwell, “People will rise to the level of conversation around them.” But, how do you manage to get around influential people and hear their conversations? The answer – you read books and articles about them and ones they’ve written. It seems simple, but many of us are experiencing a failure to read syndrome.

If you wanted to be a mutual fund manager and you could listen in on conversations with Warren Buffet, your skills and competencies would increase. Want to be a top athlete? Your skills and competencies would increase if you hung around Michael Jordan. How about becoming a top turnaround executive? You could increase your skills and competencies if you could listen to Lee Iacocca.

I’ve read and collected more than a dozen books on every topic that interests me and on those I teach. Now I’m considered an authority on the topic as compared to most others.

Reading is a great way to excel in your career.

As easy as that sounds, most people won’t do it because they have what I like to call failure to read syndrome.

According to a 2022 Gallup study, Americans are reading fewer books than in the past.

  • Average number of books read down to 12.6 from 15.6 in 2016
  • Percentage reading any books is stable; fewer are reading more than 10
  • College graduates show largest decline in number of books read

U.S. adults are reading roughly two or three fewer books per year than they did between 2001 and 2016. A lack of time and interest were cited as the main reasons that even people who do read are reading few books compared to those who don’t read at all.

Reading for just 1 hour each day in any chosen field will make you an international level expert in 7 years.

Pick a topic that relates to your current career field or one in which you aspire to work, buy a book on that topic, and read a little each day. The more you lean the better you’ll perform in the workplace and the more your paycheck is likely to reflect your new skillsets.

How to read more:

  • Schedule it on your calendar – make an appointment to read 10 pages or for an hour, whichever comes first
  • Read before bed – help relax your mind and cut off screen time before sleep
  • Google the experts in your field and find books they’re written
  • Try audio books if you’re short on time – you can listen on the go and still retain the information

To make more money next year than you will this year, improve your skills and competencies by increasing the level of the conversations around you.

Those great conversations can be found in the next book you read!

Tell me, what was the last book you read and how did it change your life?

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Art Jackson, Professional Speaker, Executive Coach

Art Jackson

Art Jackson is a professional speaker and executive coach. He is a recognized expert in the areas of leadership, performance improvement and interpersonal skills.

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