It’s my firm conviction that leaders are readers. When you stop reading, you stop growing and stop leading in an effective way. Chuck Lawless shares 15 strategies to read more as a leader.

Originally posted by Chuck Lawless

Leaders should be readers. Here are some ways for busy Christian leaders to do more reading:

  • Set reading goals. Even a goal to read one book each year is a start if you aren’t a reader, though I encourage you to start with one book per quarter.
  • Read your Bible every day. This goal should be the goal of every believer – but especially for leaders. Consider setting a goal to read the Word every year (about 3-4 chapters each day) or every two years (1-2 chapters per day). 
  • Beyond your Bible, read something every day. Get in the practice of taking time to read a book, an article, a newspaper, a blog, etc., each day. 
  • Schedule daily and weekly time to read. You need daily time to take steps #2 and #3 above. In addition, schedule a couple of hours each week only for reading. 
  • Give yourself permission to read only chapters. Quickly glance at all chapter titles and headings, then read the first and last section of each chapter to get a feel for the book—but devour the chapters that most interest you.
  • Read with friends. Read a book with a few friends, and hold each other accountable. Talk together about what you’ve read (like an old-fashioned “book club”). 
  • Ask for recommendations. Most of us are more inclined to read something a friend has recommended. Another option is to check out the most popular books at Amazon.
  • Listen to audio books while doing something else. I prefer to see and read a book, but I enjoy listening to books while working out each morning. 
  • Have a book with you at all times.  Don’t miss opportunities to read, such as sitting in a doctor’s office, flying on a plane, or lingering in a slow line.
  • Read more than one book at a time. I’ve found that this approach works best when I have different books in different locations (by my bedside, in the bathroom, in my office, etc.). The variety helps me to keep reading. 
  • Don’t get bogged down with boring stuff. If you have a choice about what to read, feel free to push aside the worst stuff. Struggling through a bad book will weaken your passion for reading.
  • Balance heavy reading with fun reading. For me, that reading might be a military biography, a sports story, a humor book, or even an assassination account (not sure why – I’ve always been intrigued by political assassinations).
  • Read some short stuff. It’s good to finish a whole book once in a while. If you struggle getting there, choose something shorter. Some of the more popular Christian books today are short. 
  • Teach somebody what you’re learning through reading. Do it formally or informally—e.g., talk briefly about a book over lunch. When you teach others from your reading, you’ll want to read more. 
  • Include recommended reading on your church bulletin, website, or blog. If you want your church members to read good stuff, recommend some. Doing that, of course, requires you read it first.

What would add to this list?