Reading is leading. How many books do You read every motnh?
Originally posted on Thought Catalog:
The best advice I’ve ever got about reading came from a secretive movie producer and talent manager who’d sold more than 100 million albums and done more than $1B in box office returns. He said to me one day, “Ryan, it’s not enough that you read a lot. To do great things, you have to read to lead.”
What he meant was that in an age where almost nobody reads, you can be forgiven for thinking that the simple act of picking up a book is revolutionary. It may be, but it’s not enough. Reading to lead means pushing yourself–reading books “above your level.” In short, you know the books where the words blur together and you can’t understand what’s happening? Those are the books a leader needs to read. Reading to lead or learn requires that you treat your brain like the muscle that it is–lifting the subjects with the most tension and weight.
For me, that means pushing ahead into subjects you’re not familiar with and wresting with them until you can–shying away from the “easy read.” It means reading Feynman over Friedman, biographies over business books, and the classics over the contemporary. It worked wonders for me: at 19, I was a Hollywood executive, I was at 21 I was the director of marketing for a publicly traded company, and at 24 I’d worked on 5 bestselling books and sold my own to the biggest publisher in the world. I may have been a college drop out but I have had the best teachers in the world: tough books.