Leadership book clubs

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Leaders are readers

I heard that for the first time about fifty years ago and it’s still true. If you want to be an effective leader, you need to feed your head with good stuff. You need to read and digest the kind of thinking that only appears in books. Leadership book clubs are a way to do a better job of leadership reading.

A book club can structure your reading

When you join a leadership book club, you commit to read a specified number of a specified kind of books. You sign up to be accountable for your reading and hold other members accountable.

That’s what a leadership book club can do for you. Here are some things you can do to make your leadership book club a success.

Things to agree on for your book club

Agree on what books you will read and how you will select them. Clubs I’ve been part of either passed the book selection assignment around or had a single person or committee make the choice.

Agree on how many books you will read and how often you will meet. Don’t be too optimistic. I suggest starting with one book and meeting per month. You can always increase your pace later if you choose.

Agree on how you will deal with each book. Will you start your meeting with a book report? Will you begin your discussion with whoever wants to speak first? Will there be a questionnaire to guide discussion?

Agree on your rules of engagement. What do you expect from every member? How will you structure your meetings? How should members deal with each other?

Agree to review your process. I suggest that you review your process every three months or so.

A note of thanks

Thanks to John Coleman for his HBR article, “Why businesspeople should join book clubs” which started the train of thought that lead to this post.

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