Someone has aptly said that leaders are readers, and the reverse is true. Another unnamed person abused us by saying that if you want to hide something from an African, put it in a book! We must change that narrative by becoming readers.
If you think about it, the thing that has set you apart from those you started with (in the village) is reading. While they were cutting sugarcane, or doing some other menial jobs to make a quick buck, you were in class, reading. Some of them are still where they were many years ago, while you’ve made progress. Secondly, the thing that distinguishes you and sets you apart from others is what you have read. Lawyers read law, architects studied architecture, accountants accounting, etc; and most of this study experience was reading. So, the sign on your office door is largely determined by what you’ve read.
When you read, you are literally spending that time with the author of that book, hearing their thoughts, gleaning their wisdom, gaining their perspective on different aspects of life. While it would be very hard for you to get an appointment with them, and possibly too expensive to travel to where they are physically, you can cut through all of that by going to the bookstore and getting their book.
My friends and I try and read/listen to two books a month on average, in spite of our crazy schedules. To be an SFFG coach and trainer, you must read seven books on finance and business every year that you’re coaching. It’s reported that Bill Gates reads about a book a week.
So it’s time to hit the bookstore if you don’t want to start moving in reverse. Get yourself a Kindle, so you can easily buy books electronically off Amazon. There’s Audible as well, that enables you to buy audio books. Most audio books are about eight hours long. That’s only four days of morning and evening traffic! On an ethical note, avoid the free PDFs that are being forwarded on WhatsApp. You won’t value what you don’t invest in, and what you don’t value won’t build you. Also, return that borrowed book after reading.
As my friend Sam Kisa says, you can survive on charm for exactly three minutes. After that you’d better have something to say. READ!
Keep going. Keep growing. Keep leading.