For as long as I can remember I have been a lifelong learner…improving bit by bit, day by day. My mom was a stay-at-home mom so I did not officially attend preschool but I did have a lot of learning opportunities. Mom said when I was 6 weeks old I was awake and alert and in order to entertain me, she got me my first library card. She read to me constantly. I always chose the longest book I could find in the stack for my bedtime story. Not because I liked it the most but because it was the longest!
There have been times in my life that reading has gone by the wayside for one reason or the other but for the last few years, I have read two books a month on average. One for business and one for book club. My favorite business books are about changing business culture and leadership. I also find that I truly enjoy them when the idea is simple and easy to implement right away. I find that I do not need all the research on why the idea works.
So, what does a lifelong learner do for the New Year? Start a business book club! It was nerve wracking to send out the email inviting everyone in the company to join me for a monthly discussion. What if no one replied? How was I going to feel? Sad, disappointed, embarrassed. Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained. I hit send on the email and waited. Much to my surprise I had a taker right away and before I knew it, I had eleven- a perfect number for book club if you ask me.
Our first book is a very easy read (short book with large font) but the ideas are strong. Admiral William McRaven first gave the commencement speech at the University of Texas. His ideas were so well received that the speech became a book on what he experienced and learned as a Navy SEAL.
The idea is simple – If you want to change the world… start of by making your bed.
1. Start your day with a task completed.
2. You can’t go at it alone.
3. Only the size of your heart matters.
4. Life’s not fair—drive on!
5. Failure can make you stronger.
6. You must dare greatly.
7. Stand up to the bullies.
8. Rise to the occasion.
9. Give people hope.
10. Never, ever quit!
Business book clubs have been shown to drive engagement. They promote innovation and creativity. They align talent and business strategy as well as build camaraderie and soft skills. All good reasons to start a book club but not the reason I started mine.
Remember how I told you I have always been a lifelong learner? My dream job was to be a teacher or a librarian when I was growing up, so I suppose it makes perfect sense that I would start a book club being the nerd I am. Reading expands my horizon, trains my brain and transforms the way I view the world. Ultimately, my goal with book club is support others along their learning journey. I want to introduce them to ideas that I found impactful. I hope that they will catch the reading bug and… never stop learning!
Have you read any good books lately? I would love for you to send me your recommendations.