A few years back I had heard Top 30 Leadership Professional Orrin Woodward deliver the statement “You don’t know what you don’t know”. A simple, self-evident statement by some interpretations, it struck me as profound if I applied it as the basis for my own self development journey.
Reading was not a priority for me during my traditional education. But after being introduced to the leadership development organization called TEAM, I came to the conclusion that learning by reading books could be an incredible leverage point. I could actually fast forward in a few days through an authors experience and learn the knowledge that it took the writer literally years to acquire. I decided to implement some of the principles described in the New York Times Best Selling book Launching a Leadership Revolution, co-written by authors Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady to help me with goal setting to develop a consistent pattern of reading in my life.
In the book, the authors state that goals must be both written and measurable. They must also provide motivation and clearly align with priorities and values. I was willing to adhere to these specifications to make reading an enjoyable, fruitful component of my personal development plan. For example, as a follower of Mr Orrin Woodward on twitter, I have read that “If you don’t have a goal, you’ll hit it with amazing accuracy.” But a reading goal? How could I motivate myself to read?
Written: Initially, I wrote down a goal to read 1 book per month.
Measureable: Based on my mathematical mind, it seemed logical to divide the number of pages in the book by the number of days in that month to calculate how many pages I must read each day to meet my goal. This allowed me to see “quick wins” as I accomplished my daily quota of pages each day. I could also quickly see when I was drifting off the pace and the goal is in jeopardy.
Provide Motivation: I’m a movie lover. There’s something about kicking back with popcorn and a drink to watch a great film. So my reward for reading a book each month? One guess.
Clearly Align with Priorities & Values: The example of reading set by Orrin Woodward demonstrates his commitment to developing himself and developing other leaders around him. His priorities are evident in his personal and organization goals. He clearly walks the talk since he is the only top 30 leader that coaches another person on that exclusive list.
My journey in leadership development has been enriched by creating a habit of reading and, over time, developing a love for reading. Goal setting is a tool that can be applied in all areas of ones life to create better results and achieve success as an influencer. Thanks Orrin, for serving the leadership community and living the very principles that you teach.