“Reading is important. If you know how to read, then the whole world opens to you.”Barack Obama
While many individuals read for pleasure, there are also professional reasons why people should read books on a regular basis.
Reading may help your career by updating you on industry trends, increasing your vocabulary, inspiring creativity, reducing stress, and cultivating empathy.
When knowledge is applied appropriately, it becomes wisdom; this is something that leaders must have in abundance if they are to be successful. Books are excellent sources of information since they provide the most detailed information on any given topic.
Here are six outstanding books recommended by some of the leaders in GetFundedAfrica that you can read to influence your professional and general life development, with side notes on their various takeaways.
1. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
“Have faith in your abilities. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. But with sound self-confidence you can succeed. A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement.”
Program Manager, Venture Building
2. First Things First by Stephen Covey
“The knowledge gained through reading this book lies in maximizing the use of time for effectiveness. It speaks to figuring out what is important, prioritizing such, and learning to focus on achieving my goals one step at a time. I also found some nuggets on building the right relationships to enhance strong leadership skills wherever we find ourselves on life’s journey.”
Head, Learning and Development
3. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
“Simply put, the book is an extensive examination of wealth and the wealthy.
Lessons I learnt are picking the right career field, living below your means, avid planning, investing early, not caring for status symbols.”
Senior Analyst, Investor Relations
4. Why You Act the Way You Do by Tim Lahaye
“Reading the book helped me understand people better based on their temperament and help me manage my emotions better and how I relate to people around me generally. It’s a book I can always run to from time to time to help me stay on track whenever I need to remind myself why people act the way they do.”
Senior Associate, Programmes Co-Ordinator
5. Ideas Rule the World by Sam Adeyemi.
“It talks about the many innovations of people that has changed the world. Generally, it motivates readers to dream, create based on their passion and ideas they get from their day-to-day lives.”
Chief Operations Officer
6. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
a. Sharpen the saw. Don’t work yourself to death. I’ve always believed in work-life balance that delivers high output. Striving for a sustainable lifestyle that affords me time to recuperate, recharge and be effective in the long-term is what I continue to practice throughout my career life, as having good health triumphs everything.
b. Take charge and assume responsibility. I believe that I can wield influence on the world around me, no matter how minor it is; hence, I don’t spend time dwelling on circumstances that are out of my control and double down on things that I can control.
c. Begin with an end in mind. Don’t spend your life working aimlessly; have a direction and goals. Have a vision for the future and align your actions accordingly to make it a reality. You are allowed to pivot along the way but be sure to keep the end goal in mind.
d. Prioritization skills. Focus on what’s important and on the things that bring you closer to your vision of the future. Don’t get distracted by urgent but unimportant tasks.
e. Think “win-win” instead of “zero sum.” You don’t always need to get the biggest slice of the cake, but rather find a division that is acceptable to all parties. You will still get your fair share and build strong, positive relationships in the process.
f. Be an active listener. When someone presents us with a problem, avoid jumping right into giving a solution; instead, take the time to really listen to the other person and then make recommendations.
g. Foster teamwork and be an individual contributor at the same time. Pick a skill or a field that you are really good at or interested in and sharpen it till you are an expert in that field to become an individual contributor and also a collaborative team player when need be.
Head, Investment & Fundraising
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