I Asked Three Leaders what Books they Read, the Answer I got Will Shock You


By Josh Okello

One simple question I like to ask new people I meet, leaders, managers, CEOs etcetera is “what books are you reading these days?”

People are always very honest to share ideas especially in the realm of entrepreneurship. My better-half knows and understand my love for books and it is almost predictable that most gifts I get from her are leadership books. We both like to learn even though we are in different fields. In general, we read a lot.

Back to my story, do you like to learn? As a leader, entrepreneur, how many books do you read in a month? I once walked in a store and asked three managers what they are reading and the answer I got was shocking. I am putting into consideration that not all like to read therefore it is not a crime to not read. You can acquire knowledge through other means.

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One manager told me that reading is not important as the books do not tell you how to deal with each individual customer. Different customers have different attitudes, emotions and personality therefore you cannot read a generalized book and work with that on each and every customer. How true is that? My answer is, “It is very true”. But how can you know how to deal with different customers without learning how to deal with different personalities? How does one acquire emotional intelligence (EI) without learning? Reading might not be your thing but are you in constant pursuit of acquiring knowledge? In philosophy we call it epistemology. Epistemology is the enquiry of what distinguishes justified true belief from opinion also referred to as knowledge.

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The other manager referred me to the manager who gave me the answer above. What does this boil down to? “Resistance to change,” and the mind set of “doing it our way.” how can we be open minded without being ready to learn? You do not have to read in the world of technology we are living in today. Listen to podcasts, audio books, and videos and learn at least one new thing every day. Never be bound to repeating the same old mistakes because you are resistant to books.

I would like to hear your honest feedback and hopefully books that you are reading/listening to this month. If you are looking for a simple leadership and entrepreneurship book to read, you might consider: Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership. Comment by suggesting at least one book for our leaders to read.  Let us learn together.

© Joshua Okello 2015.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

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