Are you ready for our 2022 Leadership Book Challenge? If you follow Unlit Leadership, you know that I am all about leader self-development. A key to self-development is increasing your knowledge. What better way to enhance and expand our expertise than to commit to reading and learning more during 2022?
Why is reading so important to leader self-development?
Great leaders know that they are seldom the most intelligent person in the room. If they are, then that leader lacks the experience to recognize the importance of surrounding themselves with brilliant individuals. We understand that we should always look for ways to better ourselves, whether through surrounding ourselves with those that challenge us, taking on tasks that place us out of our comfort zone, or taking time to improve on our own.
Reading is one of the secret weapons of the leader striving to self-develop. Reading makes it easier for your brain to learn what you want to know. When you read, you expose your brain to new words, ideas, and ways of looking at the world. You’re not just building knowledge; you’re also creating new neural pathways in your brain.
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”Harry Truman
Finding time to self-develop through reading
I know that your time is limited. As a leader myself, I have a billion and one things to do on any given day, whether I’m spending time with the family, working on the blog, doing freelance work with my digital marketing company, or handling my day-to-day Army tasks.
As leaders, I know most of us barely have the time to accomplish all the tasks already on our daily to-do list. We likely don’t have time to read 52 books this year. For this reason, I have designed my book challenge not to be too taxing but also be worthwhile in your journey to develop as a leader. I’ve created a shortened version of the traditional book challenges you see on popular sites like Pop Sugar and the Booklist Queen.
The Leadership Book Challenge comes in two versions. The shorter version, targeting the new leaders, contains 12 book prompts. At the same time, the second version aimed at the more experienced leader has 24 prompts. I’ll attempt the 24 months and provide monthly recommendations for leaders who may have difficulty finding books to read, so be sure to follow my various social media networks to keep up with my efforts.
The New Leader Book Challenge
The New Leader Book Challenge is shorter and ideal for the new leader or the person that can’t commit to reading more than one book a month. I’ve provided a list of only twelve prompts for this version, which comes out to one book a month. I have prioritized book prompts to help you improve upon critical leadership to maximize your self-improvement this year.
Book prompts such as “a book about leadership communication” or “a book about emotional intelligence” will lay a solid foundation for new leaders as well as solidify and offer some new tricks for the more experienced leader. You can follow the book prompts in the order provided, or you can do them in any order you like. Also, if you are moving through the list faster than initially expected, go ahead download the Experienced Leader Book Challenge.
The Experienced Book Challenge
The Experienced Leader Book Challenge is for those up for the challenge and can commit to two books a month. I’ve listed 24 total prompts for the Experienced Leader version, two books a month. We delve a little deeper into some of those more challenging areas for leaders for this list. You will notice prompts such as “a book about managing and leading groups” and “a book for leaders of leaders”. There are a few more creative prompts, as well as a few that I think you will genuinely look forward to reading.
Ready for the Challenge?
- Decide which challenge you want to accept and download your printable Book Challenge Tracker.
- As I mentioned, you can read in whatever order you choose. Use the printable to check off your books and annotate the book names and authors. Also, you can always substitute an audiobook. If you are anything like me, I usually can listen to a couple of books within a month, just listening in the car going to and from work.
- At the beginning of each month, check out my blog. I post book reviews and recommendations in my Books of the Month blog. Since it’s already January, here are a few suggestions to get you started, 8 Must Reads for the Emotionally Intelligent Leader, 5 Books to Help Improve Your Communication Skills Now, and 5 Must-Reads For New Leaders.
- Let me know what you think and share it on my Facebook or LinkedIn as you finish a book.
- Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, or Instagram to check out my progress and my recommendations as I go through the challenge alongside you.
I want to make this challenge bigger and better in 2023. Finally, feel free to comment and tell me what you think about the prompts. Also, if you have any recommendations for next year, drop me a line or comment below.