One of the keys to the success of anyone’s leadership development is knowing how to read a book. For years, I would set a goal of reading 52 books between January 1 and December 31. And for several years I accomplished that goal. I still think that’s a good discipline for a young leader, but as I grew older something inside told me to slow down. I sensed I was at a stage where I needed to focus less on information and focus more on transformation. So I started reading fewer books. But that still wasn’t having the growth impact I was longing for.
It took a while, but I finally developed a 6 Question System for reading that seemed to take me deeper into the content and impacted my thinking in a more tangible way. Today when I read a book, I start by reading the table of contents and dividing it into sections. Sometimes a section is one chapter; sometimes it’s 2 or 3 chapters. Instead of applying all six questions to every single chapter, I apply the questions to the larger sections.
The following six questions force me to read each section on a deeper level.
What stood out to you the most?
I don’t actually write the answer to this question. But I answer this by using a highlighter to mark every sentence that stood out to me. In a 10-page chapter this may be as many as 40-60 sentences that stood out as important or as key thoughts. Continue Reading…