Fast Company Magazine has come out with their favorite business and leadership books of 2017. Reading books increases your knowledge and insight and lets you touch parts of the world beyond your own. Are books an element of your career plan?
Not everyone resonates with reading or opening up to others’ ideas. No problem there. The key is to figure out how to broaden your knowledge and insight in ways that can advance your career. So, what is it for you? Books, networks, experience, taking risks? Whatever it is, stay up on the game. Things change rapidly and keeping pace is essential to your success.
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Reading moves you forward – it is a means of communication, a way of increasing your knowledge and a way of connecting to the world.
Reading takes time and your time is precious. How much time does reading your emails and other correspondence take for you in a day? Do you try to read way too much, thinking that you must in order to keep up? Do you use reading as a distraction that does not serve you – aimlessly browsing on the web or reading things that you have no need for? Do you make sure you read the things that will keep your career moving forward? Do you give your full attention to what you are reading?
Be aware of your reading habits. Make sure they are serving you. Reading is central – use it to your maximum advantage.
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One of the most significant professional lessons I’ve learned relates to the importance of preparation. In my early career, I would often go to meetings, that did not ask participants for specific preparation, trusting my general knowledge and my ability to respond in the moment. What I began to find, at some meetings, was that others had prepared for the meeting in ways I had not and that gave them an advantage. Their advantage lay in anticipating the interpersonal dynamics of a meeting by giving thought to who was attending, brushing up on the subject matter ahead of time or thinking out their own goals for the meeting and what results they wanted from it.
Preparation puts you in a place of confidence. With preparation you can influence outcomes, avoid unnecessary clashes and shine in front of others. Preparation is well worth the effort – embrace the advantage it gives you.
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