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How much professional reading do you do each month?

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SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How much professional reading do you do each month?

  • A ton — more than 5 books per month: 3.82%
  • A lot — 2-3 books per month: 13.25%
  • Some — 1 book per month: 24.5%
  • Little — a book every few months: 42.57%
  • None — I don’t have time for it or interest in it: 15.86%

Reading is Fundamental. It’s a bit surprising and somewhat distressing that leaders are reading so little with almost 60% of you stating you do “little” to “none” in terms of professional reading.  Time sounds like a convenient excuse but I’ll challenge that assertion. If you add up the time you spend watching TV, cat videos, and being on social media, I’m sure you can carve out a portion of it for reading. If you want to continuously grow as a leader, you have to invest in expanding your knowledge base, perspectives, and skills.  Reading a book is a great way to do so.  Letting your knowledge base stagnate directly correlates with the stagnation of your skills.  Go hit your local library or bookstore.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”