The Single BEST Way to Get Smarter
by Dianna Booher
March 09th, 2017

“You’ll be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read,” was the motto of one of my mentors, Charlie Tremendous Jones. One caveat I’d add: The people you meet may change your life all right—but they may not make you any smarter. Reading great books will. 

Far too many people save the pleasure of reading for leisure time—and then blush to admit that they have so little of it. Then sometimes the issue is a mere unwillingness to spend the available time on a pursuit you’re not sure pays off in hard cash in the short run.  

To that, Mark Twain’s response might be the most appropriate: “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” 

What Ben Carson Has to Say About the Value of Reading 

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, routinely tells about how reading changed his life as a junior high school student. His mother began to take him and his brother to the library, requiring them to check out two books and write her book reports every week. According to him, the world came alive between the covers of those books, and within 18 months, he reversed his downward trending academic record, moving to the top of his class. The rest of his career, as they say, has become history. He attributes his academic and career accomplishments largely to the value of reading. 

His experience with reading could be repeated around the world by entrepreneurs, CEOs, artists, and inventors in most every industry. 

So What Can YOU Learn by Reading? 

--How other industries work 

--How other leaders and professionals solve problems similar to yours 

--How other people develop and maintain relationships 

--How people with different values and backgrounds think 

--Different lifestyles of people at different educational and economic levels 

--What it takes to succeed in different jobs 

--Different concepts of success and failure 

--Different concepts of job satisfaction and personal satisfaction 

--The ability to entertain yourself 

--The ability to experience other emotions for yourself like courage, excitement, joy, peace 

--A broader vocabulary 


Poll Your Friends About Their Reading Habits 

If you’ve not yet put together your reading list for 2017, why not start that list this month by polling your friends about what they’re reading? And include both fiction and nonfiction—books both inside and outside your industry.  

Sparks of creativity fly as you’re able to translate innovative ideas from outside your field to your own world.  

Dianna Booher is the bestselling author of 47 books, published in 60 foreign-language editions. She helps organizations to communicate clearly and leaders to expand their influence by a strong executive presence. Her personal development topics include leadership communication, executive presence, life balance, and faith. Her latest books include Communicate Like a Leader; What MORE Can I Say?, Creating Personal Presence; and Communicate With Confidence. National Media such as Good Morning America, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Bloomberg,, Fast Company, FOX, CNN, NPR, Success, and Entrepreneur have interviewed her for opinions on critical workplace communication issues.  817-283-2333  @DiannaBooher

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