The best leaders are usually readers—even when they’re dealing with the heavy demands of the CEO role. If you can resist the pull of tactical issues and set aside time to expand your mind on topics relevant to your business (directly or indirectly), you’ll gain a significant edge over most CEOs.
Need convincing that reading is a worthy investment of chief-executive time? For one, Warren Buffett has said that he “reads and reads and reads. I probably read five to six hours a day.”
Mark Zuckerberg, too, has prioritized reading, declaring 2015 the “year of books,” and encouraging others to read along with him.
I read many business books, and come away from nearly every one with a couple of key ideas that I can put to work in my business. But I also encourage CEOs (and those aspiring to be in the role of the CEO) to expand their reading lists to other areas of study.
Here are four disciplines that represent especially fertile ground for helping CEOs run their businesses more effectively.
Ultimately, reading about the topics that fascinate you can often lead to flashes of insight that change the way you think about your business. Pursue knowledge in all its forms. If you pay attention, you’ll make surprising new connections that push you to a new level of leadership.
Check out Joel's published book The CEO Tightrope.